Blackguard - Profugus Mortis review
|Release date:||March 2009|
01. Scarlet To Snow
02. This Round's On Me
04. I Demon
05. The Sword
06. In Time
07. The Journey [limited edition bonus]
10. The Last We Wage
Do you remember when folk metal used to have an air of freshness to it, it used to be a mysterious and highly original genre that more often than not made the hair on your neck stand on end. Well sadly we may have to start the mourning of this kind of music if this is all the genre has to offer in the times of now.
Blackguard are a young Canadian band and keeping with the young theme, won the Nuclear Blast MySpace competition of 2008 to find themselves sitting comfortably in the lap of one of metal biggest and most successful labels. These guys haven't had the years of experience fighting for recognition as a band perhaps would have had to do to seal a record deal in the times of past. Nuclear Blast, the giant metal selling machine have recognised the current fad and have thrown us yet another bone to feed this trend.
Cynicism aside, Blackguard are, for a young band, extremely talented musicians and have done a brilliant job of putting their Nuclear Blast debut "Profugus Mortis" together. The album is professional to the max, every element of the music is executed perfectly and all sits comfortably with the glossy, clean, perhaps too clean production over it all.
The vocals sound concrete and well controlled, if not excessively raspy or too in the line of Children Of Bodom. The guitars and drums together are as solid as a band multiple times their age, and generally sound good with the exception of a highly annoying and repetitive wailing guitar sound in the opening song "Scarlet To Snow". "This Round's On Me" picks up the pace but could easily be mistaken for a Finntroll or Korpiklaani track with its layers of various different instruments bouncing along with the tune. This is good material, but it would be straining a little too much to go beyond "good" because we've heard it all before from bands like Equilibrium and Wintersun, two other Nuclear Blast bands.
Originality aside, the album is typically clean and relatively fun and entertaining throughout, although no tracks stand out from the rest or stick in your head. "Profugus Mortis" would be a great album for anyone new to the world of folk metal and needs a crash course on modern folk metal, but for anyone else who knows their stuff about the genre and has already chanted along to the battle cries of Ensiferum or got drunk with your friends listening to Korpiklaani, this album will sound bland and unoriginal. Blackguard need to find their own style and play their own music instead of following the trend and borrowing every other band's style.
||Written on 27.03.2009 by Member of Staff since 2006.|
|The first thing you have to know before you listen to Profugus Mortis is that it's not that much of a Folk release. Don't be fooled by the "Chasse-Gallerie" cover art: as a matter of fact, it's 90% Extreme Power metal and 10% Folk. Profugus Mortis was a Folk band mostly because of the violin (I really miss that violin), but newborn Blackguard is a remake of early Children Of Bodom with Alestorm-inspired folkish keyboards (This Round's On Me definitely sounds like extreme Alestorm).
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