I was very curious about the new Spellblast. Their 2007 album "Horns of Silence" was one that found its way to my CD player regularly. On that album, the Italians played power metal with folk influences; think Rhapsody of Fire and Elvenking, not very original, but very joyful to listen to. With this new album, they explore this style even further.
I immediately think of Falconer when I listen to the first track "Cold Wind of Death." The rhythm and the use of violins and very catchy melodies see to that. Singer Jonathan Spagnuolo has a very pleasant sound that fits perfectly. The wide keyboard parts and the variation in speed make every song interesting. The guitar riffs are rather up-front in the mix and see to it that the songs stay heavy enough. With every song passing by, the link with Falconer gets stronger. "Soldier's Angels" is a song that has very addictive bagpipes in it. The epic track, "History of a Siege: Slaughter," starts very soft and blossoms to a Rhapsody of Fire kind of power metal song.
With "Northern Star," this continues at the same level. The next song, "Brave and Fierce," is not as fast and is again much folksier. "Command Charge" is the most folksy song on the album, with nice percussions and hoompa hoompa rhythms — a very nice track. Special guests on the album are Folkstone and Fabio Lione (on two tracks).
Power/Folk fans of Falconer, Rhapsody of Fire, Gwydion, Elvenking and perhaps even Skyclad (because of the use of violins) will do themselves a big favor if they buy this album.