Speed of Light
Label: Parlophone UK
Power-metal’s definitive band refuse to humble their music into anything that’s less than larger than life. And it just gets larger: Their first studio double release ends with their first 18-minute song, and the other two 10-minute-plus cuts are among its high points, building Mediterranean/Celtic-exoticized Sprechgesang (“The Red And The Black”) and Thor’s hammer snake-charmer crunch (“The Book of Souls”) into tasty bowls of jam. Plus, “Speed of Light” is indeed speedy, “Death or Glory” almost boogies, “Tears of a Clown” and “The Man of Sorrows” gothically mourn sad guys, and epic guitar battles gallop all over.