Available: November 21st, 2014
Label: AFM Records
I have always been a fan of power metal but I am also keenly aware that the genre can be filled with bands that sound like they are very one dimensional. This one dimensionalism can be with the drummer doing a constant double bass through the entire song, the singer trying to shatter glass while singing about dragons or the songs just not being catchy or melodic. So to say the least I got kind of burned out on the Euro power metal for some time with a few exceptions.
So we come to Bloodbound’s ‘Stormborn’ which derives a lot of its inspiration from the Game of Thrones fantasy setting by George R.R. Martin. If shit can draw flies then Game of Thrones will draw power metal bands the same way. So it was only a matter of time until the Thrones setting started getting songs written about it. Thankfully for power metal fans the band writing the songs this time around is a very competent and mature sounding BloodBound.
I have listened to BloodBound in the past and found some of their stuff a little hit or
miss. For instance I really liked their song ‘Drop the Bomb’ as I felt it was a strong song that a person could sing along to, it was catchy and just a little poppy while some of their other stuff seemed a little disjointed to my ears. Well I am extremely happy to say with ‘Stormborn’ the band seems to have matured to a level of songwriting to really propel them on to a new level of professionalism in their career. The production on this album sounds very modern but yet also organic enough to lend credibility to the songs. The songwriting has come together where the majority of the songs tell a great story, have a catchy chorus and have big backing chants that you can just tell are meant to be sung along to by a large live crowd. Talent wise just from a musician perspective the vocals of Patrik Johansson are spectacular and can hit both high and mid/low ranges which help add to the atmosphere of the songs and the guitar work from Tomas and Henrik Olsson are exceptional and not over indulgent. Adding to this, you have the keyboards of Fredrik Bergh in some of the songs song’s that help give the listener a gothic or orchestral sound without it sounding over the top.
Overall, ‘Stormborn’ is a very well put together album that does the power metal genre proud and still remains grounded enough as to not sound pompous, self indulgent or over the top so it can appeal to other people outside the genre as well.
See my short interview with Bloodbound from MetalFest Germany 2014 below: