Dinosaurs, Ninjas and Power Metal? If this makes you as excited as I am then you are going to love this! Step into an alternate reality where humanity is under attack by an evil space ninja clan. Our protectors: the mystical and magical Dinogods. Herein lies the next instalment from VICTORIUS with their new album Dinosaur Warfare Pt.2 – The Great Ninja War!
Saurus Invictus Lazerus roughly translates as Unconquerable Dinosaur and has a play on the use of the word laser. This opening piece is incredibly epic and could’ve come straight from a film score. This sets the scene and anaphorically references the opener from the Dinosaur Warfare EP.
Victorious Dinogods continues the story from previous releases by resurrecting the Dinogods once again to protect humanity but this time from the ninja threat. There is lots of descriptive imagery too which helps you visualise the ensuing war: “And here we stand once more, facing the enemy’s line”
Mighty Magic Mammoth features some phenomenal uses of symphonic brass sections to signify the trumpeting of the latest ally to emerge from the frozen waste into the fray. This is undoubtably one of the strongest songs on the album and is a no-nonsense power metal assault. Vocally, David Baßin is on fine form and weaves his words like a storyteller.
Jurassic Jetfighters With this piece I can envisage Pteranodons soaring in the sky armed with guns and missiles as ridiculous as that sounds! This track is incredibly uplifting and makes use of rhyming couplets to make the chorus stick in your head and you know full well that this is going to be great live when the crowd interact with the lyrics: “Watch the sky – See them fly!”. It also features a tongue in cheek reference to Top Gun which was incredibly unexpected but most certainly works.
Dinos and Dragons pays homage to the classic animated D&D series of yesteryear with its mighty intro. It certainly maintains an 80’s theme as an underlay here which is no bad thing whatsoever. The verse has the final word in each line repeated to give additional emphasis that helps ingrain itself into your mind. This song itself can be seen as a parody of the band themselves “choose your avatar and unleash the beast” A fine example that you need not take yourselves or your music entirely serious and can just have a lot of fun overall.
Katana Kingdom Rising certainly has nods to classic video game soundtracks, notably Revenge of Shinobi alongside a constant sense of strength and power. There is a strong use of choral vocal harmonising partway through which totally reflects the aim of this piece: “Our time has come, empire of the Sun!”
God Of Roar musically could quite easily have come straight from any classic RHAPSODY OF FIRE or even from the likes of MEMORIES OF OLD. This is a bombastic and epic symphonic power metal track.
Night Of The Nuclear Ninja certainly makes you feel like there is a change of narrative as space ninjas transition to become even deadlier than they were. There are some classic power metal musical traits in this piece. It will have you singing along time and again.
With Triceps Ceratops if you can imagine classic action films of the ‘80’s but with added dinosaurs you would not be far off with this track. There is fantastic guitar solos on offer here from the combined efforts of Dirk Scharsich and Florian Zack. It also partially reminds me of the GRAILKNIGHTS track Pumping Iron Power from a lyrical standpoint. I would totally love to see a crossover/collaboration between both bands in the future.
Tyranno Saurus Steel is another uplifting song that captures your interest from the offset. Envisage a return of an extinct beast fused with robotic machinery. This does feel like the setup to a big boss fight if this was a video game and that the grand finale is in sight.
Shadow of The Shinobi will have you headbanging from the offset, it’s fast and incredibly powerful. There is a mighty percussive assault from drummer Frank Koppe throughout this track that reflects the sense of foreboding and doom.
Powerzord is there when the end is nigh for the future of humanity there is one final hope of salvation, one final ally to help crush the Space Ninja threat: “On the horizon you can see, Legions rising up from the deep” You do feel like you are pulled into the throes of a final battle here, armies clash with an intergalactic battlefield as the setting. This stands up there with fantastical battles such as Helms Deep, Endor, and Solamnia.
This is for fans of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, classic videogames (and their soundtracks), classic Godzilla, Transformers and just dinosaurs in general. What VICTORIUS have achieved here is to continue writing their own rules, whilst extending the story of their past two releases and fuse them together in the continuation of this epic saga. This album is a lot of fun and incredibly exciting from start to finish.
Words: Martin White
Dinosaur Warfare Pt.2 – The Great Ninja War! is out now.
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