Gloryful - End of the NightThose looking for great prose don’t turn to a dictionary. Instead, a writer opens up the ol’ Merriam-Webster tome to get himself a clinical definition of whatever word he happens to be unsure about. With that step out of the way, our writer can hopefully make something great using the technical knowledge he gained. While he’ll remember the dictionary definition, it will never be inspiring to him; it will just be a reminder about what the word means and how to use it correctly in context. When listening to Gloryful’s third record, End of the Night, I kept coming back to dictionaries. It sounds like heavy metal and I suppose it technically is, similar to how love is “an intense feeling of deep affection” according to its definition. Yet would anyone but the most insufferable pedants be satisfied with this as the true meaning of love? I’d wager that nobody who’s ever loved anyone before would answer in the affirmative.

Likewise, Gloryful is a heavy metal band, sure, but unlike a group like Visigoth or Sabaton, they don’t have that aspect above and beyond mere definition that makes for an exciting listen. To wit: imagine walking by a fridge at a grocery store and seeing those premade microwavable hamburgers; “that is a hamburger,” you could reasonably say. Now picture grilling up a juicy half-pound of beef, putting it on a fresh bun with all of your preferred trimmings, and taking a bite; “that is a hamburger,” you could reasonably say. The difference lies in the italics; a band like Visigoth has the italics, and Gloryful does not. You’ll hear plenty of stuff influenced by Manowar, later Accept, Iced Earth, and Sabaton, and in turn you’d reasonably say that End of the Night is heavy metal. Such is the problem of definitions, I suppose.

Everything on End of the Night is painfully adequate, the sound of an opening band which serves only to get you excited about the headliner’s upcoming set. In Plato’s scheme, “For Victory” represents the painter who produces a picture of the house, and a similar song like Sabaton’s “The Carolean’s Prayer” represents the builder who makes the real thing; the former is plainly inferior artistry, although each aims for a representation of the same form. While the requisite (attempted) heavy metal anthem “Glorriors” sounds about right on the surface, but it doesn’t have any power or gravitas. It even apes Blind Guardian’s vocal melody from the chorus of “This Will Never End” wholesale, which I enjoyed somewhat because I’m one of the twenty people who actually quite liked A Twist in the Myth. The best song here is the title track, which sounds like a lesser version of Alestorm’s brilliant acoustic pub-folk adventure known as Rümplügged. While it sounds alright, it achieves only that; where Alestorm’s music would make the whole pub merrily sing along, Gloryful’s would serve as fitting background music to more interesting conversation.Gloryful 2016

Gloryful’s chorus in “Heart of Evil” was almost a carbon copy of the chorus in “Another Place” by Nothing Lies Beyond, and the time I was most engaged with End of the Night was when I was trying to place which song this particular chorus was so similar to. Vocalist Johnny La Bomba is competent but a step below charismatic despite his aping of well-known and entertaining vocalists. Taking cues from Dragonforce’s Marc Hudson, Grand Magus’s J.B. Christoffersson, and Sabaton’s Joakim Broden, it’s almost astounding that he isn’t a more interesting presence on End of the Night. His vocal melodies in the extended bridge of “God against Man” are well done and hint at something better, but this slight promise fails to materialize throughout the record. “This Means War” tries to be a strong opener, but is devoid of hooks and the riffing sounds like a tired Tornillo Accept outtake, making for an uninspiring battle cry that would much better suit a conditional surrender with minimal bloodshed than a glorious ride into battle.

Gloryful haven’t made a convincing or truly enjoyable heavy metal record with End of the Night. It technically ticks off many of the right boxes, is produced well enough if not mastered a bit loudly, and everyone in the band is fine at their job. The problem is, it’s just not all that entertaining, compelling, or in possession of any meaningful replay value. I could show my mother what contemporary heavy metal sounds like by playing her a few tracks from End of the Night, but I wouldn’t play her anything here if I wanted her to be impressed by this style of music. Gloryful aren’t a terrible band, but their wheels of steel seem content with merely driving at a leisurely pace down the middle of the road.


Rating: 1.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Massacre Records
Websites: gloryful.net | facebook.com/gloryful
Releases Worldwide: August 26th, 2016

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  • You mentioned too many bands. What a provocative review!

    • Dr. Wvrm

      I’m surprised he didn’t squeeze Carcass in there at the mention of “clinical definitions.”

    • Grymm

      LAZY!!!

      • It’s also pretty damn subjective, even by objective standards!

