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Bloodbound – Creatures Of The Dark Realm

Creatures Of The Dark Realm
by Mike McMahan at 03 August 2021, 9:17 PM

“Creatures Of The Dark Realm” is the ninth studio offering from Sweden’s BLOODBOUND, and the follow up to 2019’s “Rise Of The Dragon Empire”. The band centers around the writing of keyboardist Fredrik Bergh, guitarist Tomas Olsson and vocalist Patrik Selleby, and they create an almost orchestral or symphonic style Power Metal, not unlike that of Finnish brethren NIGHTWISH, without the pristine female vocal stylings of a Floor Jansen or Tarja Turunen to lean on. The songs here are powerful, never lacking in dark imagery and a thundering tempo, and the band creates an intense forty-five minute odyssey, albeit a somewhat repetitive one in spots. I have not yet gone back to listen to some of the past works of the band, but fully intend to, solely based on the severe amount of musicianship found on this release. The guys can play. Well.

This album opens with the beautiful acoustic guitar and keyboard lead in called “The Creature’s Preludium” which soon gives way to the title cut, “Creatures Of The Dark Realm”. The song wastes little time in showing the band’s hand, with its powerful vocal and shining tradeoff between guitar and keyboard passages. The track works on a lot of levels, with multi layered harmony vocals and heavy keys presence through its duration. “When Fate Is Calling” follows nicely, with an almost…ALMOST…AOR feel about it. Again, as I would discover through the remainder of the record, the musicianship involved is superb here.

The complaint I would have on this release is simply that some of the songs seem to run together, at times very little distinguishing one from another, and there seem to be moments when drummer Daniel Sjogren wants to play four hundred beats where twenty would suffice. This was especially distracting for me on the cuts “Ever Burning Flame” and “Death Will Lead The Way”. I understand wanting to showcase a virtuosic talent, but it should NEVER come at the expense of the song. All told, this is a very worthwhile endeavor, bordering on brilliance but held back by some of the band’s own talent.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. The Creatures Preludium
2. Creatures Of The Dark Realm
3. When Fate Is Calling
4. Ever Burning Flame
5. Eyes Come Alive
6. Death Will Lead The Way
7. Gathering Of Souls
8. Kill Or Be Killed
9. The Gargoyles Gate
10. March Into War
11. Face Of Evil
12. The Wicked And The Weak
Patrik J. Selleby – Vocals
Tomas Olsson – Guitars
Henrik Olsson – Guitars
Anders Broman – Bass
Fredrik Bergh – Keyboards
Daniel Sjogren – Drums
Record Label: AFM Records


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