The consistently awesome Stormspell Records is currently unleashing yet another onslaught of worthwhile releases. One album that stands out in this batch is “Lost Between Dimensions” from Sweden’s Palantír. This is largely because the label specializes in thrash or traditional heavy metal. Instead, Palantír is a power metal band in the vein of many of Europe’s most classic groups. Rather than being a straight Helloween-worship band, however, Palantír manages to be just a little bit different. While nothing they do is outside the realm of possibilities for this style, the band has a somewhat understated folk element to their melodies. The best comparison would be to fellow Swedes Falconer, who manage to have plenty of upbeat melodies.
Thematically, Palantír takes the fairly common approach of writing sci-fi inspired works. They manage to capture the other-worldly theme better than counterparts like Gamma Ray, for example, but their music isn’t overloaded with pointless sound effects to create atmosphere. They simply rely on keyboards in the background to complement the off-kilter melodies. The band’s singer takes a laid-back approach; he’s certainly very skilled but he’s rarely belting out insanely high notes. Falconer again is a good comparison, as Palantir’s singer has a similar approach to Mathias Blad.
While the band’s style is certainly respectable, the album doesn’t hit all that hard. No doubt this is the type of music that is likely to improve with subsequent listens, but even after quite a few, “War of the Worlds” remains the only standout. This is largely because it most effectively combines the sci-fi themes with the actual musical melodies. Nevertheless, the remaining tracks don’t feel all that memorable. This style works for Falconer simply because of how unique they are, and because the songwriting is exceptional. Unfortunately for Palantír, perfectly executed instrumentation isn’t enough, and so while “Lost Between Dimensions” is good enough for the occasional play, it is by no means a standout in the power metal subgenre.
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"War of the Worlds"
3.6/5 or 72%.