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August 2017
Released: 2017, Nuclear Blast
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

I get great pleasure from seeing bands that I enjoy succeed and become more successful. Why? Because I am selfish and want them to make more music that I like and the only way they can do that is by being successful to some degree. That is why I am so delighted that Lancer got singed to Nuclear Blast.

I like the self-titled debut album from 2013 (I reviewed it here on this site) and somehow I missed the second album in 2015, and now the band has jumped into the big leagues with their third album MASTERY.

My initial impression, just on seeing the cover art was that I was very disappointed. They have dropped their metallic ostrich mascot. The battle-ostrich was the one of the most, cool and unique Metal mascots of all time! Their unique mascot made Lancer stand apart and tied the band name and image together. I certainly hope it was not a case of pressure from people at Nuclear Blast to tell them to change it! The new cover art is adequate at best. I had trepidations to say the least as I played the album for the first time, but my fears were allayed, the unfortunate, and ill-advised change of the cover art did not translate to any drop in quality of the music. Because MASTERY is so strong, I can get past the cover art…barely.

The band have had no line-up changes and the group chemistry must be strong because Lancer have delivered another immaculate 11 track Power Metal album. Launching immediately into the awkwardly titled ‘Dead Raising Towers’, with no protracted or epic and/or ominous instrumental intro and right off the bat we get a taste of the vocal kill-power of Isak Stenvall. His Michael Kiske-like tone and delivery are certainly a major asset to the band and the brief but satisfying opening screams show that he can sing his heart out and hit all the high notes. I have no idea how or why bands sequence certain songs on the album, but to my tastes tracks 5, 6, and 7 (‘Iscariot’, ‘Follow Azrael’ and ‘Freedom Easters’ ) anchor the album with a triple shot, hat-trick of just amazing, blazingly fast speed Metal songs. The band is everything I look for in a good Power Metal album; it’s melodic, speedy, powerful, passionate, precise, clean, clear,…did I mention fast? These songs just race to the finish line, slicing through everything in their path with razor sharp guitars and soaring vocals. In hindsight ‘Follow Azrael’ is a bit slower but extremely catchy. I’m hearing lots of old school Germanic Speed Metal influence like old Helloween, and old Scanner!

These Swedes are rapidly ascending the Metal hierarchy and working their way towards the throne through their mastery of great songs coupled with excellent performances.
Track Listing

1. Dead Raising Towers
2. Future Millennia
3. Mastery
4. Victims of the Nile
5. Iscariot
6. Follow Azrael
7. Freedom Eaters
8. World Unknown
9. Widowmaker
10. Envy of the Gods
11. The Wolf and the Kraken


Isak Stenvall Vocals
Fredrik Kelemen Guitar
Peter Ellström Guitar
Emil Öberg Bass
Sebastian Pedernera Drums



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» Lancer
by JP

» Mastery
by JP

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