We’re back on the power metal train. Formed in 2007, SkeleToon have one previous studio album – The Curse of The Avenger – under their belt. Labeling themselves “Nerd Metal”, the Italians produced a whole bunch of videos in support of their first album, including one combining references to the classic computer adventure game The Curse of Monkey Island with unbelievable silliness of a type familiar to anyone who’s every spent any time with a certain type of metal head.
Silly humor and a peculiar affinity for nerd culture aside, SkeleToon do take their music seriously. We are not terribly surprised to learn that they were formed as a Helloween cover band, though they have found both other influences and their own style since then. Much like Trick or Treat, SkeleToon focus on the lighter side of power metal, and there are some similarities in sound. Other acts we’d do well to mention is Angra, Instanzia and Kamelot. Do you get that this is power metal yet?
Compared to the debut, Ticking Clock gives a slightly more substantial impression. In “Drowning Sleep” things even get a bit ominous for brief moments. In general, however, this is very happy music. for better or for worse, depending on your mood. Music for drinking, music for singing along, music for wearing hilarious pants of various types.
“Watch over me” is a lighter raising ballad which doesn’t really do it for us. However, as is common knowledge, not including at least one ballad on your power metal album is a capital offence in Italy as well as in Germany. SkeleToon has two. Besides the title track, we’d say “Chasing Time” is our favorite tune. The castrato vocals here recall early Helloween even more than they do on the other tracks, and the combination of super charged kick drum with touches of Priest and early Maiden in some of the riffing and melodies all combine to form a brilliant track. It is not alone, though, most of the songs are either good or quite excellent.
Overall, if you like power metal, you’ll like this album. It will be unleashed upon the world through Revalve Records on March 3rd, but is already available for pre-order.
And yes, there is already a promotional video out for the album, and the guys have not run out of ways to integrate video games with power metal. It’s not just chiptune bands that can do the 8-bit romanticism bit – apparently power metal bands can too!