Power of Metal.dk Review

Style: Power Metal
Release date: 21 November, 2014
Playing time: 46:00

After a typical power metal intro with a spoken part in Manowar kind of tradition, the first song explodes out of my speakers. I get thrown back in my chair and when the song is over I'm still not able to speak or type. The first thing I did when I had recovered, was to push the repeat button. If the album is full of songs of this caliber, I have to give them the highest rating. This is the best power metal track of this year and with a title that is original, but so good sounding. The last week my neighbors already called the insane asylum several times to get me admitted. I kept on shouting "Satanic Panic" almost all day!

The track has high speed, a very catchy refrain, excellent aggressive high singing, double bass drumming, bombastic orchestral parts and could be the blueprint for a power metal track. It sounds like a Judas Priest song from the 'Painkiller' era with a refrain written by Powerwolf combined with the bombast of Sabaton. The singing style has a big Halford influence and like the third song it also reminds me of the band Cage. This third song "Iron Throne" has the same high speed tempo and is although not as strong as "Satanic Panic" one hell of a track.

Patrik Johansson is an excellent vocalist, who masters the aggressive singing style as good as a more melodic real power metal voice. In "Nightmares from the Graves" his voice sounds the same as Tobias Sammet and that kind of timbre returns in several other songs. Besides that I have to think of Niklas Isfeldt (Dream Evil) as well. Sometimes bands use a child choir because it looks interesting in the info sheet, but it doesn't make the song any stronger. In "Nightmares from the Grave" it really adds something and makes the song complete.

After the first heavy fast tracks, a few more mid-tempo ones follow. These songs have a lot more orchestral parts and have a lot Sabaton influences. "Stormborn" sounds like a mix of Edguy with Sabaton with a Dream Evil twist. That this album doesn't get the highest rating is because the first song "Satanic Panic" is immediately the best track and after that I wanted to hear more songs of the same quality, but not one of the other songs can top it. Still all the songs that follow are good and of a high quality and every power metal fan will lick his fingers of with this album. Only one song too regular and too average and that is "Made of Steel". A very cliche track with lyrics that could have been written by Manowar. It is an ode to metal, but with lyrics like: 'Stronger than steel we are standing tall' and words like United, Forged in Fire and lots of more cliches, a very childish song. I know that Manowar and Dream Evil do it all the time, but Bloodbound doesn't need to do it! Shame on you, it is a weak spot on an otherwise excellent power metal album.

After this weak song, they fortunately get back on track again and counterbalance it with the uptempo song "Blood of My Blood". Again a mix of traditional power metal with Sabaton orchestral parts. All music has of course Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Helloween as main influences, but if you compare Bloodbound with more nowadays bands, I would describe their music as a mix of Cage, Sabaton, Dream Evil, Edguy, Hammerfall, Nightwish, Sonata Arctica and Powerwolf.

If I forget that one minor track, this is probably the best traditional power metal album of the year. It tops the new Hammerfall in my opinion and this is how power metal should sound like and what it was invented for (by Helloween) in the first place. It gives you a good feeling, makes you want to sing-a-long with, bang your head to and this all in well written songs that stick. These Swedes are all excellent musicians and do have a vocalist that can be placed in the same line as Kiske, Sammet, Osfeldt, Heidgert, Cans and Hayer. On top of that the album has a top production and sounds like a Swiss clock.

Power metal fans have something to ask for this under the Christmas tree and it is called 'Stormborn'.

01. Bloodtale
Satanic Panic
Iron Throne
Nightmares From the Grave
We Raise the Dead
Made of Steel
Blood of My Blood
09. When the Kingdom Will Fall
10. Seven Hells
11. When All Lights Fail
Label: AFM Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Reinier de Vries
Date: 15 November, 2014
Website: www.facebook.com/bloodboundmetal