Recent Reviews

24.09.2017

17.09.2017

10.09.2017

03.09.2017

27.08.2017

[ More Music Reviews ]


Custard: A Realm Of Tales
Custard - A Realm Of Tales CD Album Review

Custard: A Realm Of Tales

Traditional Heavy/Power Metal
4.0/5.0

Do you know what an oxymoron is? Of course you do. It's a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction. For example, there's the juxtaposition of Germany's Custard, a heavy power metal band, and custard, a pudding-like, usually sweetened, mixture made with eggs and milk. Sweet pudding and heavy metal? Doesn't seem to fit. But Custard, in the biz since 1987, returns after a five year absence from their fifth studio with A Realm Of Tales.

Custard Band Photo

Custard

Perhaps the first observation to make of A Realm Of Tales is something of the subject of the songs. From titles such as The Pied Piper, Snow White, or The Little Match Girl, Custard seems to telling tales from Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm. Then there's Arabian Night with its Middle Eastern music tones, Bluebeard, the famous pirate, or Custard's own take on the genre, Forged In Fantasy. It's all speculation as we're not provided any information from either the band or the record label.

Yet, to say, musically speaking, Custard stays consistent and constant to their Teutonic melodic heavy and power metal. Brisk pacing gets juxtaposed against subtle moderation. That's to say that the rhythm section is both sturdy and bracing. Twin guitar harmony, the often essential element of NWoBHM inspired metal, plays a necessarily significant part in the Custard formula, whether by brisk riffage or the abundance of bristling solos. In the vocal arrangements, Oliver Strasser has a clean and melodic style, yet while strong, in the mix and mastering his voice sometimes doesn't rise above the music. I once compared him to a cross between Halford and Sammet, and I'll stick with that.

While most of the album is the crush and rush of power metal, some songs deserve some attention. Mentioned earlier, two songs of note are Arabian Nights and The Little Match Girl. In the former the Middle Eastern tone, at the start, is significant to set the musical stage. Unfortunately, Custard doesn't quite allow it to rise any place else in the song with same significance. The Little Match Girl might be the best song here because it's not necessarily a power metal song. No, its more an anthem that turns on lighter guitar lines and a notable layer of synth orchestration.

Suffice to say, as said earlier, with A Realm Of Tales Custard stays consistent and constant to their Teutonic melodic heavy and power metal heritage. If you liked what they've done in the past, you will definitely like this album. You might even find it to be slight step forward in their musical progression. Recommended.



CraigHartranft.net - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

The Bottom Line

With A Realm Of Tales Custard stays consistent and constant to their Teutonic melodic heavy and power metal heritage. If you liked what they've done in the past, you will definitely like this album. Recommended.

Find A Review

Alphabetical Index

a b c d e f g h i j
k l m n o p q r s t
u v w x y z #
Album of the Week
Click to read the Sapce Vacation - Lost In The Black Divide CD Album review

Bay Area band Space Vacation takes me back to the "golden era" of traditional heavy metal, where it all began. It was the glory days of tape trading, mimeograph fan-zines, and cut off denim jackets ... [ Read More ]