Brothers of Metal – Emblas Saga

Brothers of Metal – Emblas Saga
AFM Records
Release Date: 10/01/2020
Running Time: 55:06
Review by Tsarina Wilson
10/10 (Would have given it more than 10 if I could)

When I receive a new band to review, I tend to listen to the first two tracks and see if I can get an idea of their look before looking at a photo. I had an idea of Vikings in boats with torches held high, then I looked more into the band and wow I wasn’t far off. One thing you can say about “Emblas Saga” is that it’s non-stop brilliant. From the opening seconds it’s pure enjoyment with superb drumming, awesome guitar riffs and amazing vocals. For someone, like me, who loves things to do with Odin, Vikings and Norse history this is just a perfect album!

Brothers of Metal are definitely not your run of the mill metal band, they are more like adult Nordic story tellers with a hellava lot of metal but also with fun twists added, if you listen carefully! “Emblas Saga” twists and turns like the ‘Powersnake’ of track two. They take you on a journey within the stories and its like being on their Viking ship in rough seas with the constant up and down tempo.

This is the second album from the Scandinavian eight-piece band, who burst through your speakers like a thunderstorm on steroids, their first “Prophecy Of Ragnarök” was released in 2017. “Emblas Saga” is catchy and powerful but doesn’t lose its HEAVY appeal. If you add in the Nordic overtones it is superb

The female vocals of Ylva Eriksson are so clear yet have such power in them. Listen to the tracks ‘Powersnake’ and ‘Weaver Of Fate’ and you will understand what I mean. Joakim Eriksson’s vocals are powerful, raspy and gruff but compliment Ylva’s so well and you can still hear every word. Other members of the band are Mats Nilsson (vocals), Emil Wärmedal (bass), Dawid Grahn (guitars), Pähr Nilsson (guitars), Mikael Fehrm (guitars) and Johan Johansson on drums and they all come together like a Nordic family of story tellers!

With catchy choruses and continuous epic instrumentation this is a joy, for instance, check out the drumming in ‘Ride Of The Valkyries’ which is probably one of my favourite tracks on the album. Once again Ylva’s voice just makes the track but the fast drumming and guitar riffs will have you holding your pint of mead up in the air and singing along (just don’t try air guitaring or drumming at the same time!) Brothers Of Metal pull absolutely no punches and if you look up their videos on YouTube you’ll see that they have a great time making their music. They aren’t your stereotypical metal band and it sets them apart which is so refreshing when so many bands sound the same or very much alike. You get a mix of storytelling, folk, and a massive amount of metal but it’s all 100% brilliant.

When it comes to influences then there is some Manowar, and Amon Amarth (who are more death metal) (Rick here – I would also add Rage, Battle Beast and Beast In Black), however, Brothers of Metal have a much clearer and crisper vocal approach. ‘Hel’ is perfect proof of this with truly gruff vocals yet Ylva once again takes you from power singing the chorus to a solo vocal ending. It’s haunting, eerie, goose bump producing and the hairs on my arms stood on end…and ‘Chain Breaker’ is a thumper from the start and doesn’t give up, the lyrics, once again, taking you take you off to metal storyland, for example, “The leash could not domesticate, the violent beast within, and when the bane of Odin howls, the eternal night begins” They have such enthusiasm and passion for their music and that comes through time and time again.

On Brothers of Metal Facebook page they say “Wimps and posers beware, for true metal is here” (surely a cheeky nod to Manowar) and saying that their little quirks had me laughing in the track ‘Theft Of The Hammer’, which is a belter but also includes the line “Give it back at once you thief or I’ll go tell my dad” and the reference to ‘Hammer Time’ which was a great add, well done to you guys for that one. They may be passionate and have produced an absolutely wonderful album but moments like these prove they aren’t afraid to poke fun at themselves as well!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Brood Of The Trickster
02. Powersnake
03. Hel
04. Chain Breaker
05. Kauaz Dagaz
06. Theft Of The Hammer
07. Weaver Of Fate
08. Njord
09. Emblas Saga
10. Brothers Unite
11. One
12. Ride Of The Valkyries
13. To The Skies And Beyond

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/brothersofmetalofficial/
www.instagram.com/brothersofmetalofficial/
www.spotify.com/artist/0WPCPYm5IDNtQjuJOGNPcy
www.youtube.com/channel/UCjTRADohcFt4lKeVrd0Kuxg

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Elvenking – Reader Of The Runes: Divination

Elvenking – Reader Of The Runes: Divination
AFM Records
Release Date: 30/08/2019
Running Time: 52:34
Review by Mark Pritchard
10/10

Recently, I’ve had a lot going on personally, but for the last few weeks I’ve been listening to Italian Folk Power Metal Band Elvenking’s recent album, “Reader Of The Runes: Divination”. It has certainly kept me busy, and it has been great to grab a few moments to sit back and listen. I’m quite a fan of the genre and these guys, along with this album, is no exception. They use quite a lot of string sounds, and I don’t know what it is, but the inclusion of violins always makes me enjoy songs that little bit more. Even though listening to the album has been really great and relaxing, it isn’t a slouch. Lancs’ drumming, whether it’s nice and calm or fast and intense, along with the beautiful playing of both Aydan and Rafahel on guitars, and Jakob and Lethien on bass and violin respectively, make it a musical masterpiece! Add in to that the amazing vocals of Damna and, for me, you have as close to a perfect album as you’ll ever get, and certainly an awesome listening experience.

