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Bloodbound - War Of Dragons Award winner

War Of Dragons
by Anamaria Carla Ionita at 16 March 2017, 12:12 PM

Imagine the speed/power metal from 20 years ago. Imagine machine gun guitars and drums, and, of course, epic chants of victory and fantasy battles. For many of us, that represented our youth, the music we heard as children, teens, young adults, and it's something very rare nowadays - until I heard "War Of Dragons". BLOODBOUND managed to keep that old-school speed/power metal sound and feeling that honestly, I haven't felt in years. The songs were filled with empowering energy that got me all hyped up, reaching for my ornamental great sword to go outside and slay a tree or something. But I'm going a bit out of bounds here… I regress: BLOODBOUND is a Swedish band formed in 2004, mainly playing heavy/power metal and focusing on fantasy/epic themes. "War Of Dragons" is their 7th full album, released at the end of February 2017 and, until now, it seems to be one of the most enjoyable albums I have heard this year.

The guitar riffs are fast paced, but very clean and well-constructed rhythm, combining absolutely perfectly with the (also) fast paced drums, the bass and the very clean and crisp voice of Pata Johansson. As songs that stuck out to me, I must mention "Battle In The Sky",  "Silver Wings" and "Guardians at Heaven's Gate”. The first one starts off with a chant (I may be a sucker for them, but I really think they fit very well in this genre) followed by a very energetic, empowering guitar and drum combo. The song's refrain is another very catchy chorus that's literally filling the listener with energy. I had it on repeat multiple times before continuing to listen to the album, not because I needed, but it was just that enjoyable.

The second song mentioned earlier, "Silver Wings" caught my attention due to its keyboard. Somehow, that flute-like sound, as much unexpected as it was for me in a power/epic metal song, it bonded with the guitars, drums and bass far better than I could have expected, giving a very pleasant experience which will get stuck in the head of the listener. I have found myself playing those notes in my head the next day after listening to the album; it just got stuck in there. For now, it's still there, stuck, coming back when I'm not expecting it. The last mention, "Guardians at Heaven's Gate" has a fast paced, high-pitched guitar start that got me instantly thinking of the guitar riff of IRON MAIDEN's "Wasted Years". It felt to me like the overall fastest paced song on the album, and I tip my hat off to the two guitarists, Tomas Olsson and Henrik Olsson, plus Pelle Åkerlind: guys, holding that speed the whole 3 minutes and 41 seconds… that was IMPRESSIVE!

The songs have the same thematic, and more or less, the same style, with very few variations. Generally I would comment on that, say that it is boring, or something in that general direction. But due to how well it all sounds, and how well constructed the songs sound, I just… cannot. Yes, it is rather linear, but the album is, one way or another, a story continued from one song to the other, and thus, it is an exception. "War Of Dragons" is an album, which will remain in my playlist for a long time, because, as the last song of the album says: "Dragons are forever"!

Power/Speed/Epic fans reading this: try this album, you'll love it!

Songwriting - 8
Originality - 8
Memorability 10
Production - 10

4 Star Rating

1. A New Era Begin
2. Battle in the Sky
3. Tears of a Dragonheart
4. War of Dragons
5. Silver Wings
6. Stand and Fight
7. King of Swords
8. Fallen Heroes
9. Guardians at Heaven's Gate
10. Symphony Satana
11. Starfall
12. Dragons Are Forever
Pelle Åkerlind - Drums
Tomas Olsson - Guitars
Fredrik Bergh - Keyboards, Vocals (additional)
Henrik Olsson - Guitars (rhythm)
Patrik "Pata" Johansson - Vocals
Anders Broman - Bass
Record Label: AFM Records


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Edited 08 December 2022

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