Custard – Imperium Rapax (Album Review)

Release Date: December 03rd 2021 - Pure Steel Records

Custard is a power metal band from Germany formed in 1987, releasing seven studio albums in their thirty-five-year career. In terms of sound, the band easily stands alongside the likes of countrymen Blind Guardian, Grave Digger, and Rage, but also English metal legends Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Custard’s latest album (their seventh) ‘Imperium Rapax’ is a weighty fourteen songs over a fifty-minute playtime…

…all coming to life with the short anticipation-filled instrumental ‘Imperium Rapax’, before bursting into a furious frenzy with the blistering ‘Children Of The Wolf’ – a fast-paced avalanche of scorching power metal. The headbang ability is off the fucking scale, with Custard emphatically announcing their return to the worldwide metal scene. The sub-one minute ‘In Umbra Aquilae’ is an epic and tension-filled lead into ‘Res Publica’ a not-so-fast-paced power surge. The electrifying energy oozing from Custard‘s new album is phenomenal, ‘Res Publica’ a reined in and bursting at the seams power metal stomp. ‘Blessed By Baal’ mixes traditional metal with the band’s root power metal sound, delivering an almighty oomph laden sound – a sound that screams a Judas Priest/Grave Digger blend. And what a fucking blend that is!

Upping the pace and flying fast, ‘Blood And Sand’ is classic sounding European power metal, full of pomp and power, and that all-important melodious intent and infectious nature. The chorus break is highly anthemic and will have fans immediately singing along. The energy level since the album began has been unrelenting, and although there have been plenty of pace changes, the levels remain high, hitting new heights with ‘The First Empore’ – the mid-tempo melodic nature as emphatic as ever. The swaggering mid-paced march is blended with faster-paced passages, making ‘The First Empore’ one of those twisting and turning not knowing where it’s going kinda romps. ‘Gloria Aegypti’ is another epic and atmospheric sub-one-minute offering, this time leading into the doom heavy-ish ‘The Goddess Of Magic And Death’. Big and bold ‘The Goddess Of Magic And Death’ is a shuddering swagger of heaviness, portraying a menacing side of the band not heard before.

Another sub-one-minute intro, ‘Cornua Mortis’, and I get the feeling the band is introducing many of their songs in a theatrical manner. This time it’s a rainfall and thunder effects-laden passage leading into the fast and furious ‘Furor Teutonicus’. Displaying a speed not heard since the opening song, the band veer between high and mid-pace as ‘Furor Teutonicus’ powers on to a finish. Delivering the album’s biggest punch, ‘Ode To The Flames’ is an almighty monstrous swagger – the energy and oomph levels rising to their highest all album. Returning the doom heavy feel of earlier, ‘Morituri Te Salutant’ is a heavy foot stomp of anthemic metal – switching gears across the chorus break to become a full-on and brutal power metal rampage. The album comes to a close with a hymn-like ‘Quo Vadis’ – for the first minute or so anyway! A blistering change of pace sees ‘Quo Vadis’ become a tempo-changing torrent of the hymn, anthemic, epic, and glory styles of power metal.

Overall, a meaty meander through pace and tempo changes, Custard delivers an album of punchy and melodic power metal.

TRACKLIST

Imperium Rapax
Children Of The Wolf
In Umbra Aquilae
Res Publica
Blessed By Baal
Blood And Sand
The First Empore
Gloria Aegypti
The Goddess Of Magic And Death
Cornua Mortis
Furor Teutonicus
Ode To The Flames
Morituri Te Salutant
Quo Vadis

Custard: Facebook

Release Year: 2021
Label: Pure Steel Records
Category: Album
Country: Germany

Reviewed by Iron Mathew for Frenzy Fire, Metal Gods TV, and Metal-Roos.