|Review: Heathen Foray - Armored Bards|
Label: Black Bards Entertainment
Year released: 2010
Review online: December 2, 2010
Reviewed by: Adam McAuley
Rated 4/5 (80%) (15 Votes)
This band is interesting in that it blends different styles together effectively, yet manages to maintain a distinctive flavour of their own. There are definitely tinges of folk-influenced metal similar to a band like Korpiklaani, but one can also hear melodic death metal and hints of power metal as well. The good thing is that they never let the downsides of any of these genres weigh them down. For example, while the album is very melodic, it doesn't contain the cheesiness that deters from many power metal bands.
Like melodic death act Amon Amarth, there is an epic style that gives the outfit added charisma. This is also part of the reason the band is labeled as Viking metal as well. There is a certain passion to this type of performance that is noticeable from the outset and elevates Heathen Foray into higher territories. The song "Ascension" is an interesting one that has strong folk tendencies and a lot of acoustic guitar strumming. It has as much energy as any other one on the work. Vocally, there is a lower-pitched growl present that again reminds of Amon Amarth and suits the music quite well. However, it is often the instrumental sections that overshadow the singing. The melody the band is able to construe is forefront in the mix.
On the whole, Armored Bards is an excellent melodic metal work that has folk and Viking influences. The album is upbeat and almost too much so at times. However, there is enough of a charming quality to keep the listener coming back for more. Both melodic death metal and folk fans in particular should find something to appreciate on this solid album.
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