I have looked so much forward to getting my ears within hearing range of this release! It is the 6th studio album from the Finnish band Battlelore which bases their lyrics on the works of Tolkien and his Middle-Earth (Lord of The Rings) world.
A unique trait of the band is the blend of a male and a female vocal. This has, on all of their albums, worked really well. On DOOMBOUND it is one of the very positive aspects. Their former release, The Last Alliance, was more mature on some levels in its output compared to their earlier catalogue. With DOOMBOUND this trend continues but there are also parallels to “Evernight” as well as “Where The Shadows Lie”.
“Bloodstained” is an unusual Battlelore track vocal-wise since it has a slow pace with less harsh vocals than usually. The whole composition is also different and makes “Bloodstained” very fresh in this context. It is also a good track, definitely. “Bow and Helm” is majestic and completely satisfying with its captivating and bombastic sound. Absolutely one of the best tracks on DOOMBOUND! One of the album’s weaker tracks follows, Enchanted: Considering the structure of the album it has a fine position since it is a very calm and charming, in its own way, track. However, it is generally uninteresting,
“Fate of The Betrayed” features a good dynamism both in the instrumental parts but also in between the two singers. “Doombound”, the title song, is the longest track on the album with its 8 minutes. These 8 minutes are not too long or too short; it is perfect! The first half of the song is more “brutal” with the male vocals. The second half, however, features a very slow progression with an excellent and pleasant performance from the female counterpart. I especially like the second half because it creates a magical atmosphere and really drags me into the song. The last track, “Kielo”, is a melodious, instrumental track which gives me associations to “Horns of Gondor”.
Battlelore has crafted yet another album they can be proud of. It has some really quality songs but also one or two which simply feels like “fillers”. Nonetheless, it does not drag the album down in any way due to the magical embracing tones.
DOOMBOUND is an album you might have to listen through several times to really appreciate. I personally had to do so but now it also stands perfectly clear that here at the beginning of 2011, I already have a very strong candidate for one of this year’s best releases!
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