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Powerglove - "Saturday Morning Apocalypse" (CD)

Powerglove - "Saturday Morning Apocalypse" CD cover image

"Saturday Morning Apocalypse" track listing:

1. X-Men
2. Gotta Catch Em All
3. The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest
4. This Is Halloween
5. Batman
6. Transformers
7. Inspector Gadget
8. Heffalumps and Woozles (Winnie The Pooh)
9. The Simpsons (feat. Tony Kakko)
10. The Flinstones
11. Gotta Catch 'Em All (feat. Tony Kakko)

Reviewed by on October 12, 2010

"This is cracked-out, technically proficient, and speedy tongue-in-cheek metal."

In good company with video game-themed metal bands like Vangough, The Minibosses, and The Black Mages, Powerglove waves the flag of nerd metal proudly. It takes a special type of person, attention to detail, and of course special outfits on stage to make a good gimmicky metal band. With “Saturday Morning Apocalypse,” you will be headbanging to video game and cartoon music that you never thought would have you excited.

A point of note – if you aren’t in the Dragonforce camp, you won’t find much fun here. This is cracked-out, technically proficient, and speedy tongue-in-cheek metal. The album starts out with the band putting their spin on the main X-Men theme, coming in at breakneck speeds with instrumentation akin to a Blind Guardian song. Bassil Silver’s drumming takes from tech-death and power metal worlds in equal parts and is lends itself surprisingly well to the songs. Next, “Gotta Catch Em All” sees the band making Pokemon the most metal it’s been. In a frightening display of technicality, Alex Berkson and Chris Marchiel shred their way through the melodies of the song, breaching guitar virtuoso territory.

Their formula to the songwriting seems to be to take the main themes and lead lines to the familiar songs, shred wherever possible, throw in heaping helpings of double bass, and add in some original music where fitting. This is an especially effective formula on songs like “The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest” and “This Is Halloween,” with Powerglove’s original parts being just as effective as the song’s melodies. With helpful backing orchestration, the Nightmare Before Christmas song “This Is Halloween,” “The Simpsons,” and “Batman” are made extra beefy. “Batman” even sounds like The Faceless during the middle section. A rainstorm and classical guitar brings in the ominous “Transformers” theme, swelling to a keyboard-assisted blitzkrieg of a song that Optimus Prime would be glad to call his own.

“Inspector Gadget” shows bassist Nick Avila’s coordination and skill, and sees the entrance of the Hall of the Mountain King, from which the theme was taken. “Heffalumps and Woozles,” a song from Winnie The Pooh, is put into a minor key and is made into an evil-sounding song, reminding of Dimmu Borgir. That’s right – Powerglove actually made a Winnie The Pooh song metal – and scary, at that. Next up is “The Simpsons,” and it features a guest appearance by Tony Kakko of Sonata Arctica on vocals. This song features some very quick drumming and legato guitar theatrics. “The Flintstones” and a version of “Gotta Catch Em All” with Tony Kakko on vocals round out the album.

You must be at least a level 85 musician, with at least 400 endurance and 450 speed if you want to be able to play these songs yourself. The bar has been set high with this release, and the band’s ridiculous instrumental antics will have you busting out your “wowie cool guitar solo” hand gestures all the time. Powerglove has really made these songs their own with “Saturday Morning Apocalypse” – Now, if only there were a Saturday morning cartoon show about Powerglove…

Highs: Insane instrument technicality, high speed, excellent production. Also, the band writes a good bit of original material on top of the original themes.

Lows: If the prospect of a Dragonforce/The Faceless crossover band (without vocals) doesn’t excite you, you won’t find much fun here – it’s a niche genre.

Bottom line: Powerglove waves the flag of nerd metal proudly, offering a fun fast blitzkrieg of video game, film, and cartoon metal.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)