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Review: Battlelore - Doombound

Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2011
Duration: 54:04
Tracks: 11
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: January 18, 2011
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating

Rated 3.46/5 (69.23%) (13 Votes)

I have been listening to Battlelore's latest album, Doombound, for the last couple of weeks and I can honestly say I am somewhat confused. Epic Fantasy Metal is how the album is billed by the label, but I only hear fragments. Between the ubiquitous keyboards and the "beauty and beast" vocals, Battlelore sounds more like Sirenia or Tristania than, say, Atlantean Kodex or Doomsword. Nothing wrong with the former bands, but with a name like "Battlelore," I was hoping for the latter.

Doombound is a well played, well produced album, but ultimately left me a bit cold. The production is actually TOO good. It's almost sterile. The guitars are crunchy and the male vocals suitably harsh, but the keys are so glossy and omnipresent, they rob the songs of any punch they might have had. The female vocals, courtesy of Kaisa Johhki, are often multi-tracked and layered to the point where no emotion comes through, whatsoever. The album is nearly uniformly mid-paced, another let down. Songs like "Last of the Lords" stand out for nothing more than a speedier tempo.

I wanted to like Doombound more, but it lacks emotion and seems to struggle with its identity. It is not bad, by any stretch, but it isn't great either.

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