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Solitary Sabred - By Fire and Brimstone Award winner

Solitary Sabred
By Fire and Brimstone
by Emily Schneider at 17 March 2020, 10:06 PM

Hailing from the beautiful Mediterranean island of Cyprus comes SOLITARY SABRED. This group of sword and sorcery loving lads create Epic Power Metal and man, it most certainly shreds. The band initially began in 2000, but did not release a full studio album until 2009. They released their second album in 2014, which leads us to their 3rd epic release “By Fire and Brimstone”. The album is a blend of OMEN and SANCTUARY, just add some bloodstained fantasy writing and a dash of excellent drama to top it all off. After hearing this album, I cannot say any modern day band tells a story through shred and theatrics like these guys do.

Servants of the Elder Gods” begins massively with dramatic layered vocals first thing, followed by some stellar riffs. The vocals surprised the hell out of me, Petros' high notes are absolutely killer. The solo in this song is excellent too, very melodic. There's this veil of evil that looms around you as you listen… or maybe it's the strong KING DIAMOND influence flowing through the veins of this song. What a great opening track! “Assassins of Carthage” had me gesturing along with the catchy melody of the chorus, not to mention those chuggy riffs had me banging my head a bit. “Disillusions” has an awesome creepy vibe to it. The riffs have a menacing bite, the vocals are chilling. Not to mention, the drum tempo begins as a dead man walking sort of pace and builds up in this dramatic fashion that I admittedly loved enough to listen to this song twice in a row on my first listen through. I love how the feeling of danger bubbles up in this track, like a witch's brew in a cauldron. What a bad-ass song!

Invoking the Master” continues with the dangerous evil sound. The riffs are chuggy, the pacing is similar to a racing heartbeat, plus those banshee like high notes set a hellish scene. “The Scarlet Citadel” opens with a low and groovy bass line. The guitar riffs echo it before those maddened vocals chime in to begin the tale of the Barbarian King. The solos in this one are fantastic, I love the whimsical melodies a lot. You can imagine the citadel, a merciless ruler, and sense the urgency to escape such a fortress not just from the lyrics but within every element of the song. This song leads into the next one, “Fyres of Koth”.  This song changes to the point of view of the king. The amount of wrath that oozes from this song is unsettling, in a positive way. This king is pissed and paranoid, hellbent for revenge on anyone who dares to oppose him. The guitars express this tyrant's rage with frantic, flame-like melodic tones. “Psionic Transmogrification” has yet another stellar and catchy melodic riff that I couldn't help but to bang my head to. There's some dark magic happening in this song, you can imagine a robed figure lighting candles and taking a sacrifice with the eerie yet still fantasy-like quality of the song. The vocals have a strong WARREL DANE quality, especially in this track. “IX” creates a scene of a village and a fortune teller luring in a person to lead into the closing track “Blestem”. There's a gorgeous short solo to start it all off. Then, the fortune teller proceeds to lead their unknowing victim into the scene. The lyrics literally describe the room to the listener, which I enjoyed. This song once again, nails that feeling of foreboding as the song progresses. The pace builds and builds and you're enraptured in this twisted scenario, feeling as trapped as the villager lured into the 'fortune teller with really bad intentions' hut. I loved this closing track, just as much as I loved the first one.

Truth be told, this album is everything I love when it comes to Power Metal. There's storytelling, melodic riffs and solos, soaring vocals, and a cool fantasy theme is a big plus. SOLITARY SABRED does an incredible job with storytelling, I was captivated basically the entire album.  They not only wrote a story for every song, but they truly told those stories. You could feel the evil build and whirl around the characters they made, you could feel the fear they caused, the power they contained. Yet, it didn't feel doom and gloom. A whimsical side always loomed within the melodies, making it feel like you're being told dark fairy tales around a warm campfire. I also have to mention that the amount of technicality from every member of the band was impressive. There are so many cool little details they play that truly bring the songs to life. Plus, these songs have some bad-ass riffs that you simply cannot sit through without bobbing your head along.  What a killer Heavy Metal album!

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

1. Servants of the Elder Gods
2. Assassins of Carthage
3. Disillusions
4. Invoking the Master
5. The Scarlet Citadel (Chronicles of the Barbarian King pt.I)
6. Fyres of Koth (Chronicles of the Barbarian King pt.II)
7. Psionic Transmogrification
8. IX
9. Blestem
Petros "Asgardlord" Leptos - Invocations (Vocals)
Demetris "Spartacus" Demetriou - Six string of Aquilonia (Guitars)
Nikolas "Sprits" Moutafis - Six string of the Elder Gods (Guitars)
George "Stainlesz" Papaioannou - Bassionic Transmogrification (Bass)
Fotis Mountouris - Drum Defilement (Drums)
Record Label: No Remorse


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Edited 06 April 2020

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