Battleroar - Blood of Legends
Cruz Del Sur Music
Epic Heavy Metal
10 songs (59'46")
Release year: 2014
Battleroar, Cruz Del Sur Music
Reviewed by Alex

At the risk of being accused of being ignorant or even oppositionary to the advice of being critical in my reviews it may seem that I have been doing the opposite lately. But what can I do when I'm on the roll of solid releases as of late, which manifests itself in a string of enthusiastic reviews and high scores?

With the Greeks Battleroar I did feel that I have slightly shortchanged their previous album To Death and Beyond. This is the price we pay when you have to deliver a review not eons after the release saw the light of day, but relatively soon after it is out. And the feeling that I should have scored To Death and Beyond higher has only been reinforced when the absolutely fantastic Blood of Legends has not been leaving my player. It took them six years between the albums and a partially revamped lineup, but Battleroar one more time proved they know what epic heavy metal means.

Maybe the sound system in my new car (my main listening media) is better than in the old one, but it seems to me that the band has newfound pride, confidence and hunger with Blood of Legends. It is this attitude, plus improved sound quality, which lets Battleroar drop numbers like teeth shattering The Swords Are Drawn or Chivalry (Noble Armor), the latter with a more memorable hook, all roaming across the landscape of rolling double bass. It isn't the faster songs, however, that set Battleroar further apart from the field. The mood setting intro Stormgiven with its flamenco style acoustic guitars introduces a violin much more prominent than on To Death and Beyond, and then the composition fades into the faraway lands of yore, the place where Blood of Legends will take you traveling. The first epic full song is Poisoned Well where violin is now on full display detracting nothing from the overall slowly unfolding masculinity. The "warriors, warriors" refrain reminds of Savatage from Power of the Night, but that comparison is more a mind responding to a familiar set of lyrics from my childhood than anything else. To understand what epic heavy metal is one need to listen to the opening riff of Immortal Chariot, to how album central Valkyries Above and the first part of symphonic Exile Eterenal mesmerize, cajole and rock at the same time. Background choirs with some female presence are practically orgasmic on Valkyries Above and Exile Eternal and it is so wonderful to hear that Battleroar violinist, Alex Papadiamantis, is as much into metal as the rest of the band, given the evidence of the Exile Eternal grand instrumental second half.

New vocalist Gerrit Mutz’s vocals are tailor made for this music. He has clean power in his voice that lets you forgive the over the top cheese of Immortal Chariot text, and he even goes for his most wretched, almost deathly, voice on Chivalry (Noble Armor). The other time he does it is in The Curse of Medea, the song which goes from sirtaki to the heaviest, most dragging, pained and tortured melody of the album.

A sizeable improvement over what was not too shabby effort from a while back, Blood of Legends is destined for extended and repeated airplay.

Killing Songs :
Poisoned Well, Blood of Legends, Valkyries Above, Exile Eternal
Alex quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Battleroar that we have reviewed:
Battleroar - Codex Epicus reviewed by Alex and quoted 85 / 100
Battleroar - To Death and Beyond ... reviewed by Alex and quoted 78 / 100
Battleroar - Age of Chaos reviewed by Mike and quoted 69 / 100
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