Battlelore - Sword Song
Napalm Records
Epic Fantasy War Metal
12 songs (46'43)
Release year: 2003
Battlelore, Napalm Records
Reviewed by Marty
Creating a world within their music that takes you away to enchanted places with tales of brave warriors, magic, and evil creatures, Finland's Battlelore presents us here with their second full length album, Sword Song. Using subject matter that is influenced by the writings of the fanatasy master himself, J.R.R. Tolkein, Battlelore creates a fanstasy world with their music, complete with the band members themselves using costumes to bring some of the characters they write about, to life. The band broke onto the scene with their first album, ....Where The Shadows Lie in 2002 using a band moniker that was derrived from the word "folklore" and the word "battle", a popular subject with this band's lyrics. The band plays epic orchestrated metal and combines it with the clean and growly vocals of Patrik Mennander and the beautiful angelic vocals of Kaisa Jouhki.

Although I haven't heard the entire ....Where Ths Shadows Lie album, I would say that this new album Sword Somg is both heavier and more epic in quality. The production is crystal clear as well, something their first album was lacking. The album opens with a couple of great songs in Sons Of Riddermark and Sword Song with the former being a heavy and slow orchestrated epic that combines hypnotic beats and riffs, gothic style male vocals and female vocals for the quieter passages in the song. Sword Song is a faster orchestrated song with some good speedy double bass drumming and growly male vocals. The female vocals just soar on this track and are harmonized and layered for a great atmospheric effect. Chazad-dum Part II sees the band playing a fast orchestrated black metal style and besides the mix of growly male vocals and angelic female vocals, manages to throw in some great celtic flavored guitar riffs which are more prominant on this track that on any other. War Of Wrath again sees the band using the epic riffing style and creates some soaring melodic moments with the female vocal interlude mid song. The instrumental track The Horns Of Gondor is a great atmospheric piece and uses flutes, harps and keyboard orchestrations to accompany a march-like beat. Overall, the atmosphere this band creates with their music is wonderful....pure escapism and epic fantasy metal in it's highest form.

The rest of the tracks on the album follow somewhat the same format and if I could fault the band in any way, it would be that after listening to the first half of the album, you pretty much get all that the band has to offer as far as song styles and arrangements. Things start to sound similar and the impact of the first 4 or 5 songs diminished somewhat. Besides the doom style de-tuned guitar riffing found on most songs and the combination of growly male and clean female vocals, the band uses lots of keyboard orchestrations that suprisingly takes a bit of the "edge" off of the band's sound. The result is very catchy songs and an enjoyable ride into the world of Battlelore that takes you on a whirlwind journey with both epic and fierce sounding music and angelic passages to balance out the overall tone of the band's music. The band is in the process of trying to produce an epic and very theatrical live show to take on the road with the intentions of releasing a DVD. If you're into the "Beauty and the Beast" style metal and also like epic fantasy laden songs, Battlelore is a must!!!

Killing Songs :
Sons of Riddermark, Sword Song, Chazad-dum Part II, The War Of Wrath and Forked Height
Marty quoted 80 / 100
Alex quoted 52 / 100
Other albums by Battlelore that we have reviewed:
Battlelore - Doombound reviewed by Jaime and quoted 79 / 100
Battlelore - Evernight reviewed by Kayla and quoted 84 / 100
Battlelore - ...Where The Shadows Lie reviewed by Jack and quoted 75 / 100
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