Victorius – Dinosaur Warfare Legend of the Powersaurus (Seriousaurus)

I joked about this one on Facebook when I posted one of the band's promo photos. Some of you thought it was a meme I created, but it was not. And this critical review, too, is real. Victorius is one of several German bands over the past year that have left me disappointed, but this is an entirely different level of disappointment. Power metal is a hard sell for me in the first place because of its grandiose, operatic quality, a sound that can make the most impressive playing sound completely ridiculous. Add to that an uncertainty in whether or not the band is serious about this image or just joking to troll the hell out of the metal community, and you have a classic recipe for failure, the likes of which the various dragon bands as of late can't even come close to. Dragons and swords, that's been ridiculed enough, why not change the game a bit and make it dinosaurs? But here's the thing, I actually like this idea. In fact I love it. Why not? Dinosaurs, sure? All critics I've seen focus on that being the primary issue, whether or not the band is serious with their dino love and such, but is that really the problem? Well, let's see what I have to say about Dinosaur Warfare Legend of the Powersaurus.

 

 

So to start the spectacular cover by Stan Decker is cool, I've seen the guy's work several times. He should really be considered the go-to guy for power metal art, honestly. But here's why Dinosaur Warfare is bad. It's not bad because it has dinosaurs, which are achieving, slowly, slowly, the same redundancy as unicorns crapping out rainbows, Grumpy Cat memes, and an overabundance of sparkles. What we can call hipster kitsch. All that stuff is part of the "tongue-in-cheek" flavor of the day in all levels of popular culture, and the underground now, obviously. It's the "we're serious but not haha" approach, that directs its attention to being ridiculous, on purpose, in the hopes that you'll pay attention to it on purpose. We know all the bands who have done this already, and Victorius seemed to think that there was a want of dinosaur action, so the void was filled, right? Oh, certainly. I mean from the neon dinosaur art, to the track titles, like "Lazer Tooth Tiger," and lyrics about dinosaurs facing an epic battle with aliens, Dinosaur Warfare has all the trappings of dinosaur magic. I can dig that. What I can't dig is the clear lack of creativity, and this is the problem other critics seemed to have missed. They focus on the dinosaur thing, which is obviously a gimmick, so who cares? Get over it, and dinosaurs are cool. If it works, it doesn't matter, but it's not working here. But why it doesn't work isn't because it's dinosaurs, or a band from Germany (recently the Germans seem stuck on themes), or power metal, it's because Victorius have little to say musically. From the Power Rangers samples (not joking), to the dinosaur samples, there is simply no way to cover over the fact that the music itself is tame. In fact, there was only a single moment, kicking in at 2:28 in the last track, "Flames of Armageddon," that this band proves it can play if it wants to. It was, simply, one of the most ripping riffs I've ever heard, and it perfectly fits the dinosaur theme. But this is the only moment where I noticed a successful synthesis of theme and sound. Victorius fail not because dinosaurs, they fail because ineptitude. It's power metal with another poorly-connected theme.

 

Victorius Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Victorius – Dinosaur Warfare Legend of the Powersaurus
Massacre Records
3.2 / 5