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Stormtide - A Throne Of Hollow Fire Award winner

A Throne Of Hollow Fire
by Craig Rider at 05 May 2021, 3:24 PM

Metal maniacs, rejoice! I am proud to present to you: STORMTIDE; signed via Metal Hell Records, performing Symphonic Folk/Death Metal - on their sophomore album entitled: "A Throne Of Hollow Fire" (released March 1st, 2021).

Since formation in 2013; the quartet in question have an EP entitled: "A Skalds Tale" (released on October 22nd, 2013), 2 Singles entitled: "As Two Worlds Collide" (released November 14th, 2014) & "She Who Would Name The Stars" (released August 26th, 2020). Along with 2 Full-Length Albums entitled: "Wrath Of An Empire" (released August 1st, 2016), and this here 2nd album entitled: "A Throne Of Hollow Fire". 10 tracks ranging at around 39:55; STORMTIDE arranges an intricately designed formula on some heavy-hitting Symphonic Folk/Death Metal amalgamations.

Opening up with an eerily haunting passage within "A Valley Of Ashes"; an instrumental folk hymn intrudes on symphonic medley. Until this rampantly rompy kick in boisterously bouncy chunkiness implodes with vigorous slams within the titular track, trailblazing thunder steamrolls with the majestic virtuose of systematic folk elements, culminating an extreme overdose on rumbling reverberation and Death Metal mergers. You might be imagining, such a bizarre concoction… you would think right, yet surprisingly, they work very well together. Harmonic experimentation hybridly grinds along with the quintessential pandemonium profusely, where sturdy thuds clobber an intensely hefty foundation in borderline enthusiasm as wildly rushing synergies revel with weighty tightness & momentous yet striking complexity.

Consisting of Reuben Stone on vocals; the frontman excels at a guttural grandeur, growling with throaty raspiness and harrowing barks, while bellowing with berserking roars that scour with meaty pursuits. "Awakening" articulates with uniquely versatile vehemence on progressively technical synthetics, the organic substance on zealous firepower and inventively crafted finesse oscillates with killer laceration from guitar duo Tyson Richens & Daniel Bodnarr. Both inject an infectiously drilling chisel on rapidly swift nimbleness, densely dextrous dynamics & thumpy stompiness especially from hammering drummer Dean Hulett who rambunctiously piledrives with rigorously volatile tempos that bulldoze into a belting frenzy. Especially in "Crucible" where the triggering mayhem slays with sulfurous divinity, executing a wondrous slab of solid punchiness with salubriously jumpy diligence in detailed flexibilities.

"She Who Would Not Name The Stars" fundamentally surges with razor-sharp songwriting musicianship, as catchy but deadly crescendos pummel you with full force impact while maintaining those mountainous yet towering melodies that stomp with steely precision & operatic outbursts that showcase vibrantly potent snappiness. Distilling a fluidly polished sound production to boot, as blasphemous remedies unleash with meticulous maelstrom proficiencies where this painstakingly vast resonance of pianos, violins & tremolo pickings pierce you with mesmerising entrance. "One Last Pint (At The Duck)" is a typical Viking party song, where crunchy choppiness harnesses captivating but victorious ramifications of a prompt vibe with distinctively distinguished vibrato patterns while this prodigious yet prestigious mood furnaces high-octane expertise. It's almost as if AMON AMARTH & KORPILANNI had a twin, where STORMTIDE are exactly intertwined with that ideology.

"He Who Would Drown The Sun'' repels with radically wicked tendencies where spellbinding cinematics converge with the monolithic yet mellifluously ponderous orchestrations until massive tribulations upheaves with sublime & sinister glory in divine harvest - godlike benevolence fuses intertwining havoc as chaotic but elegantly intriguing musicalities transfix you with the monumental transparencies that STORMTIDE superbly provide you with. Tempestuously skyrocketing conundrums in "Wayfinders'' also begins with this lively acoustic, until more bashfully crushing banishments ferociously bangs with wondrous velocity while this sporadic spectrum wrathfully grovels an interdimensional shift with the swerving maelstrom of mellow variety that is immensely sophisticated while adventurously ambitious also - a strong performance throughout the record with no doubt in mind.

The penultimate track "Eternal Fire" fabricates drum cymbal revs that smack you with unrelenting grooves, as brilliant bindings of outrè panache whirls an expeditious ether of transitional hooks and grippingly feverish persistency prominently perseveres with maximum potential. Overall concluding "A Throne Of Hollow Fire" with the finale epic: "A Warship Braved The Tempest"; which spellbinds you with soundscapes of wind, rain and an elegantly upbeat violins that plays with trumpets, flutes and more vivacious prowess; I am compelled to say that STORMTIDE most surely outdone themselves with this one, an indefinitely and brilliantly crafted attribute of two merged formulaics have excellently collided an enriching yet radiant symbiosis of these sub-genres in place - the band certainly perfected this joint with solid integrity.

Bottom line; I enjoyed an exciting discovery that had me replaying this one a few handful of times. Worthy of spinning! As STORMTIDE most surely knew what they were conjuring up with this effort. Nicely played, lads! Give it a go if you fancy something out of the ordinary yet outlandishly strong. An experience that needs to be checked out for sure!

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

5 Star Rating

1. A Valley of Ashes
2. A Throne of Hollow Fire
3. Awakening
4. Crucible
5. She Who Would Name the Stars
6. One Last Pint (at the Duck)
7. He Who Would Drown the Sun
8. Wayfinders
9. Eternal Fire
10. A Warship Braved the Tempest
Tyson Richens  - Guitars
Reuben Stone - Vocals
Dean Hulett - Drums
Daniel Bodnarr - Guitars/Vocals (Backing)
Record Label: Metal Hell Records


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