Review

PALANTÍR Lost Between Dimensions

Album · 2017 · Power Metal
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4.5/5 ·
adg211288
I think it's fair to say that 2017 hasn't been the best year for the power metal genre. Yes, there have been several good, great and even excellent albums: Iced Earth delivered their best in over ten years with Incorruptible. MindMaze currently sits at number two on my overall 2017 reviewed releases list with Resolve. Their labelmates Vandroya also delivered a good one with Beyond the Human Mind. Rage, of course, were reliable as ever with Seasons of the Black. But otherwise this year bands such as Unleash the Archers, Seven Kingdoms and Grave Digger all released solid, but not as good as their previous, albums. Further still some bands who have previously played power metal like Pyramaze and Xandria largely even dropped the element on their 2017 albums and I for one was definitely relying on the former to produce a genre highlight for the year.

One thing 2017 seems to have failed to serve up so far is an excellent power metal album that fits into the traditional melodic and/or symphonic European brand sound. While there's certainly an argument for records of that persuasion not being a necessity in 2017, after all it's a sound that has been done to death since really taking off in the nineties, such albums shouldn't be understated either. Enter Palantír and their debut record Lost Between Dimensions, a Swedish band who fly the flag for the traditional, highly melodic and symphonic, speedy European power metal sound, who seem tailored made to correct this oversight, something someone else definitely had to do this year what with Rhapsody of Fire regulating themselves to a re-recordings album, which I'm not sure anyone wanted even if the band does have a new vocalist.

Speaking of Rhapsody of Fire, they're the first band that springs to mind when Lost Between Dimensions starts up with opener To Valhalla. Palantír play about with a lot of the same ideas that the other band is known for, including neoclassical and progressive elements within their symphonic power metal sound, as well as touching on some medieval sounding melodies, which they really use to effect in some of the tracks here, including the opener. Lyrically Palantír throw more of a science fiction slant on this kind of sound, but they certainly seem to be cut from the same cloth. The band is maybe a bit less grandiose than later Rhapsody of Fire works especially, but that actually works in their favour to create a more accessible record: one that's epic but not so over the top that it becomes overwhelming.

Lost Between Dimensions is a record which is also packed full of quality power metal compositions that are sure to please any fan of the genre. All the boxes are ticked from speedy riffs to epic symphonic elements, progressive intricacies to strong melodies and good production to great vocals. Vocalist Marcus S. Olkerud brings a really pure and melodic voice to the album, which fits in perfectly with the instruments (all of which bar E-man Lindberg's drums are played by Fredrik Erixon-Enochson). The tone of his voice is quite different, but I'm certain a comparison to Falconer's Mathias Blad isn't inappropriate to make due to the crystal clear delivery he brings to Palantír's music, which certainly helps keep the choruses get stuck in your head long after the album has drawn to a close. To Valhalla, War of the Worlds, Warriors of the Sun, Tragicomedy and the ten minute closing title track are all key tracks to my ears.

While it's possible that there's a few gems out there that I haven't had the opportunity to hear yet and still over a whole month of the year to go, as things currently stand for me I reckon it would be a tough job to find a better 2017 melodic/symphonic power metal album than Lost Between Dimensions. With it Palantír have set the bar high for themselves early on, but I've no doubt we'll be hearing more quality work from this trio in the future. This record is packed full of the same kind of 'right stuff' that graced Rhapsody's debut Legendary Tales twenty years prior and the sound is no less valid today as it was then.
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8 days ago
I'll have to check to check this out. I've listened to a lot of albums from this year but I'm short on excellent power metal ones.
adg211288 wrote:
8 days ago
@Nightfly, I do in general as well. I definitely have a soft spot for the symphonic bands though. This one goes down especially well after the new Fogalord was a disappointment too.

@DippoMagoo, I've only streamed Rage's album the once so far but it left a good impression. Not sure when I'll get round to spending more time with it, but the Lovebites album has shot into my priority review (and purchase) list.

DippoMagoo wrote:
8 days ago
I was actually thinking of reviewing the new Rage myself, but I simply never had the time to do it, between promo reviews and other things. It is really good, though, as usual for them. And yeah, that Lovebites album is pretty amazing, and quite the surprise.
Nightfly wrote:
8 days ago
I prefer my power metal harder hitting than this but rate Mindmaze's latest album who you mentioned very highly.
adg211288 wrote:
9 days ago
I reviewed Serenity's War of Ages quite highly in 2013, but that's still the only album I've heard by that band and I can't honestly say if that score would hold up now on my new rating system, because despite the high rating I have never revisited that release. I might check out their new one before the year is out though, but there are a few other power metal albums I intend to review from this year first, not least of all Rage's new one. I'm really digging this debut from Lovebites too.
DippoMagoo wrote:
9 days ago
Excellent review. And yeah, this is easily the best traditional Euro power metal record I've heard this year (I think I slightly prefer the new Serenity, but that's more modern sounding this.) The vocals are the big high point for me, and that 10 minute title track sure is amazing.
adg211288 wrote:
9 days ago
Reviewer's Challenge album, as selected by DippoMagoo.

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