Released: 2014, Inverse Records
I literally listened to the intro and the opening 20 seconds of the first song when I had already made up my mind that THE WARRIORS PART-Part I by Heroes Of Vallentor would be an incredibly awesome album.
‘The Quest’ opens the album with a loud, booming majestic narration as a narrator with a nice European accent tells the opening monologue of the mighty warrior who must go on a quest to find an amulet and a sword to defeat the evil wizard. Absolutely classic and I’m not being sarcastic or ironic. With a crescendo of epic and soaring orchestral music, ‘The Quest’ bleeds into the title track, ‘Warrior’s Path’ a fantastic, raging double-kick fuelled Power Metal beast that opens with a mighty scream.
The Swedish band has been kicking around for many years and at one time actually had Tommy Johansson (Reinxeed) in the band. After a few years of juggling the line-up, the band recruited Calle Sundberg (Charlie Shred, ex-Reinxeed) as the lead guitarist and put out a demo. The band has now released their debut and are ready to conquer the world. It is a nice package with a good looking booklet with care and attention to the design and detail.
THE WARRIOR’S PATH is classic Power Metal. The quartet draw influences from the true sources of Maiden and Priest but there is some nice Sabaton influences on songs like ‘Vengeance’, a slower cut with a militaristic marching beat and backing keyboard lines. Other reference points could be Grave Digger and Running Wild with an anthemic, Germanic tone. In fact vocalist Lars Skoldmark sounds quite a bit like both Rock ‘n’ Rolf and Chris Bothendahl with a deeper, gruffer voice, but he is still able to hit some nice screams. He ‘over-sings’ which adds a hyper-dramatic quality to the story of the hero on his perilous quest. He sings like he means it, technical quality be damned! The guitar thunder along as do the drums. There are a few extra sonic components such as bits of narration, sound effects and they all enhance the story and atmosphere.
I just adore these concept albums of high-fantasy Metal. THE WARRIOR’S PATH is a superb example of the art and style. How much you like this type of Metal is another thing, but I love it. If you want to full story you can go to the bands website and it explains it all. Intellectually, I probably rated this higher than it deserves, but I’ve enjoyed this album numerous times and I can’t wait for Part II.