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Review: Battleroar - Codex Epicus
Codex Epicus

Label: Cruz Del Sur Music
Year released: 2018
Duration: 54:57
Tracks: 9
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: May 20, 2018
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Codex Epicus

Rated 3.67/5 (73.33%) (15 Votes)

Blood of Legends proved that Battleroar still had legs, even after the massive delay and lineup changes after To Death and Beyond. I was glad to see this most epic of bands was still moving forward, and I am glad to see they still are, even if the results are not as good as I hoped for.

This is a much more experimental album than their last one, with songs that sound less like obvious attempts to rehash their old classics, but the songwriting is still not really first-rate. Opener "We Shall Conquer" is the most rote song on here, sounding like a track that could have been a leftover from the last disc. The riffs stack up, but the vocal lines and lyrics could use some work. Things pick up with the slow, epic "Sword of Flame" with vocals by no less than Mark Shelton of Manilla Road. Other good tunes are the massive "Doom of Medusa" and the more artful "Enchanting Threnody", which opens with a minute-and-a-half-long oboe solo and gets away with it.

This is epic, but the band is adding a lot of different parts and experimenting with more progressive songwriting and using non-traditional instruments and sounds to expand their palette. It's interesting, but it doesn't always work, and the songs often seem to lack identity, sacrificing groove for complexity. A lot of the compositions call for more melodic vocal work, and Gerrit really isn't up to it. He does okay, but if Battleroar want to be more progressive, they will need a better singer.

Overall, I find this pretty good. It's entertaining while it is on, and sometimes gripping, but it falls far short of what this band has done in the past. There's just no way for this to be regarded as anything but a minor work for Battleroar.

Other related information on the site
Review: Age of Chaos (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Battleroar (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Blood of Legends (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Blood of Legends (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Codex Epicus (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: To Death and Beyond... (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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