|Review: Bane of Winterstorm - The Last Sons Of Perylin|
|The Last Sons Of Perylin|
Year released: 2013
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: December 14, 2013
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
for:The Last Sons Of Perylin
I've been hearing a lot of good things about the debut from Australian's Bane Of Winterstorm. The band play a style of symphonic, pompous, fantasy driven power metal; taking elements from Rhapsody Of Fire, Dragonland and Fairyland, although cutting back on the upfront, in-your-face musical assaults of the aforementioned acts, and opting for a marching, orchestra adorned approach. Their music is as much story-driven as it is musically, and the band have enlisted the guest talents of Tim Lord, Dragonland's Jonas Heidgert, and Vanishing Point's Silvio Massaro, as well as a few other lesser known vocalists.
On the surface, and aesthetically in general, Bane Of Winterstorm come across impressive to say the least. The album opts for a five-track approach, the majority of which range from eight to sixteen minutes. This helps in giving the album some of its dense grandiosity, and coupled with all of the singers playing different characters – as well as the album's pacing - The Last Sons of Perylin can become a difficult release, and one that for the most part requires you to follow the lyrics. Which kind of sucks, as thematically this is decidedly bargain bin fantasy fare that I doubt R.A. Salvatore, or any of the Black Library writers would touch.
Musically this is very much modern, chugging power metal helmed via happening orchestral and symphonic elements to try and make you forget about the lack of riffs. Strip away the orchestral stuff, and the gang of vocalists and what you're left with is decidedly tame, Euro power metal. Granted, at times the guitars do break free of the mould to delve into something worthy of attention, or even a head bang, but those moments are few and far between. On the other hand the lead guitar work is worthy of note, and certainly the aspect of the band that entices me most. The title track in particular houses some ace lead lines.
Of course the main feature and selling point for Bane Of Winterstorm are the vocals, which for the most part are very good; particularly the band's main vocalist Riccardo Mecchi whose soaring melodic lines are without a doubt one of the stronger elements here. The vast majority of the guests chime in good performances too, although I wouldn't say there was anything too memorable. The aggressive vocalist however, is poor, and at times robs the music of any drama or excitement it should be creating. I just can't help but cringe at his hoarse, neutered yell. "The Magic Of Mithrens Ring" displays the vocals at their finest on the album, and I generally think it's down to this number that people are comparing The Last Sons Of Perylin to Dragonland's Under The Grey Banner, as the chorus feels almost pilfered from said album.
Leading up to the release I felt Bane Of Winterstorm had a lot of potential, which in a sense they still do, but on their debut I can't help but feel that it wasn't realized. Whilst on the surface this is undoubtedly impressive, beneath all of the flair and pomp there isn't really all that much to get your teeth into. I'd love to see the band shorten their songs into something more cohesive, putting the actual songwriting and metal elements first. The album feels like a sung audio book over token modern power metal in all fairness. Whilst that might be good enough for some, I want more, and when bands such as Dragonland, Rhapsody Of Fire, and upstarts Evertale can tell their stories over more compelling music, I can't find all that much reason to listen to Bane Of Winterstorm.
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