Battlelore - ...Where the Shadows Lie
This band, like label-mates Summoning, must be loving the whole J.R.R. Tolkien revival going on right now. With the release of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings trilogy has never seen so much popularity with the mainstream public. Like Summoning, Battlelore derives all of their lyrics from Tolkien’s books and related literature surrounding Middle Earth (such as Dungeons & Dragons, which was totally based on Tolkien’s world - they just never openly admitted it). Lyrically, a lot of this reads like a glorified round of Dungeons & Dragons mixed with LoTR buzzwords like “Mithril” or “Khazad-dum.” It isn’t bad, just a bit on the hokey side. Unlike Summoning, however, these folks have opted for a more Classically-oriented (more strings, less atmosphere and bombast) symphonic style that reminds me of bands like Cradle of Filth or Dimmu Borgir at times, and Therion at others. Structurally, it also employs plenty of Classical/Operatic musical elements that make this more than just a Mystic Cradle of Dimmu Borgir clone band. Some of the riffs and structures are a bit jarring at times but on the whole, this is a pretty good stab at something that only Therion and Haggard have really pulled off to any major degree of success. This is their first album that I’m aware of, so if this is a sign of what is to come from Battlelore, I’ll be waiting for them with my sword belted at my side, my chainmail shirt on and my shield slung across my back for another romp across Middle Earth.
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