Release date: February 26th 2007
Label: Napalm Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Style: Epic/Gothic Metal
Artwork rating: 85/100
Reviewed by: Claus Melsen
Date: February 25th 2007

Before reviewing this fourth CD release from Finnish seven piece band Battlelore, I must admit I hadn’t heard about them, so if they developed from the first three (which they probably did) I can’t say. 

The lyrical universe is Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Since the trilogy was made as movie(s), it gained another kind of popularity among the masses; maybe Battlelore can make it an advantage for them, that more people know the story, and can put some pictures to the lyrics. 

My first impression is gloomy, bombastic and monumental/epic metal, with thick layers of guitars and keyboard, a steady rhythm group (interesting drumming) and “beauty/beast-vocals”, and all the way through a good, clear production. So far, so good… 

The vocals on this album consists of clean, melodic female singing (like classic-/pop-singer Sarah Brightman) by Kaisa Jouhki and male brutal roaring by new male vocalist Tomi Mykkänen (replacing original vocalist Patrik Mennander). For both vocals it applies, that there is almost no difference in how they are done all through the album, and though they surely both know what they’re doing, it just gets a bit too uniform in the long run. Same characteristics apply to the music in general. 

It starts out quite promising with opener “House of Heroes”, with a good acoustic melodic intro that floats naturally into the song itself. Unfortunately the songs then, rather quickly, turns into some kind of sound-soup that just rolls along. "Into the new World” and “Longing Horizon” has some catchy melodic parts, “The Cloak and the Dagger” are spiced with flute, and has interesting structure and rhythmic parts, and finally last track “Beneath the Waves” a good melodic chorus, but most tracks on this album is somehow too standard to catch my attention. 

I like bands like Nightwish and Evanescence, but better live than on record, and it could very well be, that Battlelore also works better live than on CD. This is not a bad album, but there are too few highlights, so all in all a bit disappointing – it seems to me, that the band has potential for writing much better and interesting material. Big fans of this genre will surely like it though. 

Recommended tracks: see above