Released: 2012, Pitch Black
I could swear I wrote a review of Marauder's fantastic 2000 album (titled 1821) for Metal-Rules.com. I guess not. I recall getting it from Sentinel Steel and liking it so much that I went back and bought the (much weaker) debut. So what the hell happened since then? Well, Marauder certainly take thier time putting out albums and unfortunately I missed the next couple. They had another in 2004 (LIFE?) and another in 2008 called FACE THE MIRROR and here we are yet another four years later with the fifth, full- length studio offering, ELEGY OF BLOOD. So my apologies to the band that it had taken me over a decade to review a Marauder album.
Hailing from Athens, Greece this quintet is lesser known despite having been around for 20 years already. They don't get much press or hype and perhaps being on small labels with poor distribution has hindered them. On that sense they remind me a bit of Centvrion (Italy), Attack (Ger) and Cage (US) who have been around forever and deserve more recognition. Regardless, Marauder forge on undeterred by lack of global fame and have graced us with another fine Metal album.
In the intervening four years the band roster has stayed stable and they have found a new home on Pitch Black Records. Marauder is a fitting name because the bands brand of crunching marauding Power Metal may leave you devastated! The band has a nice blend of Epic Metal, Speed and Power. For the most part the 10 track, 45 minute album is conventional Metal that is a staple of this site and our readers. Gruff, rough and battle-tested Power Metal is the bands trade and all the songs have a good amount of heft and grit. You could name any number of other great bands doing this style and be very pleased with the comparison. The vocals are a bit rough but Kostarakas can also hit the high range with ease. The songs surge along at a very good clip but not all out speed. The song construction is simple and anthemic carried by classic Metal riffs. The choruses are bolstered by big backing vocals and catchy melodies. My favourite cut, 'Black Gold' is buried deep in the album containing a galloping cut with Kostarakas hitting some good high notes.
Lyrically speaking I feel the band could use some further creativity. On one hand English is probably not their native tongue do crafting words must be harder. However, songs like 'Crusader', 'Warrior', 'World War II', and 'The Great War' could use some refinement. I have no problem with the topics, historical tales of war are very common and welcome in Metal, but Marauder could learn from Sabaton, for example (who sing about virtually nothing except war) and they still make it interesting. Overall, the war motif presented on ELEGY OF BLOOD makes for an excellent, streamlined and thematic album.
I hope that ELEGY OF BLOOD takes Marauder to the next level of wider acclaim and I also hope they don't wait another four years until the next album.