Victorius - Space Ninjas from Hell

Victorius Space Ninjas from Hell cover
Space Ninjas from Hell
Napalm Records
If I were to be honest, Napalm, with a very few exceptions, is the home to some of the worse bands on the planet, many of them being blatant copycats of other, more famous bands, others just wearing fancy costumes and producing rather laughable music and some of them just bands that used to be in other companies but for a variety of reasons were let go.
Germany’s Victorius was, until recently, a not so bad power metal band, in the vein of Dragonforce, etc., but also with tinges of more adventurous songwriting that was true to the genres standards and stereotypes…
Cue their signing to Napalm after their deal with Massacre was over and the now costumed bunch, comes up with a turbo fast nintendocore version of themselves with inane lyrics (not to say that dungeon and dragon ones are far better) about hellish space ninjas… you can tell that the Gloryhammer BS factor seems to have made them think they can compete.
“Tale of the Sunbladers” is an amalgam of Dragon/hammer or Glory/force, make your choice, with the band thankfully carrying themselves marginally better than the aforementioned ones due to their ability to squeeze in a half as good riff in through the cosmic shred. Obviously concepts as vibrato etc., just go out of the window, everything is grid-locked and you get your cookie cutter happy me(t)al.
“Ninjas Unite” has crappy lyrics, but at least speeds are kept in check for the band to actually be able to musically articulate something more substantial. Actually, not half as bad, symphonic power metal that is in the vein of Twilight Force, Rhapsody and Gloryhammer, but has also a bit of the majesty of earlier Hammerfall and a bit of a bite in the riff.
“Super Sonic Samurai” combines the crappiness of Gloryhammer, with the wimpier moments of Enforcer, for a highly cleaned up power metal, with a galloping chorus that I would be a liar if I said that I didn’t secretly find fun… Fun and fascinating, might phonetically sound similar, but rest assured that this is only the former and not the later.
The album continues on its course with the highly melodic “Evil Wizard WuShu Master” that sounds like a more sanitized version of Hammerfall, on their first album. I suppose not necessarily the worse thing ever, if you disregard that most of these chord progressions have been done before and one could for instance, replace the lyrics of this song with “The Dragon Lies Bleeding” and it’s likely that no one would even bat an eyelid.
Nippon Knights” I suppose sucks up to the Japanese… being borderline weeaboo-ish, in its Ninja inspired-fury…
“Shuriken Showdown” is similar, in concept, half ripping off Chroming Rose and half Edguy, in its bullshit concept meanderings...
“Wasabi Warmachine” with its bad joke intro (waaassssaaaaa(p)bi?) felt so ridiculous that actually had me laughing. Good for a laugh I suppose, but once the actual song starts, it turns at least musically into the only song with some substance, as it’s far more dramatic, heavy and infinitely more passionately delivered, bordering on Priest inspired metal… of course there’s the highly spicy content of the lyrics that’s kinda fishy...  ut let’s cut them some slash, I kinda like sushi too, so yeah, I declare it a win.
Wierdly – the whole satanic ninjas concept is interupted for the dragonlance story entitled “Wrath of the Dragongod” think a cross between later day Bloodbound and early Rhapsody. Actually not that terrible, for what it is, but completely out of character/concept since the ludicrously titled and absolutely nintendocore, piece of crap, “Astral Assassin Shark Attack” takes over. It’s as over the top as you could imagine and almost as ghey as Glory’holed’Hammer, probably due to the tightness of those ninja suits.
The title track, “Space Ninjas from Hell”, if you forego the ludicrously ridiculous lyrics, is bearable, although predictable as few things could be. David Baßin, the band’s vocalist, should be given a medal (from metal) for being able to sing all this drivel with a straight face and also for possessing a voice not too dissimilar to a younger Joackim Cans, which is not a bad thing by any means.
“Cosmic Space Commando Base” is a poppier tune, which drops things to very average BPM, that might even be in the two digit range – shock/awe...
And just to wrap it all up “Shinobi Strike 3000” is two and a half minute of a spoken synopsis, which seriously takes the pish… which is obvious, but then again, once it’s done once, this whole – mumbo jumbo satire based on the cross referencing and breeding of different cultures feels old and trying to retread it, rather boring.
The excellent singer and somewhat self-deprecation makes these Germans slightly more palatable than the bands they’re attempting to ape, just to fit with the Napalm crowd. I hope they can snap out of it, or I am afraid the next album might be called “heroes with tights”… and their uniforms would be made to reflect the underlying concept…