Power of the Chosen One is Argentinian heavy metal outfit Feanor’s fourth album, and their second in English, coming five years after the release of less refined We are Heavy Metal, having since recruited powerhouse guitarist David Shankle (ex- Manowar). And basically Power of the Chosen One is an hour of repetitive Manowar worship; review over. Shankle’s frolicking guitars will prove to be one of the main features on the album, but they never really stick out; Gustavo Acosta rolls alongside him, thick bass lines to pad the meaty riffs. The album opens up on Rise of the Dragon, followed by the title track, slapping immediately with fire packing speed and rhythmic fury. Shankle unleashes his best solo on the album right there in the opener and it clashes neatly with some fresh riffage, opening on a high note. The title track seems content to just repeat its drab chorus over and over as the rhythm section plods on, letting Shankle toss in an overly wanky solo here and there.
German vocalist Sven D’Anna (Wizard) makes his second album with Feanor, and his presence obviously adds heaps of Wizard like charm to the sound, though he doesn’t ever seem to extend much beyond his comfortable zone. The would-be epic choruses seem to just plod on, repeated way too much and making almost every song feel too long. There are still a few highlights strewn in though, the aforementioned opener doing a few of the things just right, and mid album banger Hell is Waiting tosses in more of the speed and grit for a shorter metal punch that hits the right spot, some great riffing from Shankle fleshing out the melodic presence of D’Anna. Toward the end they’ve made the genius decision to put back to back ballads just to slow things down to a near halt. Lost in Battle is the typical forgettable “we are brothers” ballad you’d expect. Fighting for a Dream carries some of the same elements, but is a much better written tune all around. Shankle’s guitars are subdued and less flashy, while D’Anna manages to sound pretty convincing; all in all, cut the first and just end the album on the second.
Definitely over long, the album is already at full length before 19 minute closer The Return of the Metal King (The Odyssey in 9 Parts) rolls in with, uh… thunder and lightning? Or is it a sea shanty? Something something Odyessus. Trying to emulate the success of Manowar’s classic epic Achilles, Agony and Ecstasy in Eight Parts - on which Shankle played - Acosta’s bass notes take heavily after DeMaio’s distinct piccolo sound. While the entire epic definitely has moments it literally is just several tracks put together into one long ass one, and much like the album entire it’s too long for its own good and doesn’t know when to quit - until it unceremoniously just does. Power of the Chosen One tries to be many things, especially things it is not. While the sound is better, tighter than its predecessor, the songwriting has suffered. Largely forgettable, with a few decent moments sprinkled alongside the plodding songs and the filler. The great fist pumping heavy metal moments get lost in the haze. Feanor’s attempt at an epic has failed.
Standout tracks: Rise of the Dragon, Hell is Waiting