(Album Review) “Space Ninjas From Hell” by Victorius

(Album Review) “Space Ninjas From Hell” by Victorius

From the off there’s a lot going on with this album – Space Ninjas From Hell is an incredible title for an album. The German power metallers Victorius deliver an epic tale through their lyrics and music; the narrative is central to this album. The storyline goes something like this:

‘One evil ninja clan, called the Sunbladers, joined forces with the dragon god Ling Long to enslave the world! And in the very last moment, when the sunbladers were about to attack with the power of the dragon god, some super-sensei-Wu-Shu-wizard-master appeared, stopped the ninjas, cursed and banned them from earth forever… what an asshole-wizard! One thought the danger was banned. And in fact, mankind lived on for many centuries in peace, not knowing the ninjas survived. In space! For the past ages they hid in their secret headquarter, the Cosmic Space Commando Base, on the dark side of the sun regaining their power! Fueled by hatred, stronger and more evil than ever before, with improved weapons and ninja-skills, they joined forces with the dragon god again! The sunbladers are back! Sworn to attack they will enslave mankind again! Well, at least they will try! Now planet earth faces the greatest danger since….no idea! But damn, mankind is fucked now!’

The album has a great theatrical feel to it. The symphonic choir aspects, dramatic synths and powerful heavy tones from the guitars create a well-balanced sound. The heaviness isn’t overpowering but nor is it lost beneath prominence of the synths. David Baßin’s vocals soar above the instrumentation. He has a great clean tone and texture to his voice. It suits the melodic style of the sound. The harsher, distorted textures from the bass and guitars work well in contrast to this. The track Ninjas Unite has a very catchy chorus hook which suits not only the lyrical content of the track but also includes interest within the sound of their music. It’s great to see how interconnected to the music is with the narrative conveyed through the lyrics. In Super Sonic Samurai, the guitars and percussion, notably in the verses, have a powerful rhythm that gives the track movement. It builds up the momentum of the track and gives a high energy, high action feel. The opening synth riff to Shuriken Showdown has an intense effect. It brings a trance feel to the song, and the melody used almost has an ethereal quality. It elevates the track. The chorus of Shuriken Showdown is also very anthemic. The layered vocals and synths bring an interesting dynamic which is contrasted by the heavy guitar rhythms, which is contrasted by the lead synth motif. It all works wonderfully to create a very immersive track.

It’s safe to say Victorius deviate further from power metal genre with their inclusion of character voices in Wasabi Warmachine. It fits the story-line well, it’s just somewhat unexpected compared to what you may find in other albums of this genre. The song itself brings the powerful heaviness, with operatic choir and orchestral sections. It’s a fast-paced track and has a heavier feel compared to other tracks on this album. It suits the darker aspect of the narrative at this point. The title track, Space Ninjas From Hell, is fast paced and energetic. The dynamics of this track enhance the theatrical feel and the drama of the fight in the narrative really comes through. The bridge suddenly calms before jumping back into the chorus and this contrast gives their sound an extra boost of energy. The final track Shinobi Strike 3000, focuses on delivering a spoken word narrative. The background music is interesting and vocal effects give a very theatrical sound. However, ending the album this way feels like an anti-climax. The album has been so powerful and energetic to this point that this track feels to be lacking. Including a track of this style would have functioned better as an intro track.

Victorius have a unique sound and a strong niche with their story. All of the tracks have clearly been carefully composed with the narrative in mind, using the best instrumentation and musical techniques to deliver the appropriate emotions for each section of the story. It’s great to see so many creative ideas combined-together to produce such an interesting album.

The track listing for Space Ninjas From Hell is:

  1. Tale of the Sunbladers
  2. Ninjas Unite
  3. Super Sonic Samurai
  4. Evil Wizard WuShu Master
  5. Nippon Knights
  6. Shuriken Showdown
  7. Wasabi Warmachine
  8. Warth of the Dragongod
  9. Astral Assassin Shark Attack
  10. Space Ninjas from Hell
  11. Cosmic Space Commando Base
  12. Shinobi Strike 3000

Album Release Date:
17.01.2020

VICTORIUS live:

Release Shows
17.01.20 DE – Berlin / Nuke Club
18.01.20 DE – Hamburg / Bambi Galore
23.01.20 DE – Düsseldorf / Pitcher
29.02.20 DE – Leipzig / Halle 5

/w Serenity & Ad Infinitum
01.04.20 DE – Munich / Backstage
02.04.20 DE – Berlin / Nuke Club
03.04.20 DE – Weinheim / Cafe Central
04.04.20 DE – Essen / Turock
05.04.20 NL – Haarlem / Patronaat
07.04.20 NL – Enschede / Metropool
08.04.20 BE – Aarschof / De Klinker
09.04.20 DE – Rüsselheim / Das Rind
10.04.20 CH – Luzern / Schüür
11.04.20 AT – Wörgl / Komma

VICTORIUS line-up:

David Baßin on vocals
Dirk Scharsich on guitar
Florian Zack on guitar
Andreas Dockhorn on bass
Frank Koppe on drums

Check out the music video for “Nippon Knights” below:

Fans can find VICTORIUS at the following locations:

www.facebook.com/victoriusmetal

www.victoriusmetal.net

www.instagram.com/victorius_metal

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