|Review: Isengard (Sweden) - Crownless Majesty|
Label: Hemisphere Entertainment
Year released: 2001
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: December 17, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 2.33/5 (46.67%) (3 Votes)
Well, this album has a cool cover, and starts off strongly, but doesn't manage to quite deliver. This is the third full-length for this Swedish Power Metal band, who are no relation to Fenriz' side-project at all, lest it needs to be said.
Isengard play Power Metal that really borrows a lot from Blind Guardian or Rhapsody, with a lot of atmospheric bits and a real attempt at an epic feel. Things start off pretty well with the speedy Domine-esque opener "Dreamland", which is pretty generic but has a lot of energy and a catchy chorus. The next song "Coming Home" has a slower groove and some good riffs. Musically Isengard do better when they play slower, but their singer does better with fast songs, so it's a trade-off. There are some other good tunes here, like "Stormcrow", "Winds Of War", and "Poltava", but also too much filler, like pretty much every other song I haven't already mentioned. At no point do Isengard become annoying, or actually bad, but very little about this disc really grabs your attention. It isn't that heavy, it isn't that catchy, and it doesn't manage to be very 'epic' either.
This is a decent Power Metal album, but it is very derivative of better bands, and I can't really recommend it that highly. If this is the best they can do after three albums, then they probably aren't going to blow our doors off with their next one (if they ever release another one, as this came out in 2001.) They do get credit for being, I think, the first metal band to use an oboe, but that alone cannot lift this album above the Power Metal sea.
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