Gloryhammer are an Affectionate Parody of Power Metal, led by the vocalist of Alestorm, Chris Bowes. In this band he plays the keyboards and the voice of evil sorcerer Zargothrax. They decided to do the usual Heavy Mithril Power Metal fare, but set it in Scotland so they didn't have to make up place names. Both albums so far, Tales from the Kingdom of Fife and Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards have been concept albums, with the second one being the first one Recycled In Space. The lyrics of this band are considered ludicrous even by power metal standards.Gloryhammer consist of:
- Thomas Winkler, Voice-Modulated Star Nucleus, note Angus McFife, Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Fife; and his Descendant, Angus McFife XIII
- Christopher Bowes, Positronic Oscillator Command, note Zargothrax, Dark Sorcerer of Auchtermuchty
- Paul Templing – Dark Matter String Manipulation Interface, note Ser Proletius, Grand Master of The Unbeatable Knights of Crail, and his Holographic Likeness in the future.
- James Cartwright – Trans-Dimensional Subsonic Cluster, note Hootsman, Immortal Barbarian Warrior of Unst.
- Ben Turk – Percussive Phi-Quason Battery, note Ralathor, the Mysterious Hermit of Cowdenbeath
- "Anstruther's Dark Prophecy"
- "The Unicorn Invasion of Dundee"
- "Angus McFife"
- "Quest for the Hammer of Glory"
- "Magic Dragon"
- "Silent Tears of Frozen Princess"
- "Amulet of Justice"
- "Hail to Crail"
- "Beneath Cowdenbeath"
- "The Epic Rage of Furious Thunder"
- "Wizards!" (Heroic Edition Bonus track)
- "Infernus Ad Astra"
- "Rise of the Chaos Wizards"
- "Legend of the Astral Hammer"
- "Goblin King of the Darkstorm Galaxy"
- "The Hollywood Hootsman"
- "Victorious Eagle Warfare"
- "Questlords of Inverness, Ride to the Galactic Fortress"
- "Universe on Fire"
- "Heroes (of Dundee)"
- "Apocalypse 1992"
- "Dundax Aeterna" (hidden track on CD)
Epic Tropes of Glorious Hammers
- Affectionate Parody: They start with the concept of undead unicorns and ride the wave from there. The second album tries to out-grimdark Warhammer 40,000, and is a parody of those sort of space settings.
- The Ahnold: The Hootsman is a pretty obvious homage to/Expy of Arnold Schwarzenegger, from the song 'The Hollywood Hootsman' we know that the Hootsman is a Hollywood actor famously known for his role as a barbarian who became ruler of California, and in later song we learn he is also a cyborg powered by a neutron star.
- Alternate Universe: The first album is set in a Fantasy Scotland with unicorns, magic, trolls and goblins. The second one is set ten centuries later in 1992, when Zargothrax comes back to wreak havoc with the aid of the Goblin King and the Chaos Wizards.
- Altum Videtur: With the Goblin King's title on "Goblin King of the Darkstorm Galaxy." - Regis Kobalos means "Goblin/Kobold King."
- And I Must Scream: Done to Zargothrax who was frozen for centuries on the planet of knights (the moon Triton).
- Apocalypse How: The Hootsman invokes a Class X (planetary annihilation) at the end of Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards, destroying Earth and the portal for Kor-Virliath the Elder God of the 18th Hell Dimension, preventing the implied Class X-4 (Universal destruction) that would result.
- Awesome Mc Cool Name: Angus McFife XIII, doesn't get much better than that.
- An Axe to Grind:
- The "crystal laser battle axe" of the King of the Astral Dwarves of Aberdeen.
- "The Hollywood Hootsman":With his mighty battle axe,
He slaughtered everything,
'Til all of California,
Did call the Hero King!
- Badass Boast: "Victorious Eagle Warfare" gives us the line "A hero cannot be defeated/Simply by making him die!"
- Bittersweet Ending: Space 1992 ends with the Hootsman dying while destroying planet Earth, and Zargothrax flees into a wormhole where the planet once was. However, the destruction of the planet prevents Kor-Virliath's resurrection, and Angus McFife XIII follows Zargothrax into the wormhole.
- Breaking Out the Boss: In 'Rise of the Chaos Wizards' the Chaos Wizards manage to free Zargothrax from his frozen prison.
- Britain Is Only London: Averted for comic effect. The first album is set entirely in the county of Fife, Scotland, which is portrayed as a magical, mysterious land of dragons, unicorns and wizards. Small towns and locations are spoken of with an air of grandeur, such as the fishing village of Crail being home to the mightiest warriors in the land. The Intergalactic Empire of Fife features prominently in Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards, treating Scotland as the centre of the universe.
