During the beginning to mid-2000’s, all I ever listened to was power metal! Rhapsody of Fire, Blind Guardian, Therion, Sonata Artica, you name it I had it! Now fifteen years later, I thought my love affair with that particular genre of metal had fizzled out a long time ago. But that was until I heard this album by Swedish power metal band Bloodbound.
Formed in Bollnäs, Sweden, in the summer of 2004 by Tomas Olsson and Fredrik Bergh, they have not only released six studio albums and a live cd/dvd since then but they have also toured with the likes of Sabaton, Hammerfall and U.D.O as well as performed shows with Arch Enemy, Pretty Maids and Evergrey.
2006 saw the release of their debut album “Nosferatu”, which was very well received, but also saw line-up changes when singer Urban Breed left the band after they toured. Michael Bormann (ex-Jaded Heart) was brought in as a replacement and the band’s second album “Book of the Dead” was released in 2007, the first of their albums to enter the Swedish charts.
Bormann left the band after existing commitments meant he couldn’t devote the time needed and Urban Breed returned, recording a further three albums. But by 2010 he had left again and they finally found a new vocalist in Patrik Johannsson, who was not only a great singer and frontman, but he was also a friend.
Finally, some stability was brought to the band and “War of Dragons” is a continuation of 2014’s “Stormborn” but with faster-paced tracks, while not losing the anthemic feel the band is known for. Bloodbound are masters of combining melody with power and this albums displays perfectly the evolution the band has undertaken since “Nosferatu”.
So what of this album?
Generally, it is an over the top, cheesy, anthemic power metal album, with lots of infectious tunes and choruses that have been made the focal point of many of the tracks. BUT……it is also a fun album and one that you just can’t help but like! It is an epic, larger than life, mid 2000’s throw back, which ranges from moderately fast to a ridiculous frenzy of speed, but it is good. It is very good!
Two of the core elements of the Bloodbound sound are the guitar wizardry of the Olsson brothers with their in your face riff work and fantastic solos, and the attitude-based powerful vocals of Johannsson, a typical Euro-power metal vocalist but one with balls and a voice strong enough to also hit the high notes when needed. Mix into this the more than competent keyboardist, Fredrik Bergh, and drummer Pelle kerlind, immense orchestrations and massive vocal arrangements that culminate in a huge choral backdrop, and you have the perfect power metal sound. There is even a folksy, flute driven chorus on “Silver Wings” thrown in for good measure.
This is a relentless album that gives the listener no resting time with just a little over 45 minutes of full on POWER METAL! Now, reading back through this review I can see I have used the term “power metal” on many occasions and as a writer one of the things you DON’T want to do is constantly use the same words and phrases but there just is no other way to describe this album. Despite the band’s continuing change in sound they are a power metal band and this is a power metal album!
So, dig out your wand, climb aboard your dragon and fly to the nearest record store and purchase this fantastic album from the mystical, magical cd sellers.
Get one before all the goblins do!!
1. New Era Begins
2. Battle In The Sky
3. Tears Of A Dragonheart
4. War Of Dragons
5. Silver Wings
6. Stand And Fight
7. King Of Swords
8. Fallen Heroes
9. Guardians At Heaven’s Gate
10. Symphony Satana
12. Dragons Are Forever
Pelle Åkerlind – Drums
Tomas Olsson – Guitars (lead & rhythm)
Fredrik Bergh – Keyboards, Vocals (backing), Narration (tracks 1, 2)
Henrik Olsson – Guitars (rhythm)
Patrik J Selleby – Vocals
Anders Broman – Bass
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Originally posted to Ever Metal