With each song, the album grows stronger. Whether it’s the haunting close harmony melodies, or full on power metal riffs, I can’t get enough, and this album will definitely by high up on my play list for a long time to come. The album starts with a track called, ‘Perthro’, which is a calm, ethereal introduction, and actually gives me chills. It sets the tone of the album brilliantly, with clever instrumentation, and wonderful harmonies. I really like the use of instrumentals throughout the album, which maintain the pace and tone of the music, with no drop in enjoyment. The listening journey that Elvenking have created gives you both fast and powerful, as well as some calmer songs, making it both relaxing, but intense in equal measures. For me, “Reader Of The Runes: Divination” is a real standout album.

“Reader Of The Runes: Divination’ is an easy 10 out of 10! I absolutely love this album and I can’t stop listening to it! Every track is a standout song, but there’s one I feel stands above the others, and that is the second track, ‘Heathen Divine’. The acoustic guitar introduction slowly moves into the main song, creating a real intensity that I really like. It has been a great pleasure having the chance to review this album and has been a welcome break from the stresses and strains of the day-to-day grind. A highly recommended choice for anyone liking their power metal with plenty of folk influence!

TRACKLISTING:

01. Perthro
02. Heathen Divine
03. Divination
04. Silverseal
05. The Misfortune Of Virtue
06. Eternal Eleanor
07. Diamonds In The Night
08. Under The Sign Of A Black Star
09. Malefica Doctrine
10. Sic Semper Tyrannis
11. Warden Of The Bane
12. Reader Of The Runes – Book I

LINKS:

www.elvenking.net/
www.facebook.com/pg/elvenking.official/
www.instagram.com/elvenking.official/
www.youtube.com/user/ElvenkingOfficial

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Mark Pritchard and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Atorc – Under The Raven Banner

Under The Raven Banner Cover

Atorc – Under The Raven Banner
Independent
Release Date: 04/04/2019
Running Time: 42:06
Review by Sheri Bicheno
8/10

Hailing from Suffolk, Battle Hardened Folk Metal Warriors, Atorc were formed in 2012. Their latest offering “Under The Raven Banner” comes two years after their first release, EP “Seven Tales Of Swords And Ale.”

They have been absolutely storming the UK, performing their tales and leaving audiences in sheer awe.

First look into the debut album and ‘OOOOOH MY GOODNESS THAT BEAUTIFUL INTRO’! Once first track ‘Hrafnsmerki’ starts, you visualise a landscape of misty mountains and lakes. A Norse linguist passage over Huldra’s violin is stunning here and sets off the album with a calming, yet anticipating medieval ambience.

Then we are thrown into title track “Under The Raven Banner” and this is a prime example of what Atorc are capable of delivering. This brings us that anticipated power and Viking metal mix, with harsher growls and vocals, a slight Iron Maiden vibe, from the power of vocalist Helbard. This tells us tales of riding into war, victory and glory bearing the symbolic flag that was historically flown by Viking chieftains and rulers.
Third track ‘The Mead Hall’ is notably catchy… “We drink, we fight, we dance all night”.

This is something the audience would want to join in on during Atorc’s live performances. The track starts off with a mix of tones and it can be hard to keep up until you get to that catchy chorus – then you’re catapulted into wanting to join in on this fun venture, horn of mead in hand, headbanging and swaying to the violins.

My favourite track, in regards to the way it is constructed, is definitely ‘Hammer To Anvil’ – this track see’s everyone‘s skills prominently on display. Boudikath’s keyboards and backing vocals complement Helbard’s very strong vocal features and give a soothing effect along with Huldra on violin. The guitar and bass from Scallywag and BattleBeast with their melodic and heavy riffing are something to behold. Vilir gives us drums that work well with the guitars, both incredibly fast paced with wonderful cymbal work in the melodic parts. This is a beautiful track and I’m looking forward to seeing it live.

Track ‘Ragnarok’ similarly stands out to me – this has more death growls and builds quite a variety of moods as the progresses. This is my favourite track on the whole album.

If you’re in the mood for a bit of power and folk metal, I’d say this album is the one for you. I have seen Atorc perform three times and they are deservedly making a name for themselves for when people suggest a folk metal band to follow.

TRACKLISTING:
1. Hrafnsmerki
2. Under The Raven Banner
3. The Mead Hall
4. Hammer To Anvil
5. Maidens Of The Shield
6. Sovngarde
7. Voice Of The Storm
8. Isle Of The Brave
9. Ragnarök
10. Shieldwall

LINE-UP:
Helbard – Vocals
Scallywag – Guitars
Huldra – Violins
Boudikath – Keyboard and backing vocals
BattleBeast – Bass Guitar
Vilir – Drums

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/AtorcOfficial/

https://www.instagram.com/atorcfolkmetal/
https://atorcofficial.bandcamp.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIxfkWy2qmZ1mpfj2cDHpdg/videos

Promo Pic1

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Sheri Bicheno and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.