- Cliffhanger: Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards ends with Hootsman detonating the Neutron Star powering his heart in order to stop Zargothrax's ritual, taking the Earth with him. Weakened and defeated but not dead, Zargothrax throws himself into the cosmic rift that now stands where Earth once was, and Angus McFife XIII follows in pursuit.
- Concept Album: Both albums are concept albums, the first has Zargothrax invade Dundee with an army of undead unicorns. The second one is set in the grim darkness of 1992, where Zargothrax comes back with the aid of the Chaos Wizards.
- Complete Immortality: Zargothrax, apparently. He's explicitly stated as being immortal. In Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife he's defeated by being trapped in liquid ice for ten centuries, and in Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards he survives the total destruction of Earth!
- Cool Shades: Zargothrax's goggles, complete with weird attachments. here's the picture.◊
- Cross-Cast Role: Thomas Winkler plays Iona McDougall in "Frozen Tears of Silent Princess"
- Cyborg: The Hollywood Hootsman is a cyborg who has a heart made from a neutron star.
- Drop the Hammer: The first album had the Hammer of Glory. The second album goes on to explain how it is also called "The Astral Hammer", luckily hidden on Earth by the Starlords, and then found and wielded by Angus McFife, and passed down to his descendants, until Angus McFife XIII wields it on the moon in "Legend of the Astral Hammer", from that song:Wielding this ancestral weapon
The Hammer of Glory its name
The Kingdom of Fife will forever proclaim! [sic]
- Eldritch Abomination: Kor-Virliath, Elder God of the 18th Hell Dimension. Unleashing him will destroy the universe.
- The End of the World as We Know It: At the end of "Apocalypse 1992," the Hootsman detonates his neutron star heart to stop the summoning of Kor-Virliath the Elder God of the 18th Hell Dimension, destroying the whole planet Earth and wiping out all human life in the process, thus averting the galaxy being destroyed.
- Eternal Hero: Both Ralathor and Hootsman are apparently immortal. No explanation is given for Ralathor, aside from his being a "Mysterious Hermit". Hootsman is explicitly mentioned as being immortal, though it's not explained if he became thus before or after he became a cyborg powered by a Neutron Star
- Evil Sorcerer: Zargothrax the Dark Sorcerer of Auchtermuchty. On the album Tales from the Kingdom of Fife, he invades Dundee with an Army of Undead Unicorns and traps the beautiful princess Iona McDougall in ice. On the second album, Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards, his actions cause the Earth to be destroyed.
- Foreshadowing: The bonus track at the end of Tales From the Kingdom of Fife, Wizards!, foreshadows features of the second album.
Far from the past they travelled
- The final verse hints at the next album being set in the future and spanning the galaxy. The phrase "final war" alludes to the apocalypse. The prominence of the wizards in the second album's plot is foreshadowed by this prophecy being made by wizards in their titular song.
In to the future they see
The crystal ball reveals all history
They see the coming battle
Across the galaxy
Where evil and good collide in a final war of steel
- The rest of the song includes a few other references; "keepers of chaos", "fighting the demon horde".
- God of Evil: Kor-Virliath The Elder God of the 18th Hell Dimension.
- Harmless Freezing: Zargothrax is imprisoned in ice for ten centuries and is no worse for wear when he's eventually freed by cultists. Justified, as Zargothrax is immortal.
- Heavy Mithril: Undead unicorns invade Scotland led by an evil sorcerer.
- Hellgate: On the second album, we learn that a portal under Dundee contains a gate to Hell, that will release Kor-Virliath, The Elder God of the 18th Hell Dimension.
- "I Am Great!" Song: "Legend of the Astral Hammer" serves as one for Angus McFife XIII, as well as expanding on his signature weapon, the Hammer in question.
- Impossibly Cool Weapon:
- Crystal Laser Battle Axe of the Astral Dwarves of Aberdeen.
- The Astral Hammer, "forged in the heart of the celestial fire" and "powered by lasers entwined in a star."
- Medieval European Fantasy: The first album is set in an alternate reality Medieval Scotland.
- Medieval Stasis: Averted: Centuries after the events of the first album, the Kingdom of Fife has become a spacefaring, intergalactic empire.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Zargothrax, Dark Sorcerer of Auchtermuchty. On the second album, the Goblin King of the Darkstorm Galaxy (identified in the lyrics booklet as "Dreadlord Myrkanos Barbax") and Kor-Viliath the Elder God of the 18th Hell Dimension.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The Hootsman. He's an immortal cyborg, conqueror and movie star.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: "Sanctus! Dominus! Infernus! Ad Astra!" at the beginning of "Rise of the Chaos Wizards"
- Our Dragons Are Different: This one is a magic dragon who becomes Angus McFife's ally after a magic spell is cast.Demon attacked me but then it was slain
The dragon appeared and a battle was fight [sic]
I spoke from the words of a powerful scroll
And magical dragon became now allied.
