Victorius
Space Ninjas From Hell

YOU EVER DONE COCAINE?!

I… haven’t, actually. Never even had the desire to. Don’t misunderstand me, I’ve been no angel by any stretch of the imagination in my lifetime – I’m in no position to judge anyone of their proclivities – but when it came to uppers, I’ve never really needed the aid of any controlled substance to get me into a blood pumping, heightened-senses frenzy. I just need the right soundtrack.

Enter Germany’s Victorius… 

HWABUUPHBRRUUFPDHJGBDLKJGBUDDAHSKL.

Imagine, if you will; the balls-out speed and approach of Dragonforce, combined with the operatic theatrics of Blind Guardian, and the not-so-serious, tongue-in-cheek attitude of Gloryhammer or Korpiklaani, all wrapped up in a 6 year-old’s sugar-fueled fever dream, and you’ve got the basic idea of just what the hell is going on here.

A little bit of backstory here – While Victorious have always played a rather spirited form of power metal since 2013’s The Awakening, something clearly snapped during the creation of their 2018 EP Dinosaur War – Legend of the Power Saurus that caused the band to go fucking berserk, and barrel full bore into the outrageous. What once was a band leaning on familiar tried-and-true fantasy power metal themes, became a band ripping the door off into the world of the ridiculous and over-the-top – with songs like “Lazer Tooth Tiger,” which was about… well… a fucking LAZER TOOTH TIGER. It was

brazen, it was absurd, and it was GODDAMN GLORIOUS.

As I’m sure you probably gathered, Victorius have stayed on the course of complete lunacy with Space Ninjas From Hell, and somehow even managed to turn it up to even more of an Nth degree. “Tale of the Sunbladers” (The Sunbladers being, according to their bio, an ‘evil ninja clan’ from the realm of dinosaurs. Obviously.) comes out lazer-blasters blazing, assaulting the listener with furious, finger-shredding riffing, before busting out those aforementioned operatic vocal flourishes that would send countrymate Hansi Kursch’s heart fluttering with glee. After a rousing, sing-along chorus, guitarists “Fin Fan” Flo and “Danger” Dirk 3000 break into a thrashy bridge before trading leads and unleashing a soaring, over-the-top solo.

Besides being an audacious technical exercise in shredding, this album really is all about just laying on the cheese thick. “Super Sonic Samurai,” boasting one of the more entertaining music videos I’ve seen in some time, shows the band laying into the space ninja theme without an ounce of shame, even paying some obvious homage to the Power Rangers iconic theme song in the chorus. These are songs crafted, it seems, for the sole purpose of creating a fun, interactive live experience. It only took a couple of spins for me to start singing along, fist pumping in the air to chants like “WU-SHU! MAS-TER!” or the war cry of “SCAN! BITE! KILL!” during the particularly rousing, sure to be fan-favorite “Astral Assassin Shark Attack.” After a funny little skit, “Wasabi Warmachine” launches into one of the albums more aggressive, but no less stupid-grin-inducing songs on the album – boasting my personal favorite chorus of the entire album:

“Hail! To the war machine!

Hot and spicy, and oh so green! 

(Hail!) To the neon green!

Mighty warrior supreme!” 

It’s fucking stupid and I love it.

That track, along with “Ninjas Unite” and “Space Ninjas From Hell,” musically give off a distinctly heavier, Children of Bodom vibe that help give the album a little more grit, while songs like “Wrath of the Dragongod” and the especially (comparatively) restrained “Cosmic Space Commando Base” stick with much more traditionally power metal paces that would please Hammerfall and Iced Earth fans alike. “Shuriken Showdown,” one of the album’s highlights, seems to have come straight out of Japanese anime (in fact, if anyone ever decided to make these weirdos into the German/Japanese equivalent of Dethklok, this one HAS to be the theme song – no question).

This brand of metal is always going to be met with a certain amount of eye-rolling and upturned-noses – and truly, I get it. This goes so far beyond the border of normal and “grown-up” that you really need to have a comfortable relationship with your own nerdiness to fully appreciate it. So for those who just can’t get into this all out campy, cheeky geek-fest – hey, you do you, amigo. I’ll be over here banging my head, fists pumping with my new Bavarian ninja best friends, having an absolute blast while possibly not getting laid. WORTH IT.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Steve K
March 18th, 2020

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