Dislike To False Metal

rating icon 5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Sober
02. Winterstorm in the Night (feat. Madeleine Liljenstam)
03. Disco Metal
04. Muscle Memories
05. Chupacabra Cadabra
06. Pasadena 1994 (feat. Joakim Brodén)
07. Metal Boomer Battalion
08. Dimmu Bogie
09. Protocols (of the elders of Zion) of Love
10. The Power of Imodium

Heavy metal has always had a sense of humor, despite much evidence to the contrary. From BAD NEWS and SPINAL TAP to STEEL PANTHER and the UK's excellent EVIL SCARECROW, metalheads are generally happy to embrace some full-on piss-taking, and so the rise of NANOWAR OF STEEL has a certain inevitability to it. A self-proclaimed comedy/parody metal band, the Italians have spent the last 20 years being extremely silly indeed. From debut album "Other Bands Play, Nanowar Gay!" (a title that hasn't aged especially well, let's face it) to the colossal online success of one-off single "Norwegian Reggaeton" in 2019 (it's awful, would not recommend),  their mixture of silliness, parody and virtuoso metal musicianship has been an unqualified success.

Unfortunately, comedy is entirely subjective and comedy metal even more so. "Dislike To False Metal" is NANOWAR OF STEEL's second album for NAPALM RECORDS and seems a much more serious bid for attention than anything released previously. It sounds great, for a start; with plenty of that Euro-metal sheen and the underlying bombast of something slightly heavier, it could easily pass for a serious melodic metal album if the songs weren't so inherently ridiculous. But they are, and therein lies the only real problem with "Dislike To False Metal" — it really isn't particularly funny. On a musical level, there is much to enjoy…

"Winterstorm in the Night" is a stirring power metal anthem; "Chupacabra Cadabra" is a deranged, nine-minute epic with Mariachi trumpets and a multitude of musical theatre tropes; the football-themed "Pasadena 1994" unites NANOWAR OF STEEL with SABATON's Joakim Brodén, to suitably rousing effect. But lyrically, there isn't quite so much to get excited about. There are songs about sober pirates ("Sober"),steroid-guzzling muscleheads ("Muscle Memories"),joyless online gatekeepers ("Metal Boomer Battalion"),conspiracy theorists ["Protocols (Of The Elders Of Zion) Of Love"] and, perhaps inevitably, Covid ("Dimmu Bogie"),but none are exactly brimming with great gags or anything likely to raise more than a wry smile. One exception to that is the closing "The Power Of Imodium", which is the most over-the-top and unhinged song about explosive diarrhea that anyone will release in 2023. If you didn't laugh, you'd shit yourself.

All of this will make much more sense after 12 beers and a dose of sunstroke, and there is no faulting NANOWAR OF STEEL for their unerring levels of childish exuberance. And yes, a reasonable response to the above would be, "Cheer up, you miserable old prick!" and I'm willing to give that a try. Just not this week.

Author: Dom Lawson
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