Yes, it's been awhile since I visited. Been a kinda shitty year at home and at work, but things have settled a tad, so I finally caught up on some Corro reading. While doing so I noticed that Noisenik had posted a reply in my old RUNNING WILD thread expressing interest in trying to prove my old Track 5 Theory, but he worried that there's no time to test it out.
Hold my beer.
To save you having to dredge up the old thread, here's the quote explaining my the Track 5 Theory:
"Years ago I developed a theory that, on power metal albums, track 5 is the most important track. Hear me out. Power metal albums typically follow a pretty standard blueprint, or at least they did in the mid 90s-early 00s:
Track 1- an instrumental intro
Track 2- blazing fast anthem to kick things off right
Track 3- a strong follow-up song, not as fast as Track 2, but fast enough to keep the heads banging and the fists in the air
Track 4- the band takes their foot off the gas with a slower number so everyone can catch their breath. You settle down and settle in. You wonder "hmmm, is the speedy stuff all done, or is their more speedy goodness to come?"
And that's why Track 5 is the most important. The smart bands who made the best albums knew to step on the fucking gas and light it up on Track 5 with one of the album's highlights so as to wake folks up and allay their fears that the album was slowing down. If an album screwed up track 5, however, that meant that the scoreboard now read 2 Good tracks, 2 average tracks, 1 instrumental, and you go into Track 6 feeling like the album is quickly slipping into mediocrity."
So time for us all to compile evidence for and against this theory.
Remember, we're talking POWER METAL albums from roughly the mid 90s to early-ish 00s. So don't post some bullshit claiming to shoot down my theory using a bunch of death-thrash demos from 1988.
Also, note that track numbering can get a tad tricky, as opening instrumentals sometimes get their own title and/or number, and sometimes they don't, so some leeway is allowed.
The 2 albums that made me first postulate Track 5 Theory are the following, both from 1997:
Exhibit 1: Gamma Ray 'Somewhere Out in Space'
This one skips the intro instrumental unless you count the short bass intro on track 1, but otherwise it fits the pattern exactly:
Opens with the speedy 'Beyond the Black Hole'.
Follows up with the driving 'Men, Martians and Machines'.
Let's up a tad with 'No Stranger'.
Floors it again on 'Somewhere Out in Space'
Exhibit 2: Iron Savior s/t
Follow the pattern exactly:
1- warm up on 'Arrival'
2- Then opens on the zippy pounder 'Atlantis Falling'
3- Keeps the pressure on with 'Brave New World'
4- Lets off the throttle a bit for 'Iron Savior'
5- Goes to eleven on 'Riding on Fire'
So that's where Track 5 Theory originated from.
Rather than spending the next 3 days mapping out every Euro power metal CD I own, I now turn it over to y'all- take the ball and run with it! What great albums follow the pattern? Which ones don't?
Have fun, I'll check back sooner or later.
"I'm sorry Sam, we had real chemistry. But like a monkey on the sun, our love was too hot to live"