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Review: The Ring - Tales From Midgard
The Ring
www.thering.se
Tales From Midgard

Label: Scarlet Records
Year released: 2004
Duration: 62:20
Tracks: 10
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: February 6, 2011
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers Rating
for:
Tales From Midgard

Rated 3.43/5 (68.57%) (7 Votes)
Review


There are so many bands using Tolkien literature to pepper their lyrics, and while some aren't as blatant as others, Swedish trio The Ring wear that influence on their sleeves, just in case you wondered what an album called Tales From Midgard might have otherwise contained. The first of a supposed trilogy (this has been the only one to surface), the debut release from semi-famous names like Pontus Norgren, Marcus Jidell, and most notably Jakob Samuel (from Midnight Sun and recently The Poodles) is not a double-kicking speed attack, but rather a plodding mid-paced affair. It's Power Metal to the core, with plenty of powerfully high vocals, epic melodies, guitar harmonies and flourishing keys, but it sounds more macho, with a heavy guitar tone and some vocal lines that wouldn't be out of place on a Majesty album. There's a general Manowar-meets-Blind Guardian feel to tracks like "In The Beginning" and "Signs By The Silver Stream", whereas others such as "Gathering Darkness" (the best cut on here, by far the most immediate) and "Voice Of The Fallen Kings" (sung in part by once Rainbow/Malmsteen man Doogie White) are more typical of what you'd expect from a Swedish act, sounding like Dream Evil in their early period, or in more obscure terms, Supreme Majesty and Wyvern.

The production is polished to a good degree and the performances are all top notch, but there's not enough variation to make it an essential release, even though it does hold some good songs like the aforementioned "Gathering Darkness". If you're after quality fantasy metal I'd go for early Thy Majestie or Power Quest, but those looking for something a little tougher should dig this one out.

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