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
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).
Another problem with the "folk" part is that you can't tell whose folklore it's supposed to be. Usually, folk bands throw in lyrics in their mother tongue, traditional rhythms or themes from their native land, but Blackguard sound like a generic sort of folk, a "Medieval/Fantasy/Western" thing that's not very convincing, nor consistent.
The album starts out with an attempt at Equilibrium-ish epic-ness on Scarlet to Snow, and that effort is made again and again throughout the album, but it simply doesn't work. Profugus Mortis is NOT an epic album. That said, every song has good elements, and the only recurrent problem is the overload of keyboard. The keyboardist is indeed talented; he plays very good solos that give an Eternal Tears of Sorrow-touch to songs like In Time and Cinder, but he's just too… everywhere.
Now, for good points: I love Hatebreeder and Follow the Reaper, so how the Hell could I hate Profugus Mortis? The Extreme Power is neat and efficient, riffs are powerful, solos are good, vocals sound like Wildchild mixed with Filth, and drums are fast and furious. Every song grows on you and you can't get them out of your head. Catchy is the key word.
To conclude, I'd say: don't expect anything cerebral, authentic or new from this album or you'll be disappointed. Be aware it's folk-influenced Extreme Power metal with synthesized trumpets everywhere and clean guitars most of the time. But in that category, Blackguard are kings.
Highlights: Allegiance, The Sword, In Time
|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.
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