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Bloodbound - Rise of the Dragon Empire

Bloodbound
Rise of the Dragon Empire
by Jean-François ‘’Jackal’’ Poulin at 15 March 2019, 1:47 AM

I may or may not be a spoiled Power Metal fan. Let's face it I was bombarded by bands and albums in the mid to late nineties. I might not have been the biggest Power Metal fan back them (my older brother was). I discovered so many bands back then and as a Metal fan since 1993, I was not keen on the style and it took me a number of years to truly appreciate some of the bands (lets be honest, not all bands are good). I may have been out of the loop a bit in the last few years in the genre. I have broadened my horizons so to speak and I do listen occasionally to some Power Metal and I do crank my stereo sometimes while listening to some of the classics I grew up with. So that may be one of the reasons why I tend not to be impressed with what is out there nowadays. Like I said, I may have been too spoiled for my own good. Well in this case, I was really surprised by the quality of the material and the musicians at hand.

BLOODBOUND have been at it since 2004 and have consistently come up with albums at almost each two years. They had a lot of lineup changes in the first decade of their existence with a number of different vocalists but now I think they are much more stable group right now. The dragons are back! They released ‘’War of the Dragons’’ in 2017 and now they are back with a vengeance with ‘’Rise of the Dragon Emperor’’. Continuing on their path to Power Metal greatness, they outdid themselves. When they added Daniel Sjogren, I think it may have forged their permanent sound, he used to be the live drummer of SABATON and you can definitely hear a bit of that band in many songs on this album.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Well, that’s the case here. They are not reinventing the wheel, what they are doing is continuing to progress as musicians and their albums are getting better and better. I am going to dive deep in their back catalog as soon as time permits me that’s for sure. This is the first Power Metal album to knock me off my feet since the first two GLORYHAMMER albums in the last few years. There is no bad song on this album, everything has its unique feel. Yes you can see the influences from bands like HAMMERFALL, STRATOVARIUS, RHAPSODY and whatnot but they bring it up a notch. The singer is on point, one hell of a range, actually reminds me of the aforementioned singer of GLORYHAMMER. He can belt it out and you can hear the lyrics crystal clear.

The album goes swiftly, I think I listened to the album like 4 times in one day because it’s that good. It had been almost of lifetime since I listened to something this good in a genre that has had its fair share of ups and downs. If they come here to Montreal, I will definitely check them out. They are the next big thing in Power Metal bar none.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Rise of the Dragon Empire
2. Slayer of Kings
3. Skyriders and Stormbringers
4. Magical Eye
5. Blackwater Bay
6. Giants of Heaven
7. The Warlock’s Trail
8. A Blessing in Sorcery
9. Breaking the Beast
10. Balerion
11. Reign of Fire
Lineup:
Patrik J. Selleby – Vocals
Fredrik Bergh – Bass and Keyboards
Daniel Sjogren – Drums
Tomas Olsson – Guitars
Henrik Olsson – Guitars
Record Label: AFM Records
     


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Edited 20 July 2019
 

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