Released: 2009, I Hate Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Realmbuilder is an epic/doom metal band from New York, put together by long-time friends Czar (or Craig Zahler, known also for his involvement in a black metal band called Charnel Valley and as journalist for the American Metal Maniacs magazine) and J.H. Halberg (who is a music professor by his profession, and relatively known music composer as well) who wanted to rely on some basic elements in old-fashioned heavy metal music - and basically create songs that they wanted to hear themselves.
SUMMON THE STONE THROWERS, this 7-track opus that came out on the independent Swedish underground label I Hate Records last year. It catches a varied amount of different emotions by the album´s mostly slow-paced epic/doom metal, with a twist for NWOBHM and late 70s heavy rock. To me, this album sounds a lot of like a mixture of Manilla Road, Cirith Ungol and Doomsword, added with a pompous Viking-era Bathory (thanks to J.H.´s ´ohohohoh´ and ´ahahah´ choruses). The music is thoroughly well composed on the band´s debut, having a main stress on epic atmospheres and Czar´s soulful, dramatic vocals. The guys have obviously taken a time capsule back to dark ancient times in which the greatest tales of giant, merciless swords and mystic temple lords were told.
While being completely trend-free musically from the current metal scene, one of the band´s greatest assets on this album is to keep things simple enough for them; to fully concentrate on the music itself and do it passionately and from their hearts. This stuff hardly could be more back-to-roots, and Realmbuilder´s attempt to combine some of the basic ground elements of both 70s and 80s heavy rock/metal has turned out to be victorious and genius on this unique and powerful sounding album.
For the fans of the bands referred to Realmbuilder´s realm of musical influences above – as well as for the fans of magical epic and doomy heavy metal in general, I would suggest to check these New Yorkers´ debut record out with enthusiastic minds. It´s well worth it.