Atomic Number 22
Released: 2016, Avalon
I was blown away when I first heard this album Titanium is the new project of guitarist Karol Mania of Pathfinder. This album ATOMIC NUMBER 22 is actually the bands second album, but my first time hearing them.
This young Polish Power Metal band from Ostrow is a new band but has some experienced members. A couple of guys were in Abigail and the others served time in various bands. Classic, happy Power Metal with speed and sweet melodies are what these guys are all about. They take a flawless mix of old veterans like Edgy, Helloween and (old) Sonata Arctica and the modern symphonic, progressive, orchestrated sounds of Avantasia, Twilight Force, Gloryhammer and of course Pathfinder. Hell, let's throw Dragonforce into the list as well. You get the idea. Vocalist, Konstantin sounds a bit like Tony Kakko and that is a good thing! From the very first listen, this just sound 'right'. The band hit every key point I like in an album, blazing speed, soaring vocals, tons of great solos, and a breathless pace. There is a melodramatic, piano infused, ballad moment, like the extended outro segment on the track 'Torn Reality', It is almost a song unto itself. I wonder if it was originally intended to be a stand-alone bridge piece or if the CD and or digital copies are mislabelled somehow. The production is immaculate with a few little sonic effects such as the intro to the track, 'Time Is Out'. Everything is crystal clear, the vocal nice and loud with big gang vocals as well give the words real power. The keyboards and orchestrated parts are blended so well into the songs, giving them so much vitality and energy, it's uncanny. The 10 song album maintains a relentless pace for almost all of the 55 minutes. Everything about this band is extremely cool. They have a cool name, great logo/font, killer production, superb sound and yes, Titanium's atomic number is 22. Right now this is only available as an expensive import on the Japanese label Avalon. There is a Japanese version, (well actually the only version available right now, as of time of writing) has a bonus track, a cover of 'Eagleheart' by Stratovarius.
ATOMIC NUMBER 22 is guaranteed to rank very highly on my year-end list! Titanium is coming for you!