Gloryhammer – Return to the Kingdom of Fife


Fantasy metal masters Gloryhammer return with their fourth album and first with a new vocalist, Sozos Michael.

Gloryhammer has released four albums going back to 2013 with Tales from the Kingdom of Fife being their debut in 2013.  The brainchild of Alestorm vocalist Christopher Bowes had the band from the start representing characters and performing in costume as their representative characters.  Over the years, the band toured with the likes of Stratovarious, Blind Guardian, and Hammerfall, played lots of festivals in Europe, toured North America, and was nominated for awards.  In 2021, the band parted ways with longtime vocalist Thomas Winkler and named Sozos Michael as his replacement.  Note: Winkler has gone on to form a similar band, Angus McSix.

For the uninitiated, Gloryhammer is essentially power metal with fantasy-themed and somewhat comical lyrics describing the adventures of Angus McFife.  All the elements of power metal are well-represented even if the keyboards and vocals are a bit too dominant in the mix for my liking. Production quality is excellent and all the instruments do come through in the mix.  For those who know of the rough edge and aggression in Winkler’s vocals, you may be surprised to hear the soaring, clean vocals and range of Sozos Michael. Remaining are the catchy elements to their songs the band is known for and some that comes through multiple times in choruses when you can’t help but sing along with lines like “Wasteland Warrior Hoot Patrol” and “Holy Flaming Hammer of Unholy Cosmic Frost”, which is also the first real track on the album.

“Holy Flaming Hammer of Unholy Cosmic Frost” starts off with a keyboard-driven orchestral intro backed by a fast guitar riff and then the verses start and the song gallops away at good speed. Ben Turk and James Cartwright carry the song along at this breakneck speed showing the importance of a solid rhythm section even when it’s not as dominant in the mix as the vocals and keyboards. As is the case for the rest of the album, there is some solid guitar work in the leads but not to the level one might expect given the epic feel of the tracks.  One can’t help but expect some guitar work reminiscent of Dragonforce but that is not what Gloryhammer is about.

The singles from the album the band chose to release do serve as a great introduction to the band and for those looking for a more lengthy introduction, I would recommend checking the epically long, 12 minute last track “Maleficus Geminus (Colossus Matrix 38B – Ultimate Invocation of the Binary Thaumaturge”. The song contains everything one would want in an epic power metal song: choral sections, orchestral keyboards, fast guitar riffs, soaring vocals with range, multiple guitar solos, tempo changes,and narration in the middle

Written by John Jackson

Rating: 8/10


  1. Incoming Transmission
  2. Holy Flaming Hammer of Unholy Cosmic Frost
  3. Imperium Dundaxia
  4. Wasteland Warrior Hoots Patrol
  5. Brothers of Crail
  6. FIfe Eternal
  7. Sword Lord of the Goblin Horde
  8. Vorpal Laserblaster of Pittenweem
  9. Keeper of the Celestial Flame of Abernathy
  10. Maleficus Geminus (Colossus Matrix 38B – Ultimate Invocation of the Binary Thaumaturge)

Release Date: June 2, 2023

Record Label: Napalm Records

Band Members
Sozos Michael (Angus McFife) – vocals, guitars
Christopher Bowes (Zargothrax) – keyboards
Paul Templing (Sir Proletius) – guitars
James Cartwright (The Hootsman) – bass
Ben Turk (Ralathor) – drums

Studio Albums:
2013: Tales from the Kingdom of Fife
2015: Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards (review)
2019: Legends from Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex (review)
2023: Return to the Kingdom of Fife

Weblinks: Website / Facebook / X (Twitter) / Spotify / Instagram

Video for “Keeper Of The Celestial Flame Of Abernethy”

Video for “Wasteland Warrior Hoots Patrol”

Video for “Holy Flaming Hammer of Unholy Cosmic Frost

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