Reviewed: September, 2021
Released: August 31, 2021, Massacre Records
Reviewer: The Elitist Metalhead
I remember back in 2000 when I came across a German power metal band called Metalium. Their debut album is still one of my favorite albums to this day and featured some help from this side of the pond by none other than Savatage’s Chris Caffery; lending his scorching solos to that debut as well as former Malmsteen drummer Mike Terrana on drums. The band went on to make several albums before disbanding in 2010. Sadly, earlier this year, bassist and founder of the band, Lars Ratz, died in an accident with his ultralight plane in Mallorca where he resided. So the original band, sans Terrana and with some special guests, got back together to create a song and dedicate it to their former band mate. And what a song it is!
As I mentioned, this is almost the whole band from the debut. Mike Terrana did not participate. Instead drums are being supplied by their permanent drummer Michael Ehré but Caffery did participate. We also have Jens Becker from Grave Digger on bass and none other than the legendary Don Airey from Deep Purple on the keys. NEVER SURRENDER is a huge epic number clocking in at seven and a half minutes and is an extremely well written power metal song. This has all the trimmins…killer riffs, epic atmosphere and some huge solo battles going on. There was no shortage of shredding going on, including Airey getting some solo time as well. The lyrics are very personal and moving. This was a brilliant way to tribute their band mate and friend after this tragedy.
This single just shows that when there is chemistry with musicians, it never goes away. This song sounded just as fresh as all the songs on their debut. Sadly it was tragedy that got us to be able to hear this awesome band one more time. What a great way honor their friend’s memory. R.I.P. Lars Ratz.