Rating: 3 out of 5.
  • Victorius’ third album
  • 50 minutes and 24 seconds
  • 13 tracks
  • Power Metal
  • Released on 24/06/2022

Throw any sense of logic out the nearest window, break out the toys of your childhood, overdose on fizzy drinks and sweets, and you’ll be in the right frame of mind to listen to The Great Ninja War. That is, if anything about that frame of mind is in any way right. But let’s be honest, if you listened to Space Ninjas From Hell, you have no right co complain about this album. Victorius are a band who deliver only one meal, but they do deliver. Hear one song, and you know roughly what to expect from the next.

One of the things that draws me to metal music is the storytelling aspect. Whether it’s the brooding historical epics of Sabaton, or the referential oddity of Nanowar of Steel, metal tells tales like no other style of genre. Even the anarchic and stupid Gloryhammer have a compelling narrative at their core. Or did, but that’s a tale for another day. Victorius have a theme more than a narrative, but there is still a story element to their songs. If you use the word story loosely, that is. Because the storyline of this second part of Dinosaur Warfare has been put together with all the rampant enthusiasm of a ten year old breaking out his favourite toys and throwing them at each other. There’s a purity in that. A sheer and relentless enthusiasm that you don’t get in many bands. Victorius are silly, but they are well aware of the fact, and use it to their advantage, creating something utterly (and blessedly) unique in the process.

On a musical level, The Great Ninja War is a collection of fist-pumping, stadium-pleasing anthems that will have you singing along to every chorus. Personal favourites include ‘Powerzord’ – a song about a giant laser-wielding robot, and ‘Triceps Ceratops’ – a song reminiscent of Grailknight’s ‘Pumping Iron Power’ that is, so far as I can tell, about lifting so many weights that you turn into a dinosaur. Honestly, it’s all good fun. There isn’t a whole lot of variety on offer, however, and while there aren’t any particularly weak tracks, there aren’t many standouts either. The drum- and guitar-heavy songs bleed into each other, not helped by the repetitive lyrics. It turns out there are only so many songs you can write about dinosaurs and ninjas fighting one another. Who’d have thought it?

The Great Ninja War isn’t going to go down in history as a classic. It’s not even the best work of Victorius. But it is a whole lot of fun. It’s the sort of album you crank up the volume on for a long drive. To its credit, it makes no pretence of being anything but that. It might not stick in your mind, but you’ll enjoy it in the moment. Sometimes, that’s all you need.

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