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Review: Claymorean - By This Sword We Rule: A Decade of Steel
By This Sword We Rule: A Decade of Steel

Label: Stormspell Records
Year released: 2023
Duration: 1:15:45
Tracks: 15
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal


Review online: June 29, 2023
Reviewed by: MetalMike
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Rated 4/5 (80%) (4 Votes)

Serbia's Claymorean has released five albums and several singles and demos over the past 20+ years and in 2023 they've released the compilation By This Sword We Rule: A Decade of Steel. It contains re-recordings and demo versions of many of their songs played, as the band states, "the way they play them now," so expect them to be some measure of different from the originals. I'm not sure why the word "decade" was chosen as the track list contains songs going all the way back to their debut, The First Dawn of Sorrow from 2003 ("Prince of Immortals"), but whatever. If you've enjoyed Claymorean's epic/power metal in the past, especially the last three albums, it is hard to imagine you not liking By This Sword We Rule as the band is a well-oiled machine at this point. Personally, I like the up-tempo stuff that gallops along like a marauding horde on horseback, trampling everything and everyone in their path. Songs like "Arioch, Knight of the Swords" and "The Triumph" get my fist in the air from the start. There are several slower tracks in this collection like the simmering "Old Mountain," which has a Marta Gabriel/Crystal Viper vibe, and "Cimmeria," which I find on the dull and plodding side. Many of these are demo versions, which may explain why they don't seem to have much oomph. The demo version of "Blackest Void" even sounds like doom to my ears. The album is finished off by a couple of live cuts that sound great even if they don't vary much from their studio versions. All in all, you get 76+ minutes of Claymorean metal, a good thing on most any day, it just may not be different enough from what fans of the band already own to make it truly necessary unless you are a completist. If you haven't experienced this band's brand of epic/power metal, may I suggest you begin here as you get a lot of music for your initial investment?

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