Battlelore - Evernight 3/5

Reviewed: 2-16-07





Tracklist:

1. House of heroes
2. Ocean's elysium
3. Summon the wolves
4. We are the legions
5. Into the new world
6. Longing horizon
7. Mask of flies
8. The cloak and the dagger
9. Beneath the waves


Finland’s Battlelore are back with their 4th CD entitled ‘Evernight’. This follows their previous CD’s ‘Third age of the sun’, ‘Sword’s song’ and ‘Where the shadows lie’. For those unaware of who Battlelore are, they are the warriors of Middle-Earth. The band’s makeup and songwriting revolves around the fantasy writings of the legendary J.R.R. Tolkien and his stories of Middle-Earth. As a result, each song’s lyrics are quite in-depth and very interesting.

Battlelore play epic dark power metal and use both male and female vocals. The female vocals are very harmonic and angelic while the male vocals are gruff and harsh. Since ‘Sword’s song’ there has been a change at the male vocalist position, the new vocalist (Tomi Mykkanen) now has 2 CDs under his belt. In Battlelore’s earlier CDs, the male vocals dominated over the female vocals (60%-40%), but from ‘Third age of the sun’ and now with ‘Evernight’, the split between the vocals is now very even, with possibly the female vocals being used more. The change is so significant, that some metal websites are now calling Battlelore a female fronted band, with male vocal support. So, onto the new CD, ‘Evernight’...

From their first CD until this one, Battlelore haven’t really changed their style much. Their core structure has remained the same, but they have progressed and matured with each CD. ‘Evernight’ continues their progression and maturity and you can hear that the band has fully gelled with their current line-up. Male vocalist, Tomi Mykkanen was rather inconsistent on ‘Third age of the sun’, but on the new CD his voice has improved, although it's a bit patchy here and there. He does sound more confident and from time to time lets rip with long, low-pitched growls. The female vocalist, Kaisa Jouhki’s voice is again excellent and it's no wonder why she is being used more.

Sound-wise, it is much the same as from previous CDs, heavy bass guitar with low and crunching lead guitars, lots of keyboards and plenty of double-bass pummeling. Battlelore have incorporated some nice acoustic sections within some songs that fit nicely with Jouhki’s vocals. Also at times, the sound becomes a little technical, something they also tried on their previous CD.

As far as the songs go, most of them are fairly solid and well done, but there is still some inconsistency there, which the band needs to address. One drawback is that the songs can be a bit repetitive, as each song’s structure is basically the same. So by the time you get to the last few songs, it can get a little tedious. Another thing I noticed is that the whole CD clocks in at just around 43 minutes. In this day and age I would expect full-length CD to be at least into the mid-50 minute mark. ‘Evernight’ contains no bonus tracks, which is a shame as their previous CD contained 3 bonus tracks.

Overall, I would say that ‘Evernight’ is an enjoyable CD, which I liked more than their previous CD ‘Third age of the sun’. The previous CD was rather disappointing in my opinion, especially after the bounds they made with the excellent ‘Sword’s song’. ‘Evernight’, however, does put Battlelore back onto the right track and should satisfy fans who were let down with ‘Third age of the sun’.



SEAN




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