Megaton Sword – Might & Power Review

Swiss trve metallers Megaton Sword made quite the impression on my war helm with 2020 debut full-length crusade, Blood Hails Steel – Steel Hails Fire. Using my name twice was a sure ticket to getting my attention, and their raw, rough, and epic sound did the rest. It was an imperfect album, but the highs were very high and it reeked of Manopotential. Now a few years on we get the next installment of the Megaton saga and I’ve been eager to wield its unreasonable mass once again. Might & Power finds them on the same battlefield but the weapons they’ve assembled are a bit more polished, with edges capable of making more consistent slashes and stabs. They also hint at new sides and textures among all the chest-thumping and sword measuring. That’s the way to Steel‘s iron heart ov mega…Steel.

Where the last platter had a few highs that dwarfed other selections. Might & Power is a much smoother ride across the badlands. Opener “The Raving Light of Day” is the spiritual war brother of the predecessor’s mighty title track and it will have you oiling your blade in preparation for much mayhem and bloodshed. It’s that same pounding galloping trve sound, equal parts Manowar, Cirith Ungol and Manilla Road. The melodic break around the 3-minute mark is right off Manowar’s “Battle Hymns” and if you’re going for trve, that’s the proper source material to defile. “Iron Plains” is a weird, megaton-hooky tune made irresistible by Uzzy Unchained’s weird, laid-back vocals and strange phrasing. The chorus sticks like hot pitch too. This one is on repeat all the time at the House of Steel as part of my hostile architecture effort. “Power” is a cheesy but endearing ode to all things powerful and I’m not in possession of the lyrics but I feel certain Uzzy intones “your kidney is all that I needed” at one point. That’s pretty fookin’ trve.

Other high points include the all-out, balls-to-the-war-wall “Cowards Remain” and the even more gonad-centric war punch of “All Wicked Schemes Unite” where Uzzy is let off the chains for real with some nutso cuckoo vocals. Lest I forget, the epical epic “Raikaszi” is a welcome break from the power and plunder, with a very sweeping, Iron Maiden-esque approach and a larger-than-large and rather odd chorus singing the praises of slaughter. There are no weak cuts of the sword this time, and even the very unusual, 60s rock-influenced closer “Babe Eternal” (yes, really) somehow works and sticks the landing. It sounds like a deranged fusion of The Doors, Nick Cave, and Arthur Bown but it’s actually fun and catchy. At a tidy, compact 39 minutes, there’s no fat on the blade of heaviness this time and songs are kept simple, direct, and unencumbered. It all flies by in a flash and leaves you ready for more. Downsides? Well, the same minimalist writing and playing can make the songs feel a bit one-note at times, and I am unsure how long the album will be able to hold its iron grip on my weekly rotation schedule.

Megaton recruited a second guitarist for this campaign and it makes a big difference. Now Chris the Axe has Seth Angel in support and they can adopt a wider range of Maiden-meets Cirith Ungol pyrotechnics. This isn’t the album you come to for high-level riffs and solos, but what you get is in that classic 80s gallop, reduce speed, re-gallop school and it works just fine. There are some loving nods to Cirith Ungol’s unique sound along the way as well. Mr. Uzzy is the star here with a much bigger, broader and more confident vocal performance. He has a very weird timbre and way of phrasing his words and at times verges on the ham-fisted lunacy of Sacred Steel’s Gerrit P. Mutz, but wisely, he never goes over to the Mutz side totally. He gives the material a unique sound and vibe, that’s for sure.

I had high hopes for Might & Power and the expectations were mostly well met. This is a better album than Blood Hails Fire, with more consistent writing. It shows Megaton Sword moving in the right direction as they rampage through the ages. I support this and I am enjoying the resulting carnage muchly. You will too. Now, try to lift that damn sword.

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Dying Victims
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: February 24th, 2023

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