METALIUM was one of the most "buzzing" bands in 1999. Their 'Millennium Metal – Chapter One' album attained the highest Media Control Chart entry which a heavy metal debut could celebrate in the past year and it was given enthusiastic reviews by the trade press.
Expectations are therefore high. Indeed, the 'State of Triumph – Chapter Two' album has dispelled all doubts about its sovereignty and has left even skepticals speechless. The line-up around the three original performers, Henning Basse (vocals), Matthias Lange (guitar) and Lars Ratz (bass), has crystallized in the meantime and it emphasizes that METALIUM has developed from a project into a real band.
Mark Cross, the new German-British drummer, gives a breath-taking convincing performance and brings one more 'internationality' to the group as well as re-emphasizing the band's standard. Jack Frost, successor to guitarist Chris Caffery, comes from New Jersey and is known from his earlier activities with the Seven Witches and Speed. He already introduced himself impressively as a Metalium member during the previous European Tour. The former Rainbow keyboarder, Paul Morris from New York, is a prominent guest on keyboard instruments. Apart from all pianos, he is also taking responsibility for all stringed and orchestral arrangements.
This super group entered Hamburg's Impuls Soundstudios the beginning of the year. The Production again lies in the experienced hands of bassist Lars Ratz, who had already supervised the successful debut in '99.
He was supported by JP Genkel, who has made an outstanding name for himself by working with artists like Cradle of Filth, Therion and Lacrimosa. A metal album has thus emerged, which contains all of the genre's trademarks, without lapsing into old clichés.
Speed-rockets like 'Steel Avenger' or 'Stygian Flames' are presented with deeply impressive perfection alongside bombastic epics (e.g., the 'State of Triumph' hymn - over eight minutes long - and the 'Prophecy' piano ballad), which never drift away into insipid pomp and provide diverse 'goose pimply' moments.
Conceptually, 'State of Triumph – Chapter Two', which continues the debut's fantastic story about the heroic Metalian warrior and his journey through a fascinating world full of danger and challenges, leads him to encounter further warriors, Metal gods or goddesses and other strange creatures.
During 'State of Triumph – Chapter Two', the Metalian dives even deeper into this fantastic parallel world, in order to eventually participate in a final battle against the Heathens with countless thousands of allied Metalian warriors who are fighting the final battle for Darion the Metal god; which results in him becoming a Metal god himself in the end.
However, METALIUM does not loose itself even here in thousands of related story lines, but it instead builds up into an exciting and entertaining scene, during which one can - by hearing - experience particularly well and to an outstanding degree, how the interplay between content and music is perfectly balanced.
This effect is accomplished by a conversion of ideas that is convincing even in its smallest detail. For example, one of the four goddesses is portrayed by Jutta Weinhold, the outstanding voice from Zed Yago and Velvet Viper, who was a former companion of Lars Ratz back then. She represents the 'Goddess of Fire' after abstaining from the Metal scene for eight years.
The result is a conceptual album of Heavy Metal, which also sets top standards in a fully overcrowded market and does not need to shy away from being compared with the genre's major players.
No wonder then, that the European press has already given it standing ovations during the pre-listening session at the Impuls Studios in March 2000. METALIUM will be playing at various European festivals this summer and it will then go on a major European tour in the autumn. Apart from that, the USA and South America are further tour destinations. The triumphal progress continues!