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Battlelore - The Last Alliance (CD)

Battlelore
The Last Alliance
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 19 October 2008, 1:24 PM

My first encounter with BATTLELORE was with their fourth Evernight released in the early 2007 under the success of the epic movie trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien masterpiece. That album did not say much to me since I thought that it offered absolutely nothing new while the term Epic Fantasy Metal sounded almost funny.
An unfortunate twist of events brought the band's fifth album in my desk with  a knignt on the cover and the pompous title The Last Alliance. The band continues the tradition with Tolkien inspired lyrics that describe the green fields of Middle Earth and the battlefields towards the the gates of Moria.
The musical identity of the album offers nothing new since it follows the musical path carved with Evernight. The vocals follow the trademark clean over brutal pattern with Kaisa Jouhki on the first and Tomi Mykkanen on the second side. Although the male growling vocals can be characterized as predictable Kaisa really shines with her ethereal and warm voice voice. The music is wrapped around this vocal dual with atmospheric keyboard tunes, folk sound and down tuned distorted guitars. I think that his time BATTLELORE were focused on creating the fantasy atmosphere to support the narration of the Middle Earth stories taking a step farther away from the Heavy Metal territory. Songs like Third Immortal, Daughter Of The Sun or Awakening fall in the aforementioned category and just prove my saying. I can find some influences from the late THERION works especially when the male vocals choose the  clean and obviously mellow profile. The guitars often play a supporting role leaving more space that is filled with minor orchestrations and more keyboards.
The success of this album has to do with the fact that it can dress some of the Tolkien's stories and this is what the fans of BATTLELORE seek for. In a personal level this album did not change my opinion about this band; I think BATTLELORE create soundtrack-like albums comprising songs that cannot stand on their own. So, proceed only if you are a fan of this music genre that is described as Epic Fantasy Metal and games like War Of Warcraft and Lineage are in your daily routine.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Third Immortal
Guardians
The Great Gathering
Voice Of The Fallen
Exile The Daystar
Daughter Of The Sun
Green Dragon
Awakening
Epic Dreams
Moontower
The Star Of High Hope
Lineup:
Kaisa Jouhki - Vocals
Tomi Mykkanen - Vocals
Jussi Rautio - Guitars
Jyri Vahvanen - Guitars
Timo Honkanen - Bass
Henri Vahvanen - Drums
Maria - Keyboards
Record Label: Napalm Records
     


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