Review: Ageless Warrior – Defy the Ages
Written by Brett Kihlmire
Formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, Ageless Warrior is a power metal duo comprised of ex-Eternal Voyager members, Micah Devereaux and Jeff Igelsrud. Together they take old school power metal and bring it into the 21st century with a touch of modern influence.
Defy the Ages starts off strong with ‘No Longer Slaves.’ Kicking off with a gnarly riff that quickly dives into the realm of high fantasy. Lead guitarist/lead vocalist Micah Devereaux quickly shows his chops with soaring highs reminiscent of early Helloween, snarly death growls, an energetic rhythm (backed by the charged bass of Igelsrud) and head spinning guitar solos.
‘Laser Unicorn’ has a touch of Gloryhammer-esque cheesiness giving the band a serious but not too serious attitude. Like the track that precedes it, this one rips and tears from every angle with shreddy solos and riffs. Of course, it pales in the shadow of ‘Caprica’ and ‘Anthem of the Warrior,’ which build up the album’s power and atmosphere with gusto.
‘Defy the Ages’ is an airy orchestral interlude that perfect sets up the six minute epic ‘The Horizon, and I say epic not just because of its length but also because it kicks everything up another notch. The beat is faster, the solos wilder, and the vocals are more varied than ever.
‘I Need a Drink’ is a return to the band’s more humorous side. Despite the hilarious lyrics and drunken monologue, it’s one of the standout tracks. Death vocals take front stage for a good portion of the track and the lead guitar has a grandiose vibe like we’re embarking on a legendary journey … to the tavern.
The final three tracks carry on the more serious side of Ageless Warrior. ‘A Plague for All Mankind’ has a more sinister spirit with elements of death metal and nod at King Diamond (perhaps?), while ‘Reprisal’ has an odd position on the list. This one is a lighter tune with unplugged guitars and synths that give in an outro feel. Had it not featured a snarl that leads directly into the finale I would have wonder if this was a publishing error.
‘A Man Without Honor’ is the album closer and damn is it a good tune! On this track the band does everything that worked throughout and does it even better for an excellent send off to an outstanding album. Still, I feel like ‘Reprisal’ should have closed out the album.
Power metal is an odd genre of metal. It can be serious, funny, or both at the same time, though the latter can be tough to balance. Whatever the approach a band takes lyrically the music almost always carries the band to victory with speed, precision, and melody, and that’s what you get with Ageless Warrior. This American duo blends humor and serious metal style with elements of classic power metal and modern death metal for an excellent debut album that all power metal fans should check out. The occasional death vocals might put off purists, but the face-melting solos and sharp riffs will surely make up for a little discomfort here and there. 9.5/10
Get it here in their bandcamp page.