POWERGOD, Evilution Part I  (1999, Massacre)

The skull:
A custom-assembled fruit-and-nuts basket to the first Big Dumb Skulls reader who can identify what’s supposed to be happening here. I cannot decipher the meaning. All I see is a floating skull whose dome is so round that it looks more like a skull-shaped baseball than a baseball-shaped skull. This curious skull hovers in a sea of blue sky, surrounded by angels who could be emissaries of evil or good — they’re too small to really say for sure. I’ll go with evil. And the sword, well, its hilt in the foreground seems positioned to place some kind of importance on it, yet I cannot for the life of me figure out its purpose. The skull can’t possibly wield it (no arms or hands!), and the angels seem more concerned with the skull, flying about him like moths around a light bulb. The sword just sits there lonesome: “Hey, look at me! Somebody wield me! Anybody? Anybody up for some sword-wieldin’?” No takers. Very sad.

The music:
Powergod released five albums in a semi-confusing set of two series’: Three installments of this Evilution thing and two in the awkwardly-titled That’s Metal Lesson series. The latter are covers albums. This is the first installment of Evilution. What Powergod serves up is tough-as-nails heavy metal you’d expect from a German band in the late ’90s: equal parts Dio, Judas Priest, Helloween, Megadeth and Accept, modernized by relentless double bass and crystal-clear production. The vocalist is annoyingly whiny, the drum sound so “perfect” that its cold and brittle, and the aesthetic is too dumbed-down. What’s more, Powergod gets stuck between speedy power metal glory and knuckleheaded trad-metal way too often. In fact, dullard cock-rock anthem “No Brain No Pain” is truly, well, brainless. If you’re still buying new Hammerfall albums, you desperately miss Metalium and your favorite label is Pure Steel, then you need this in your collection. You probably already have it in your collection. All others: bust out those Lost Horizon albums again and forget about Powerglob.
— Friar Wagner