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   BATTLELORE
Sword's Song
2003
Napalm Records
http://www.battlelore.net


rating: 4/5

1. Sons Of Riddermark
2. Sword's Song
3. The Mark Of The Bear
4. Buccaneers Inn
5. Attack Of The Orcs
6. Dragonslayer
7. Chazad-Dum pt. 2 (Silent Caverns)
8. Horns Of Gondor
9. The War Of Wrath
10. Forked Height
11. Starlight Kingdom
12. The Curse Of The Kings (bonus track)

Battlelore are a seven-piece band from Finland that base their songs on Tolkien's stories and world. "Sword's Song" is their second full length release. Contrary to what one might assume, Battlelore aren't playing epic power metal. Instead the music is a nice blend of traditional heavy metal, fantasy-based pomposity, some folkish elements and both male and female vocals. The male vocals vary from somewhat gloomy clean to semi-harsh growling. The female vocals on the other hand sound beautifully ethereal and bright, adding a nice contrast to the male vocals. The song material is quite varied: there are beautiful acoustic interludes, crunchy thrash-like riffing, full-speed-ahead bombardment and everything from between those. The melodies are nicely addictive eventhough they're not the sugar-coated power metal kind. The guitar sound is nice and crisp, although it does sound a little "plastic" in a way. The keyboards add a symphonic feel which naturally makes the overall sound "bigger" and also some beautiful, yet haunting keyboard leads add a lot of emotion to the final outcome. Occasionally there's also an odd "electro" touch to the keyboards. Battlelore have gathered a lot of traditional elements together and have managed to create a potion that sounds rather original, so that comparing this to some other release is somewhat difficult. Summoning comes to mind occasionally, but Battlelore are much closer to traditional heavy metal. All in all this is stronger as a whole than their debut album and they've managed to capture the Middle-Earth feeling quite well here.

submitted by Aleksi 19.09.2003

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