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Tales of the Old - The Book of Chaos Award winner

Tales of the Old
The Book of Chaos
by Kevin Lewis at 11 October 2021, 2:43 PM

TALES OF THE OLD is a Greek symphonic/power metal band founded in 2010. For the longest time, this was more of a work in progress, until now. The debut album, The Book of Chaos, is finally here! Released September 17, 2021, via Pride & Joy Records, this is 11 tracks of dynamic music. With clean and harsh vocals, classic power metal instrumentation and a lot of technical proficiency, there is a lot to hear on this record.

The record opens with “Heavens in War,” a keyboard heavy song that begins with clean male vocals and some nice choir vocal arrangements scattered into the mix. The guitars are heavy, and the rhythm matches it in power and intensity. The clean vocals go from gritty lower end to soaring belts with effortless grace. We also hear some fry vocals towards the end, mixed in with rapid fire drumming to finish really strong.

For something a little different, we move to “Dark Witch.” This song starts with a piano and some ominous vocals. The rain and thunder give the song a sense of foreboding and anticipation. The guitars kick in and the vocals get rough quick. The pace of all of these shifts and changes is pretty fast, giving an almost whiplash effect. The choir adds a lot of depth to the vocals again, coming in and out often and really building up the overall sound.

Let Your Hatred Be” starts like a ballad, gentle guitars, and piano. It quickly shifts to the power metal style again. The drums here are pretty intriguing. They stand out front more for the first verse. The guitar does take over, but the drums playing such a large role in this song gives a more epic feel to the size of the song. The layered female vocals halfway through create a new feel for the music. It feels like a different chapter of the story.

At the halfway point of the record, we have a quick instrumental, “Tortured Souls.” Church bells, evil spoken words, wolf howls and dark, moody tones all make this feel like the record is about to get more malevolent.

The next song we get is the title track, “The Book Of Chaos.” The song is a mid-tempo rocker with a much more melodic tones for the most part. There is, however, a really tasty guitar section that gives this a rough edge. Just past the midpoint, the guitars hit a tone that really propels the song into a heavier tone. That section offsets the lighter, airy intro and outro. I really like that shift.

Broken Heart” is an almost sludgy song. It is slower and very deliberate at the onset. There is another shift to a more moderate tempo after the intro. The addition of strings and percussion are a nice touch. The record wraps with “The First Exorcism,” a fast song with blazing guitars and killer harsh vocals, mixed with clean vocals and more choir parts. The rhythm is rapid-fire and fun to try to keep up with.

This is a Symphonic, Power Metal album, and as such, it also has a few progressive metal areas. These are executed well. The compositions are intricate, but easy enough to follow that you don’t feel like you are being left behind or need to repeat sections over and over just to hear it properly. The technical proficiency of the musicians is on full display and should be appreciated fully.

This is very impressive for a debut album. It’s pretty obvious the composer took their time and really made sure the record flows from start to finish. One song leads to another and doesn’t try to shock the listener or throw them for a loop. The tempo is logical and well planned. Overall, this is a record worth adding to your collection.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  8
Production:  9


4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Heavens in War
2. Fallen Angels
3. Beware
4. Dark Witch
5. Let Your Hatred Be
6. Tortured Souls (Instrumental)
7. The Book of Chaos
8. Broken Heart
9. The Invocation
10. The First Exorcism
Lineup:
Michael Tzanakis – Vocals (scream)/Keyboards
Guest Musicians:
Bob Katsionis – Guitars
Spectre – Drums
Shadow – Bass
Guest Vocalists:
Sakis Tolis
Fabio Lione
Fotis Benardo
Alexandros Louziotis
Christina Alexiou
Androniki Skoula
Classical Choir: Christina Alexiou, Sofia Karvouna, Margarita Papadimitriou, Antonis Dimou, Alexandros Louziotis, Romanos Papadimitriou
Record Label: Pride and Joy Records
     


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