Battleroar - Codex Epicus
Cruz Del Sur Music
Epic Metal
9 songs (54'53")
Release year: 2018
Battleroar, Cruz Del Sur Music
Reviewed by Alex

Greeks Battleroar, or more precisely their main songwriter Kostas Tzortzis, tend to take long between their albums, but they use the time well. Some bands try calling themselves epic and can commission the most Conan-like looking cover art, but others just have epic in their blood. Battleroar belongs to the latter group. Ages seem to have flown since I first heard To Death and Beyond, but if you haven’t experienced The Wrathforge of Finis Mundi, you are missing some of the best epic metal there is. Since 2008 To Death and Beyond Battleroar have become more mature and staid, as well as probably more symphonic and well produced on Blood of Legends, but the trajectory has always been up. Codex Epicus does not bring the edginess or grit back, and lowers the violin profile heard in Blood of Legends significantly, but it still wins with its musclewound riffs and rousing melodies.

It is my opinion that faster parts of Codex Epicus could use more in your face flair, like the opening part of We Shall Conquer or the more brutal Kings of Old. Palace of the Martyrs is caustic and battle hardened as well, but Battleroar wins their keep again not with the fastest and tightest tracks, but when they start swaying along with the rhythms, and add mystical, mysterious and native aura to their sound. Heroic close of We Shall Conquer, harmonic vibrating stirring story of Chronicles of Might completely mesmerize. Culmination chorus and killer hooks of Chronicles of Might, as well as the organically woven guitar solo is something that on one hand sounds familiar, yet you are prepared to listen to it over and over again. In Codex Epicus Battleroar are also not afraid to declare their origins. The rising The Doom of Medusa is an absolute epic Greek tragedy, as well as a sad melody and harmonized chorus of Enchanting Threnody, the song made even better with the oboe/clarinet/native wind instrument opening. I could hear some Rotting Christ overtones (without any black metal) on Codex Epicus, and often used female backing vocals are invoking images of old Spartans sent off to war, The Doom of Medusa being not unlike Aealo to some extent.

Most of the vocals are still handled by Gerrit Mutz, and his voice is still a perfect fit for Battleroar. Not superhigh or very rough, Gerrit has the perfect amount of stoutness and emotion in his voice, and on Enchanting Threnody he even sounds a little like A.A. Nemtheanga (highest compliment). The choice of spoken vocals on The Doom of Medusa is somewhat questionable, as I thought that story could totally benefit from something a lot more intoned. On Sword of the Flame Mark Shelton of Manilla Road guests, and it is a totally different kind of song, and dark acoustic brooder, well into the track, until eventually some staccato riffs take over. I have nothing against Mark Shelton, or Sword of the Flame itself, just thought that placing this song so high into the playing order was a little off. Chronicles of Might would have been a fantastic opener (after Awakening the Muse intro), or a follower to We Shall Conquer.

To all the fans, Battleroar still got it, even if Codex Epicus has less bravery than To Death and Beyond or is less ornate than Blood of Legends.

Killing Songs :
We Shall Conquer, Chronicles of Might, The Doom of Medusa, Enchanting Threnody
Alex quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Battleroar that we have reviewed:
Battleroar - Blood of Legends reviewed by Alex and quoted 88 / 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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