Album Review By Adam McCann
Prosthetic Records/Power/Thrash Metal
For fans of power metal, bands can be ten a penny, plenty of soaring melodies, flashy guitars, fast-paced drums and fantastical lyrics. Yet, every now and then, a band launches itself into the arena and makes the metal community stand impressed. This occurred in 2017 when American band Paladin arrived in blaze of light. On the back of this, expectations were very high, thus, when Paladin released their debut album ‘Ascension’, could the band live up to the hype?
Thankfully, ‘Ascension’ is a powerful slab of heavy metal. With this debut album, Paladin manage to splice stereotypical power metal in this a more thrashing counterpart. As much as ‘Ascension’ is excellent with its shades of power metal, it is the thrash element to this album which makes ‘Ascension’ so enjoyably fantastic, as the vocals of Taylor Washington change from a melodious soar to a guttural growl that has all the hallmarks of Matt Barlow or even Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens, giving ‘Ascension’ all the power of Iced Earth in their prime. Furthermore, tracks such as ‘Call of the Night’; ‘Bury the Light’ and ‘Shoot for the Sun’ are not only memorable, but also fun, having all the speed and complexity of DragonForce with sustenance instead of just disposable, hollow speed.
Paladin have released an album which gives provenance to their demo; ‘Ascension’ is a magnificent piece of thrashing power metal that may just be THE power metal album of the year. Forget Sabaton and DragonForce this year, ‘Ascension’ is where it’s at.
Rating : 82/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann