JUDICATOR - The Last Emperor
June 11, 2018, 10 days ago
Having Hansi Kursch appear as a guest (on bouncy "Spiritual Treason"), is a bit of a risk, since throughout the course of their previous three albums, the Tucson, Arizona based outfit has been favorably compared to Blind Guardian: speedy riffs and strong vocal harmonies, especially the multi-voiced choruses. If you can beat 'em, join 'em, I guess.
Beautifully depicted on the colorful cover illustration (lost art in the digital age), this is another historic time capsule tale from Judicator, a return to the First Crusades: Christianity Vs. Islam, how timely. Bard in the Middle East, perhaps? The acoustic laden "The Queen Of All Cities" recalls Orden Ogan, modern leaning European counterparts also accused of riding the Guardian coattails. Even without the (apparently historically correct) storyline about the capture of Jerusalem, this rocks. When was the last time their German mentors released a full-length with this much oomph? In addition to the obvious, aforementioned reference point, also think a sped-up Thundersteel (Riot), with multiple Queen vocals. More acoustic accents, to start slower, multi-voiced "It Falls To Jerusalem", with its ruing the bloody aftermath of the violence. Culminates with "King Of Rome". High energy, almost all the way through all nine choice. Recommended