        • Grymm

          Reading this is making me do the homework after reading the review, and reading is hard.

          Also, I call you lazy haha.

        • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

          It’s objective in some sense, making it objectively subjectively objective-subjective.

          – Posted from a French cafe on my iPhone

    • GardensTale

      Go away, bob.

    • Gaëtan Baratin

      That poor guy thought he could get away with his comment on last record. Haha

  • so…much…german…metal…feeling…bloated

    • Fuzzybunny

      *blöted

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      It ain’t over yet…

  • Kalsten

    I got excited to see ManOwaR being mentioned, but the sample song is…bland.

  • Dethjesta

    From the Oxford English Dictionary
    Heavy Metal: A type of highly amplified harsh-sounding rock music with a strong beat, characteristically using violent or fantastic imagery

    Sounds like a good description of the embedded track to me.

  • ricin_beans

    More like “Gloryhole” amirite?

    *tap* *tap* Is this thing on?

    • Oscar Albretsen

      I actually had to look that up. A pretty, ahem, interesting thing to read about on Wikipedia. Is there anything that isn’t defined on that website?

      • Reese Burns

        I hope you weren’t using a work/public computer.

        • Oscar Albretsen

          Luckily not. Did put a bit of humor into that band’s name. The song still sucks, though. At least I don’t feel quite as left out now. Those Germans don’t stop!

      • sir_c

        Be careful what you ask for.

      • ricin_beans

        You can’t unsee it MWAHAHAHAHA!

  • Reese Burns

    What’s up with Diabolus being given all the shitty bands lately? Did you piss off the Angry Metal Overlord?

  • Oscar Albretsen

    This review got me jonesing for a burger…

  • Oscar Albretsen

    Don’t get why there’s always so much praise for Alestorm here. Don’t you guys want the vocalists to at least sing in key?

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      There is zero praise for Alestorm here. Diabolus is his own beast. And he’s clearly sick in the head.

      • Oscar Albretsen

        Well, I can’t say anyone’s opinions are actually wrong, It’s just that when I try listening to Alestorm, I can’t even last through a whole song without getting severely nauseous. Other than the Alestorm praise, though, thought it was a good review…

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          You’re right. His opinion about them is probably right, but he’s wrong for liking them.

          • Oscar Albretsen

            Amen to that!

        • Dagoth_RAC

          That is not nausea, it is sea sickness! And Alestorm are doing that on purpose. Only a trve cvlt pirate can handle Alestorm.

          • Oscar Albretsen

            I don’t know how drunk you’d have to be to consider that music…

    • Reese Burns

      Alestorm praise is typically looked down upon, but no amount of shaming could stop Diabolus.

  • Pacal

    I too am one of the 20 people who love A Twist in the Myth. Very memorable material in my opinion, but after finding out that almost no one liked it I began to wonder if I love it merely because it is one of the first power metal records I ever listened to.

    • GardensTale

      Nothing wrong with a little bit of the old nostalgia. It’s probably why I still think Dance of Death is one of the most underappreciated Maiden albums. “Wildest Dreams” was my entry point into heavy metal.

  • brklyner

    Is it just me or have there been quite a few reviews of terrible records in the past month or two? Don’t get me wrong, the writing’s on point and I enjoy a good take-down of a crap release as much as the next reader, but why bother with so much mediocrity when there are plenty of great records coming out? Is it just a matter of what promos you guys get for review?

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      We get what shows up in the box. If we skipped them, there wouldn’t be any reviews showing up on the site. But I agree. It seems like there hasn’t been a whole lot of amazing lately.

  • Thatguy

    Great review. Yes, it was subjective and mentioned many other bands (never forgive, never forget). I take issue with your last sentence though. This actually is terrible.

  • Bart the Repairman

    So much banal, third-rate metal in Germany… is it easier to get a record deal in this country than in others? Jeez, riffs like these should be buried at the bottom of the thrash can, not recorded and released.

    • herrschobel

      people live safe little lives here in Germany…and occasionally the Dads play in a Metal band in their Garage…then they take out the Motorcycle on the Weekends..only 4 months of the year of course…it´s too cold the other times…it´s like that terrible Tim Allen Movie ‘Wild Hogs’…how should any serious raw Metal come from that ? almost noone here bases his Life on making Music..like it is´their only choice…more like a Hobby thing… Guys like Sodom and Kreator are the exception .. i also like Dust Bolt a lot…promising young Thrash Band

    • flaming_froghurt

      Germany is one of the largest markets for metal music, so…. maybe?