I first come across the band Custard during my dj’ing days when their album “Infested by Anger” hit the inbox of the station I was working for at the time. If I am totally honest I never really paid them much attention, playing a few tracks on my show, before resigning them to the huge library of music stored away on my laptop.
If only I knew then just what I was missing out on.
Originally formed in Herne, Germany in 1987 by Chris Klapper, they were a phenomenon in teutonic metal and soon achieved “world famous” status but it was limited to their hometown and they failed to break out to a wider audience.
After years of line-up changes, 2007 was a massive change for them, as they had a brand new line up along with a fresh record deal. Now ten years later, 2017 sees the release of their sixth studio album “A Realm of Tales”
With tracks such as “Snow White”, “The Pied Piper” and “Arabian Nights” the album is heavily based on the stories of Hans Christian Anderson and The Brothers Grimm, many traditional fairy tales originating in Germany. The lyrics are fantastic, retelling the well-known stories with the bands own little twist and the songs are full of catchy riffs and headbanging rhythms.
Playing old school heavy metal tunes, Custard have always made more of their song writing, power and melodies and this has resulted in a great album of epic proportions. Vocalist Olli Strasser is fantastic and hits all the notes that he needs to, making him a superb power metal singer. He could quite easily be compared to other power metal vocalists such as James Rivera of Helstar, Andy Deris of Helloween, Ralph Scheppers of Primal Fear and even to Rob Halford of Judas Priest.
I don’t think there is a bad song on the album, but then, for those of you who know me, would know I am a big power metal fan. Some people would think this album is a bit cheesy but what harm is a bit of cheese every now and then? I have read other reviews of this album, some of which loved it and others which hated it, but as I think with much of the power metal genre, you either like it or you don’t. And, if nothing else, credence must be paid to them for their song writing alone, not to mention their musicianship and production.
I think this will appeal to fans of bands from Helloween to Judas Priest and anything in between and is a must for any metal power metal fan.
I, for one, am going to go back and check out the album that was previously sent to me and then anything else they have done. I would love to see this album performed live, the stage show could be spectacular, so I guess I will have to keep my eyes out for any tour dates that may be coming up!!
01. Icy Stare
02. Queen of Snow
03. The Pied Piper
04. Arabian Nights
05. Snow White
06. Snow Away
07. The Little Match Girl
08. Daughter of The Sea
09. Witch Hunter
10. Sign of Evil
12. Forged in Fantasy
Stefan Klempnauer – Guitars
Chris Klapper – Drums
Carsten Reichart – Guitars
Oliver Strasser – Vocals
Markus Berghammer – Bass
Originally posted to Ever Metal
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