Battlelore has been around for over a decade playing their own brand of symphonic doom metal. With their latest release, they continue to do what they do best: creating lush soundscapes over which they construct epic tales of heroism based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels.
While Doombound is very much in the vein of previous Battlelore releases, it is more melodic than their recent albums. The collection of songs on this release are more mid-tempo than some of their older songs. Don't get me wrong, there’s still plenty of great double-bass drum action happening, it’s just that the pace of the songs (and the cd as a whole) has slowed a little, most likely to fit the stories that they telling rather than just plowing through no-holds-barred.
With Doombound, it seems to me that the female vocalist, Kaisa Jouhki, takes on a larger role than she has had in the past. Her voice is beautiful, and I can't emphasize this enough, especially on top of the keyboard orchestration that is a large part of Battlelore's overall sound. Additionally, the death vocals handled by Tomi Mykkänen are not as harsh as other bands that employ the same vocal techniques in their songs. The guitar and the keyboard work in tandem, sharing and trading off the melodies while the rhythm section is solid and really keeps a nice cadence throughout the CD.
There are several songs on this cd that I’ve listened to over and over again. "Bloodstained" gets the shebang going with its slow and driving beat, "Enchanted" is an angry and haunted ballad of sorts, and when the song "Kärmessurma" began, I swear the music made me think back to Evanescense's first release (oh how good that band used to be!) before I came back round to reality when the fierce vocals entered. The last two tracks of the CD, the title track “Doombound” and the celtic flavored instrumental "Kielo", have a finality to them that are both pleasant and foreboding.
This is a very good release for Battlelore. Go buy the CD, and while you listen to it, imagine slaying the awesome looking dragon on the cover! Or, just let it haunt your dreams.
Live Long and Rock Hard,
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SpaceKev’s Rating: 8.0 out of 10