Grimgotts, "Lions of the Sea" Album Review

Updated on April 16, 2019
FatFreddysCat profile image

I've been an obsessed hard rock/heavy metal fan and collector since the early 1980s. If it's got a good guitar riff and attitude, I'm in.


Grimgotts, "Lions of the Sea"

Style: Fantasy-themed symphonic power metal

Country: United Kingdom

Release: Stormspell Records, 2017

With all due respect to the members of Grimgotts and the fine folks at their label, Stormspell Records, I had a feeling that Lions of the Sea was not really going to be my "thang" as soon as I received the promotional e-mail. The hype sheet which accompanied the album compared this quintet to DragonForce, and said that Grimgotts' music was "witchcrafted in Hogwarts' deepest dungeons." Sooooo....does that mean we're talking about symphonic Harry Potter power metal? Yikes. Those were two big red flags for me before I even pressed "play," because I can't stand DragonForce and I've never read a word of the Potter saga, nor have I ever seen any of the films. According to what little knowledge I've gathered from friends who are Potter fans, my complete lack of interest in J.K. Rowling's franchise means I'm a "muggle," and the hype sheet even goes on to say that Lions of the Sea is intended "...for people able to embrace their inner child ... muggles should steer clear." In other words, they might as well have just come right out and told me, "Dude, you are not the target audience for this disc," haha!

However, Stormspell has been a longtime supporter of this column and they were nice enough to send me this album gratis, so I'm going to do my best to review it as objectively and fairly as I can. Fans of this style of pompous fantasy-themed power metal can feel free to tell me what a closed minded a**hole I am in the comment section if they don't like the end result. Straight to it then!

Grimgotts "Calm Before the Storm"

So Who the Heck Is Grimgotts Anyway?

Italy used to have the market cornered on symphonic/cinematic fantasy power metal like this, but Grimgotts hails from the U.K. The quintet has been around since 2015 and in that time they've released a handful of EPs and digital singles. Lions of the Sea is their first full album-length recording.

A wave of relief washed over me as the first track, "Lions of the Sea," began playing, because it didn't sound much like DragonForce after all. Instead of the high-speed, soulless, billion-miles-an-hour wankery I was dreading, Grimgotts was pleasantly mid-paced, with lots of guitar/keyboard interplay that more closely resembled Italy's Rhapsody (aka Rhapsody of Fire). I will admit that Andy Barton's reedy, somewhat nasal voice was a bit of an acquired taste at first; he sounds kinda like Hansi Kursch (Blind Guardian) if Hansi had a head cold. By the second track, "Golden Shores," I was already thinking that Grimgotts was better than I'd expected. Barton even briefly affects a bit of a death growl in this track, which was unexpectedly weird, but kinda cool. "Morning Blues" has a cartoony Medieval bounce to it, causing visions of dwarves dancing around tiny Stonehenges."Find Your Way" is a legitimate Helloween/Rhapsody style melodic speed metal burner, and my favorite track on the album by far. A brief acoustic piece, "The Gallows," leads into "Jonah" (I assume the title refers to the Biblical guy who was swallowed by a whale, not the comic book gunfighter Hex) and then the epic "Calm Before the Storm," which sounds like the end-credit theme to a big budget fantasy film. "The Sad King" begins with some mournful acoustics before slowly building into a full-on medieval jiggety-jig, and the album closes with "The Bright Lights," which brings us back to the land of big power chords, majestic keyboard runs and soaring, operatic vocals.

Grimgotts' EPs: "Here Be Dragonlords" (2016), "Extenditus Playus" (2016), "Part Man, Part Beast, Part Dragon" (2017)
Grimgotts' EPs: "Here Be Dragonlords" (2016), "Extenditus Playus" (2016), "Part Man, Part Beast, Part Dragon" (2017) | Source

Summing It Up

In the end, Lions of the Sea wasn't the hellish listening experience I'd been dreading. In fact, I actually kinda liked a good chunk of it, even if I did find myself wishing more than once that Grimgotts would heavy things up a little -- these tunes could definitely use some crunchier guitars and less tripping-through-the-daisies acoustic noodling, but I suppose that sort of thing comes with the folky-sympho-power-metal territory.

I may never become a huge fan of this particular style of metal, but I will say that Grimgotts does what they do quite well, and therefore fans of Rhapsody, Labyrinth, Blind Guardian, Domine, and the like can add Lions of the Sea to their collections with confidence. am I still a Muggle? (shrugs)

Grimgotts "The Bright Lights"

Grimgotts Discography:

Here Be Dragonlords (EP) - Stormspell, 2016

Extenditus Playus (EP) - Stormspell, 2016

Part Man, Part Beast, Part Dragon (EP) - digital, 2017

Lions of the Sea - Stormspell, 2017

© 2017 Keith Abt


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • CELEBSFAN78 profile image

      Ara Vahanian 

      2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      Keith: first of all congratulations for this article being on a Hubpages network site! I have never heard of this band but so far I have decided to check them out and it sounds pretty good! I'm just like you that I love to write reviews about albums. I think music is a great coping mechanism in addition to providing us with a source of entertainment. Thanks for being a valuable member of the Hubpages writing community. keep up the good work.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)