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: These are the "Astral Dwarves of Aberdeen" whose King wields a "Crystal Laser Battle Axe!"
- Our Goblins Are Different: This one is the Goblin King of the Darkstorm Galaxy, who is allied with the Chaos Wizards who resurrected Zargothrax. He has a magic crystal that can "unleash evil from the sky" AND a space battlefleet. He can use the crystal to "cast unholy fire".
- The Power of the Sun: In "Universe on Fire" on Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards, a weapon is powered in this manner:Gliding across the Sun
To soak up all its might,
Charging my Solar Gun
And prepare for epic fight. [sic]
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: What Zargothrax does to Dundee. He also carts off a beautiful princess.Fireballs and Lightning
are raining from the sky,
Chaos and bloodshed,
As all the people die!
- Riding the Bomb: The video for Rise of the Chaos Wizards ends with the asteroid on which the re-formed Heroes of Dundee are fighting the forces of Zargothrax crashing into Southeast Asia.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Both Angus McFife and his distant ancestor, Angus McFife XIII. The former is the prince of the land of Fife, "noble and true with a heart of steel," who vows to destroy Zargothrax after the evil sorcerer decimates his kingdom with undead unicorns. "Legend of the Astral Hammer" describes his ancestor thusly:Angus McFife the XIIIth my name
Scion of mighty Dundee
Intergalactic, great hero of steel
Ruler of whole galaxy![sic]
- Rule of Cool: Undead unicorns invade Dundee, Zargothrax imprisoned in ice, then released by the Chaos Wizards, and the second album ends with Kor-Virliath the Elder God of the 18th Hell Dimension being prevented from being unleashed by the earth being destroyed by a neutron star that powers a cyborg exploding.
- Not to mention all the laser crystal battleaxes, primordial black holes, Astral Hammers of Glory (forged in the heart of celestial fire!), Galactic Princes fighting Lunar Dragons and waging epic battles against demonic space fleets over Mars, etc, etc, etc...
- Shout-Out: This band have their influences "written on their sleeve" according to one review:
- "Tears of a unicorn lost in the rain" from "Apocalypse 1992" is a reference to the "Tears in the Rain" speech by Rutger Hauer in Blade Runner.
- Also From "Apocalypse 1992", "Faster than a laser bullet" is a line directly lifted from the song "Painkiller" by Judas Priest.
- The Intergalactic Great Empire of Fife, ruled by King Angus McFife XIII and the Space Knights of Crail who fight against a Chaos Sorcerer and a group of Chaos Wizards is a reference to Warhammer 40,000, where the God-Emperor of Mankind and his Space Marines fight against the forces of Chaos, including Chaos Wizards.
- Parts of "The Epic Rage of Furious Thunder" are wholly lifted from William McGonagall's poem "The Tay Bridge Disaster."
- In the video for "Rise of the Chaos Wizards" Angus McFife XIII/Thomas Winkler is dressed as the Iron Lantern from the Amalgam Universe.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Zargothrax was imprisoned in ice for centuries before being freed by the Chaos Wizards.
The unicorns used to be goodNow they are forced to serve Hell.— "The Unicorn Invasion of Dundee"
- Undead and dangerous, under the control of evil sorcerer Zargothrax. It is sung that
- On the second album, it is revealed that the "Questlords of Inverness" can travel through time, and are called "Unicorn Defenders, Unafraid to Die" in "Questlords of Inverness, ride to the Galactic Fortress."
- The albums use place names in Scotland, and the Unicorn is the symbol of Scotland itself.
- Villain Episode:
This magic crystalis the artifact you seekTo unleash evil from the skyYou must find the portalThe crystal is the keyAll universal life will die!
- "Goblin King of the Darkstorm Galaxy" is told from Zargothrax' perspective, and includes the Goblin King of the Darkstorm Galaxy talking to him:
My ancestral demon armyWill ride a cosmic sphereAnd liberate the multiverseFrom slavery and fearWith the power of the crystalFrom an ancient galaxyThe force of evil will prevailIt is my destiny
- Parts of "Apocalypse 1992" are also narrated by the dark sorcerer of Auchtermuchty:
- A Villain Named "Z__rg": Zargothrax, natch.
- Worf Effect: In Tales From The Kingdom of Fife the Knights of Crail are hailed as an invincible army that has "never lost a fight", and they prove their worth in the battle against Zargothrax. In the following album, Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards, they're utterly crushed by the eponymous chaos wizards.
- Zeerust: Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards takes place "In the distant future of the year 1992". The album was released in 2015.