Album: Blood of Legends
Ancient Greece, an impressive civilization that still fascinates many people today. The Ancient Greeks offered many contributions to the world with their advancements in technology, science and philosophical ideals. Sometimes listening to a boring old history professor doesn’t do it, so why not have a metal band teach us something about Greek History.
The Athens based group, Battleroar, gives descriptive accounts of Greek Mythology in their lyrics while offering up some crushing metal jams. Their style is very triumphant sounding and definitely takes on certain qualities of classic Power Metal such as Helloween, Rhapsody and Nightwish. Blood of Legends, the band’s fourth full-length album, is an epic tale of metal mayhem and fist raising anthems. To create an ancient, and truly epic feel to the music, the band incorporates violins accompanied by grand uplifting classical arrangements.
The first track on this album, “Stormgiven,” is a calming acoustic and violin piece that moves like the waves crashing against the Greek coast as storm clouds slowly move towards the mainland. Track two, “The Swords are Drawn,” is where the band introduces their epic Power Metal style with a fearless driving sound. The chugging guitar riff attacks like an army of soldiers rushing into battle while the drummer lays down the thunder with loud crushing rhythms. I personally enjoy the vocal style used by Battleroar’s lead singer because he is not trying to sound over the top like most Power Metal singers. He does not try to hit the unnecessary high notes or scream randomly to match the guitar’s tone.
The next two songs, “Poisoned Well” and “Blood of Legends,” are very descriptive, and well composed pieces. Battleroar lets the lyrics naturally unfold into the musical landscapes with a sense of purpose. Also, I notice more expression from each individual musician like with the solo on, “Blood of Legends.” The guitarist offers up an impressive solo that is not too flashy and does not take away from the harmonious sounding balance that the song establishes right from the start. “Immortal Chariot” is another example of a complete well put together song that does not sound out of sync. The music drives with consistency and pure aggression, and that is all you really need to make a good metal song.
Now, a track that really captured my attention was the song called, “The Curse of Medea.” This song begins with a sinister lead guitar introduction that is melodic yet very haunting. The singer tells a vengeful tale of a woman driven by madness and revenge. His vocal tone perfectly matches the song’s pure evil attitude. Also, instead of creating a fast driving rhythm, the band slows down the tempo for a more raw doom like sound. This deviation definitely makes the song standout from the rest on this album.
The song, “Valkyries Above Us,” falls back in line with the more uplifting triumphant songs that start the album off. Once the chorus began I felt this rush of emotion go through my body and could imagine myself sanding upon a grassy field right after a battle ends. The words are perfectly strung together to create strong uplifting emotions. The guitar riffs also give the song an extra kick in the triumphant department when needed. “Chivalry,” is another song on the album with powerful energy surging riffs and intense booming rhythms.
The last couple tracks, “Exile Eternal” and “Relentless Waves” finish this album off on a solemn note, but still holds onto this uplifting side that never seems to fade away. Battleroar unleashes their final all out musical attack with, “Exile Eternal,” and the lyrics offer closure to an album full of excitement. Once the last track begins with the sounds of calm ocean waves, I feel like I am floating away on a ship after a long eventful journey.
No matter if you are not a fan of this style of metal, I think the way that Battleroar composes this album will keep you engaged the whole way through. Their detailed accounts of Greek history/mythology mixed with their triumphant style of metal simply does not disappoint. I appreciate this band’s style of song writing and respect them for not trying to sound insanely technical, or too experimental. Battleroar’s, Blood of Legends, is must listen for any metal fans looking to hear a well crafted album that lifts the spirits up high to where the gods live.