SCANNER – The Cosmic Race (2024)

SCANNER - The Cosmic Race (2024) - full

After eight years since their last album, SCANNER reunite again for the second time under the leadership of guitarist Axel “AJ” Julius for a comeback CD titled “The Cosmic Race“.
“The Cosmic Race” is a genuine 100% German melodic power metal album. It has everything: melodic leads, harmonies, solid bass and drum, catchy sing-along songs with a touch of cheesiness (“Face the light“, “Scanner’s law“, “Space battalion“) but fun as Hell. Everything is delivered in a light-hearted humorus way, as it was used in the ’80s German tradition, yet the band sounds heavier, meaner, faster and more decisive than ever.
Indeed, “The Cosmic Race” is very much a throwback album in that it sounds very much like an 80s heavy metal record but with cleaner modern production. There are some absurdly heavy moments sprinkled on tracks like ‘Dance of the Dead’ and the aforementioned ‘Scanners Law’. This balances very well with the big bright metal arena anthems such as ‘Warriors of the Light’ which itself feels like a Helloween track.

The album opens with ‘The Earth Song’, an Accept-style track that features some fantastic guitar work and sets up the tone that permeates through the entire record, such as on tracks like ‘Scanner’s Law’. Efthimions’ vocals are flawless and effective with an impressive performance.
The epic ‘Space Battalion’ shifts from dark riffing to straight-up headbanger riffs complete with fist-pumping vocal lines. There’s a lot of variety in this track.

Efthimios’ vocals are at their best again on final song ‘The Last and First in Line’. His voice is powerful throughout the record but it’s on this track that he showcases his Rob Halford-esque range as he hits this lower gruff register before soaring as high as he can go to match the guitar work. The vocal break before the guitar solo has so much power and that just adds to the full assault this track offers.

This isn’t likely to win over new fans of European Power Metal but veterans of the genre will likely connect with the sci-fi concepts and huge melodic retro posturing.
‘The Cosmic Race” is designed for people who like their heavy metal to sound like it did back in the day and there’s nothing wrong with that if that’s what you’re looking for.
Highly Recommended


01 – The Earth Song
02 – Face The Fight
03 – Warriors of the Light
04 – Dance of the Dead
05 – Scanner’s Law
06 – A New Horizon
07 – Farewell to the Sun
08 – Space Battalion
09 – The Last and First in Line

Efthimions Ioannidis (vocals)
Axel Julius (guitar)
Jörn Bettenrup (bass)
Boris Frenkel (drums)


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