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Battlelore
Sword’s Song
September 2003
Released: 2003, Napalm Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Rick

True Arctic Fantasy Metal. Straight from the horses mouth comes this description of Battlelore. “Battlelore's music tells you stories of an ancient world full of magic, heroes and glorious battles. Lyrics imitate poetry and written text of J.R.R.Tolkien and his enormous tales of Middle-Earth.” I could find no better way to say what they themselves said best. Last year I reviewed WHERE THE SHADOWS LIE and was quite impressed with its depth and variety as Battlelore jumped around the musical spectrum and dabbled in many genres including death, black, gothic and traditional. SWORD’S SONG again brings the tales of Middle-Earth to the listener and once more Battlelore reveal their schizophrenic personality.



The band has basically remained intact from the recording of WHERE SHADOWS LIE with the exception of guitarist and vocalist Tommi Havo who had to leave the band because of personal reasons. His “raging vocals” position has been filled by clean vocalist Patrik Mennander who does a good job in basically taking over all of the Battlelore male vocal duties. The combination of male and female vocals works well within the confines of this band because of the enormous variety of the material that they cover. Tolkien’s material lends itself well to enormous chanting choirs and the “powerful organ of the Uruk-Hai”. “Sons of the Riddermark”, “Khazad-Dum pt2.” and “Attack of the Orcs” continue with the Tolkien storylines and provide some of the highlights of the release. “The Horns of Gondor” provides an interlude to the bombast as its quiet orchestration creates and interesting counterpoint to the multi tiered tapestry woven by the band.



I have been constantly playing this CD in my discman at work. I think that is the optimal place to hear this music. There is so much going on that some of the intricacies get lost in the crush of distorted guitars and deathly vocals. The sound of the band has hanged somewhat since their last disc WHERE SHADOWS LIE. Battlelore have moved in a slightly more gothic direction. The black metal tinge that the ban had in the past seems to be lost. It could be because of the departure of Havo but I am not sure. In any event, SWORD’S SONG is an interesting and enjoyable release that cuts across the metal genres yet only hints at what the future could hold for the band.
Track Listing

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. Khazad-Dûm pt2
8. Horns Of Gondor
9. The War Of Wrath
10. Forked Height
11. Starlight Kingdom
12. The Curse of The Kings (Bonus Track)

Lineup

- Jyri Vahvanen, Guitar
- Miika Kokkola, Bass
- Henri Vahvanen, Drums
- Jussi Rautio, Guitar
- Patrik Mennander, Clean male and raging vocals
- Maria, Keyboards
- Kaisa Jouhki, Female vocals
Guest musicians:
- Eric Zacharias, Additional synthesizer
- Tommi Havo, Background raging vocals
- Miitri Aaltonen, Background vocals
...And other helpful creatures

Contact

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Next review: » Battlelore - Third Age of the Sun
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