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Brothers of Metal – Emblas Saga

Brothers of Metal
Emblas Saga
by "Der Bärtige Mann" Gareth Beams at 11 December 2019, 12:34 AM

Power Metal, Norse Mythology loving 8-Piece Brothers of Metal have returned. They released "Prophecy of Ragnarök" in 2017. The single "Njord" was released earlier this year. As you can see, the titles are all related to Norse Mythology. So you’re into Norse Mytholgy, or you’re a fan of Marvel’s Thor you may recognize some of the titles.  Hel being the Goddess of the Underworld being the most well-known one I’d imagine. Instead of a History lesson, let us get into the album

Powersnake” starts as if it is going to build up some Melo Death epic intro, it does not, it reaches a level, vocals kick in and then the melody starts to build. This song is a lot slower than I was expecting. The three vocals work together in separate sections, but the song does not kick into gear, so the three vocals build a slower, but controlled harmony. The song makes it feel like the album could be a slow burner, it flirts with the idea of a few guitar sections that could have gone in any direction to create an immense melody, and they just do not explode. “Hel” begins faster, a buildup running nicely for just under a minute. Vocals from Ylva are the first we hear, and the tempo is slow again, feeling more like the sound they are going for is Symphonic Metal, its slow, controlled but leaves you wanting the song to do more. There is not enough instrumental buildup for the song to express anything. Very few sections of the song go into higher gears. The song is not a bad song, its fine, but that is just it, it is nothing more than fine. The song itself will not build up much of an atmosphere or anticipation.

Chain Breaker” seems to have a new spurt of energy shot into it, could kick the album into the gears we have been expecting. The beat is decent, but the technical guitar play is not at the levels expected, the guitars just tease their potential. The song feels like something you would hear on an animated Thor film to build up a baddie. The aggression that "Prophecy of Ragnarök" had is not on show to at least this point in the album, and is sorely missing. “Kaunaz Dagaz” really is going down the Symphonic roots from Ylva, vocally. Its another song that you feel could let itself go and explode into Melo Death levels we expect. As a Power Metal band, it works well enough, but it’s still a bit too mellow for the tempo to kick in and take it new places.  It’s the same feel to the album, the songs are fine, but you may think they should be spending more attention to the instrumental sides of things, to develop that sound and allow a change or two, to mix it up.

Theft of the Hammer” is a story about Mjölnir, songs about the hammer of Thor are usually epic. This seems alright as story being told, but because of that the song stays calm and within its balance. It does not seem like the wrath of the Thunder God is on display where it should be. This would have been a song to either bring in a guest vocal to read as Thor, the vocal mix is alright, but still feels like a story within a melody, so may not be taken seriously. “Weaver of Fate” is more of an acoustic song, which we do get in Folk Metal often enough, the only issue is the clear lack of volume on instrumentalists. The melody is fine, and when the instrumentalists are allowed to have the solo sections, it works nicely. Vocals build up the melody within a balance that never seems like it will take off, does this show full control or a lack of daring? You can decide.

Njord” has a Folk style intro, which has not been heard this far, a good addition. There is even a slight increase on the aggression of vocals to start. This is more like what was expected, slightly toned down from previous releases, but increased on this album. The song feels like there could be more emphasis on the instrumental side to create a better atmospheric presence, because when the instrumentalists are left to pump it up, it works. “Emblas Saga” is more of a spoken word start, for the first minute the buildup is gentle and spoken. There is, unfortunately, not exploding kick into gear. The balance is altered slightly, but stays within in the lines. The song doesn’t go any further until the final third. In the final thirds the Power Metal sound more like a fantasy battle, which works well, and takes the song into good levels of energy to finish in style.

Brothers Unite” has a more Power Metal feel, even if it is slightly watered down. The tempo isn’t as slow as we’ve heard, but it doesn’t seem to want to kick through the gears and become anything we’ve not heard to this point in the album. "One” is unfortunately not a Power Metal cover of METALLICA’s classic. The song is no really different to the overall feel of the album, which is both good and bad. Good because too much change can distort the feel of an album. Bad because there is no real change to mix things up

Ride of the Valkyries” begins in the manor that most on here do, the instrumentalists are drowned out by the vocals, which are not aggressive or pushy, but louder. The melody is building up to mellow beat. The sad part of this song is it could be any one the songs on this album, there is nothing different. Again, there is nothing wrong with this song, it just leaves you wanting more to have happened. “To The Skies and Beyond”, final song. The tempo is slower than most other songs on the album. There is catchy enough beat to the song, but there is the lack of energy mentioned in songs before. You can tell this slowing down the overall feel to close

This is an album I was expecting so much more after arriving late to listening to "Prophecy of Ragnarök". The difference in the two albums is clear to see. I was expecting certain levels that were just not hit and now BROTHERS OF METAL seem more like a mix of LORDI and WITHIN TEMPTATION, which aren’t bad bands, they could however have gone down the AMON AMARTH or TÝR route, which would have suited me more as a fan, but I know it's not everyone’s taste. Not a bad album, nothing wrong with it, but did not do enough for me personally.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Brood of the Trickster (Intro)
2. Powersnake
3. Hel
4. Chain Breaker
5. Kaunaz Dagaz
6. Theft of the Hammer
7. Weaver of Fate
8. Njord (Njörðr)
9. Emblas Saga
10. Brothers Unite
11. One
12. Ride of the Valkyries
13. To the Skies and Beyond
Lineup:
Ylva Eriksson –Vocals
Joakim Lindbäck Eriksson – Vocals
Mats Nilsson – Vocals
Emil Wärmedal – Bass Guitar
Pähr Nilsson – Guitars
Mikael Fehrm – Guitars
Dawid Grahn – Guitars
Johan Johansson – Drums 
Record Label: AFM Records
     


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Edited 26 February 2020
 

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