Album Review: Bloodbound - Tales From The North
Reviewed by Rick Eaglestone
Swedish power metal masters make their triumphant return with a new concept album 'Tales From The North'.
For an album so deep rooted in the Viking era it’s opening title track ‘Tales From The North’ is nothing short of anthemic, it draws you in with sweeping melodies before the trademark Bloodbound sounds enters with galloping drums, powerful vocals and sweeping guitars to start of the albums story.
As we are smack bang in the middle of festival season I can see ‘Drink With The Gods’ being a live favourite, yes lyrically is very cliché – pouring of the mead, raising the glass high, etc, etc, but it’s such a fun song back with the catchiest of choruses you can help but smile. This is followed by ‘Odin’s Prayer’ which although fast paced is laden with complex arrangements.
Going in folkier direction is ‘The Raven’s Cry’ which I am immediately drawn to as it has subtle elements of 'Wishmaster' era Nightwish – I spent a lot of my 20’s listening to power & symphonic metal and this felt as if the clock had been turned back nearly two decades, another track with an abundances of solos and yet again leaves me grinning and paired with the synths and speed and well tinges of Eurovision flare to it ‘Mimir’s Crystal Eye' easily confirms my choice of most enjoyable part of the album.
Effortlessly moving into ‘Between The Enemy Lines’ the album continues onwards with its face pace nature and as ‘Land of Heroes’ which contains soundscapes reminiscent of fellow countrymen Yngwie Malmsteen, Bloodbound demonstrate just how attuned they are to each other.
The result of ‘Sail Among The Dead’ is that of pure power metal delight so much so that it’s impossible to find fault with the solo, synth laden battle cry and then once again leaning back into the Nordic elements and instruments to fit with the aesthetic of the release is ‘Stake My Claims’ which too has a great and memorable chorus.
Concluding the album is the duo of ‘Sword And Axe’ alongside ‘1066’ which leave you with the impression that the band haven’t necessarily tried to rip up the rule book but in fact set a new edition one that’s full of transformation, along the way Bloodbound have also managed to subtly cross reference their very essence from albums past
I particularly liked the interweaving of myth and legend and after fifteen years Bloodbound still have their eye on the storm.