Battlelore - Sword's Song review
01. Sons Of Riddermark
02. Sword's Song
03. The Mark Of The Bear
04. Buccaneers Inn
05. Attack Of The Orcs
07. Khazad-Dûm Pt. 2 (Silent Caverns)
08. Horns Of Gondor
09. The War Of Wrath
10. Forked Height
11. Starlight Kingdom
12. The Curse Of The Kings [bonus]
True to their name, the Middle-Earth warlords produced a saga that tells the tales of the War of the Ring: Elves, Orcs, Hobbits and Dwarves evolving in the fabled lands of Gondor, Rohan and Mordor. If you're a Lord of the Rings fan, you shouldn't be lost in the names. But let'S pa attention to the music, shall we?
The album starts out with a slow intro entitled Sons of Riddermark. Nothing epic here, and growls are scarce. The boring female vocals throw in here and there, adding virtually nothing. And that goes on for almost all the album, except some highlights every two or three tracks. The first one is the title track, which comes second after the boring Sons of Riddermark. Sword's Song is catchy and has fast drumming, and the vocals are good, although that girl's voice definitely isn't catchy, nor powerful. Maybe a little beautiful, but nothing impressive. The keyboards create an epic atmosphere, but that's what the whole album is: atmospheric, not symphonic. Next highlight is track 4, Buccaneers Inn, probably the most folkish song on this album. Seventh track Khazad-dum is our third highlight. It's more brutal than the rest of the album, and it's also more epic. The girl's voice is less annoying on this track for some reason... The fourth highlight is The War of Wrath. Don't ask me why, it's just better than the eight boring songs of the album.
On the whole, a long and average album with very rare good tracks. I can't stand the girl's voice, she has no power and it sounds more like whining than singing, actually. The metal instrumentation is nothing impressive, though the drums are tolerable, and the keyboards save many tracks that would sound empty if the atmospheric touch wasn't there. Sword's Song sounds like an attempt to sound like an atmospheric version of Eternal Tears Of Sorrow, but it's a mess, unfortunately. Even though I must admit Battlelore was a better band when they released Sword's Song (Evernight is even worse), they were nothing original or talented, in my opinion. And that's a shame, because I like their idea in the beginning, but the result is not as grand.
If you like female-fronted bands like Sirenia or Tristania, you should like this album. But if you're expecting symphonic grandeur or high technicality, you'll be disappointed.
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| Jason W.
Fils du Lys
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