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A Dragon’s Tale (E.P.)
Released: 2000, Independent
BattleMage are yet another powermetal band that hail from Sweden. Seems that Sweden is trying its damnedest to unseat Germany as the powermetal capital of the world with such bands as Hammerfall and The Storyteller. Battlemage are a band that want to help Sweden take over the metal world. The band consists of Sebastian Gustafson on bass, Viktor Jonas: drums, Christian Bard: guitars and Michael Bonta on vocals. Some of their influences include Grave Digger, Blind Guardian, Iced Earth and Rage. Before I go any further I have to add that none of these guys is over 18 years old with Jonas being only 16. BattleMage was formed in November of 1998 and recorded their first demo, "The Chosen One" in August of 1999. The band started to play gigs around their hometown of Norkopping and became very serious about their music. In February of 2000 BattleMage recorded "A Dragon’s Tale".
This is only a 3 song E.P. so I will just give an overview of each track. The disc opens with "Sailing The Seven Seas". This is a straight ahead powermetal song with a distinctive Hammerfall feel. This song showcases the musicianship of these young metalheads.. For the low side of 20 these guys certainly know their stuff. "The Chosen One" is up next and has a more classic metal feel. This is more in the Iced Earth vein and contains a galloping guitar riff reminiscent of Iron Maiden. Some nice guitar playing by Bard highlights this track. "A Dragon’s Tale" finishes out the cd. This is an epic track which clocks in at 7:55. This song is in the neighbourhood of Blind Guardian and has a really nice interlude about 2:45 into the track. When it does kick into high gear again it is even more aggressive. A great tune.
For a 3 song demo I can’t complain too much about this release. The musicianship is above par for group who haven’t even hit 20 years old and the production is pretty good. My only problem with BattleMage are the vocals of Michael Bonta. He is an adequate singer but to really put the band over they need someone with more range. However the band are ahead of me and are in search of a new vocalist as Bonta has taken over as second guitarist. If you would like to learn more about BattleMage visit them at http://w1.111.telia.com/~u11102414/index.html
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