Victorius
Dinosaur Warfare Pt.2 - The Great ninja War

Alright. Well.

I’m not gonna get too specific, but I’ll tell you that outside of Teeth of the Divine, I don’t live a terribly exciting or spectacular life. I’m not “living my dream” or working some self-made passion project for a living. This isn’t a complaint, I have a steady job that I’m grateful for, but it’s not something that’s by any means definitive of who I am. And that’s fine! I save my passions for life outside of work (ergo, you find me here, doing this). But sometimes, you can’t help but look at the world around you and ask yourself, “what the hell am I doing with my life?”

Indeed, more and more it seems there’s not much you can’t make a life out of if you’re willing to work hard enough for it. Just look at YouTube! It’s full of folks doing all manner of shit and making a pretty dang good living off it. There’s a guy near me with 1.6 million subscribers who makes Unnecessary Inventions for a living. That’s literally the name of his business! Again, WHAT THE SHIT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE.

I don’t bring this up because I’m having some existential crisis (not today, at least). I bring it up because, if ever there was a band that embodied the notion of finding your niche and going at it full-bore, goddamn if it isn’t Germany’s Victorius, who are once again bringing their outrageous world of dino-fighting space ninjas to the masses with Dinosaur Warfare Pt.2 – The Great Ninja War, technically a follow-up to their 2018 EP Dinosaur Warfare – Legend of the Power Saurus, but immediately following their 2020 fever dream of an album, Space Ninjas from Hell. Which was about, uh, different ninjas? I think? Less laser dinos and more laser sharks, for sure…

WHAT. AM I DOING. WITH MY LIFE.

So like, I’m an unabashed Power metal fan. Give me all the cheesy hooks and bombast and crazy orchestral arrangements you can fit into an album. I’m all about it. Just don’t ask me to ever take it very seriously. The bands doing it best (Wind Rose, Brothers of Metal, Grailknights, to name a few) are the ones who are laughing the most and leaning into whatever their schtick happens to be the hardest – and there ain’t NOBODY leaning in harder than Victorius, who are still riding this bonkers-ass train of intergalactic assassin ninjas and weaponized dinosaurs that they’ve been conducting for around 4 years now. We’ve got songs about magic wooly mammoths, we’ve got puns and clever word play (“God of Roar”), we’ve got Jurassic gym rats! (“Triceps Ceratops.” For the love of everything good in this world make this a shirt and take my money). There’s a song called “Dinos and Dragons.” I don’t need to elaborate on this. DINOS AND DANG DRAGONS. Metal anthem of the century.

According to the band, the story of this album is actually bringing their two prior works together to create the final showdown between the Dinosaurs, who have risen and are led by the aforementioned “Mighty Magic Mammoth,” to defend humanity from the evil nuclear space ninjas known as the “Sunbladers.” Story as old as time, amiright? Anyway, this is still the super-speedy, all-out Dragonforce-styled Power Metal you know and either love or hate, although musically speaking, Victorius are certainly more restrained overall than many bands of this ilk. Modest, 3-4 minute average length on their songs, that still bring you all the guitar-and-keyboard dueling and sugar-fueled hooks you could ever possibly need, without the abundance overly self-fellating guitar solos and melodies that can make something like this exhausting. I want to bang my head to some nasty riffs and sing along to songs about epic dino battles, not listen to the audio equivalent of a dude masturbating in front of a mirror. Right out the gate , “Victorious Dinogods” delivers the goods, and the band keeps delivering time and time again over the album’s 12 tracks.

If I had to nitpick DW:PT2, and I can’t believe I’m actually saying this while listening to a song called “Jurassic Jetfighters,” I’d say that maybe it’s not quite as silly as it could be. On Space Ninjas, the bands used some very entertaining little vignettes – most notably the dad-joke-cracking sushi and wasabi on track “Wasabi Warmachine – that really just lent itself to the out-of-control lunacy of the album. Like I said earlier – if you’re gonna do it, go all-in to it. Fuck it. You live once. While DW:PT2 does include a couple little narrative passages, I do find myself wanting for more of those goofier moments. What they have again done well is remembering to add a little honest-to-goodness heft every now and again to at least somewhat balance out the sugar and caffeine overload. “Katana Kingdom Rising” is a plodding number more akin to a Sabaton or Dream Evil track, providing a nice break from the all-out sonic assault, and while “Tyrannosaurus Steel” and “Triceps Ceratops” get back on the throttle a bit, they both offer a little more grunt to their riffing that are both worthy of a good, solid head bang.

Look, I don’t know how much longer this fucking madness can last. Logic tells me that at some point, staying firm on the central theme of Dinosaurs and Ninjas just can’t be sustainable. But then again, Amon Amarth are still growling about vikings, Powerwolf are still a weird cabal of Christian(?) underworld werewolves, Gloryhammer are still mostly gross misogynists and racists (I’m not sure how just replacing the singer makes up for the rest of their bullshit, but whatever!). Point is, even the most absurd of schticks may have more lasting power than you’d think, and Victorius‘ brand of Power Metal is only bringing more fun into an otherwise bleak world. So go off, you glorious dorks! Keep the good times coming.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Steve K
July 29th, 2022

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