Well, i must say that this is the only BG album i have and its my first review, but i just have to say something about this album..... its..its just incredible!!!
This is a concept album based on The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien. I happened to be reading the book at the same time i got this album and in some ways it helped me understand the book better. Anyways, lets begin....
1. War of Wrath (1:50)- Some sounds of war followed by a conversation between Sauron and his master Morgoth (Melkor).
2. Into the Storm (4:24) - WOW, that opening riff really hits you. This song instantly shows you the fantastic interplay between Andre's sweet lead lines and Marcus's tight rhythm. Not to mention the beast of the drummer keeping it all together. The lyrics in this song contain direct qoutes from the book; an argument between Ungoliant and Morgoth over the silmarils. Powerful sing-a-long chorus which leads into some cool modulating lead lines at 2:25. 4.5/5
3. Lammoth(0.28)- not really a song just a big scream with some wind- its Morgoth screaming in pain in the webs of Ungoliant.
4. Nightfall (5.34)- Nice change to Into the Storm. Were in 6/8 and it starts out quietly, but it doesnt take long for this to get heavy. Some great harmony vocals and another great chorus. Gotta mention Hansi here. This guy is incredable, i know its been said before but he got the biggest vocal range ive heard. This one is about the Elves reaction to the death of the two trees casing darkness to fall on Valinor.
5. The Minstrel (0:32)- No idea wot this one is about. Just short and folky.
6. Curse of Feanor (5:41)- WOOHOO! We start to rip along with BG in this track with some quick lead lines from André which lead onto the main verse, with the screaming vocals from Hans. Love the guitar parts on this one especially the main riff, but the chorus isnt quite as fluid as the ones on the rest of the album. If you know the story of Feanor though this one really helps picture the Elf king's anger, thanks to Hansi's vocals.4/5
7. Captured (0:26)- Morgoth taunting his prisoner, Maedros.
8. Blood Tears (5:25)- This is the story of Fingon and Maedros, opponents through blood but old friends. This one starts off quietly with a cool echo effect on an acoustic, but the chorus comes in at 1:04 and its another one you can shout along with, although it resolves nice and quietly. The heavy verse riff comes in at 1:33 and the pace really quickens, pounding you into the ground. I still find myself shouting the line, " WELCOME TO WHERE TIME STANDS STIL. NO ONE LEAVES AND NO ONE EVER WILL!. Love this one for the light and shade, and its a cool story in the book 5/5
9. Mirror Mirror (5:06)- Subdued intro into one of the best songs on the album, this one is fast and aggresive using a common maiden chord sequence. I still chuckle about the flutes and the folky overlays throughout this song but its fits and thats the thing about BG; they know exactly whats needed. One thing of special mention is the Searing guitar line from André in the chorus, its damn cool. Not about anything in the Silmarillion as far as i can tell ...4.5/5
10. Face the Truth (0:24) - A monologue talking about the journey across the Hecoraxe and the curse that Mandos has put upon the noldor for the kinslaying of the Tinari.... but im not a Tolkien nerd honest.
11. Noldor (dead winter reigns) (6:51)- This is a biggy!!! Starting with some nice clean guitar parts before going into the slow but poewrful chorus, this is a demonstration of how to write a metal monster. Hansi does everything with his voice, from painful strain to the condemnation from the Valá. The quick changes of light and change make this one stand out not to mention the cool guitar during the verse. André pulls out this Wah pedal and shows he can use it; but not just to pleasure himself. Everything these guys do add to the song. The last minute has to be the most powerful on the album; all the harmonies and everything coming together... it really is a masterpiece :D 5/5
12. Battle of Sudden Flame (0:43)- A little song about the Battle of Sudden Flame which saw the death of many elves.... :(
13. Time stands still at the Iron hill (4:53)- JUST LOVE THIS ONE!!! Awesome intro with some searing bends from André and the theme is reapeated for the verse. Followed by the tongue twister bridge and ANOTHER brilliant sing a long chorus this is a great contrast to Noldor. Telling the story of brave Fingolfin who fought and lost against Morgoth. Best bit is Hansi going insane on the "Slowly in fear.. line" really creepy but cool
14. The Dark Elf (0:24) - " A DARK SEED OF EVIL IS GROWN"
15. Thorn (6:19) - Gotta say this one is different; certainly more prog metal. Powerful bridge and prechorus and the chorus has some great harmonies. Takes a while to get used to though. I think its about Maeglin but im not sure... 4/5
16. The Eldar (3:39) - Brilliant piano and voice only ballad. HAnsi is really on form going from soft and quiet , almost crying tones, to an immense scream that makes you tingle inside.
17. Nom the Wise (0:33)- A monologue about Nom the Wise( who was originally Fingon Felagund I think) who died at the hands of Gothmog and several Balrogs ... this happens alot in the book.
18. When Sorrow Sang (4:25)- This is quickly growing into my favourite more and more each time i listen to it. Sung from Beren's (as in Beren and Luthien) point of view while he is technically dead..... I know i know but its a great song. Quick and aggresive with some great guitar lines over the top especially in the chorus which is the best on the album. :D 5/5
19. Out on the water (0:44)- Possibly another hooligan track like the minstrel. This is folky and short and if its do with anyhting its do with some of the elves goin back to Valinor.
20. The Steadfast (0:21) - Morgoth on an ego trip.
21. A Dark Passage (6:01) - I love the echoing voices at the begining before the interesting verse... not exactly Diatonice but BG pull the weird chord sequence off as always. Another 6/8 and the chorus makes you sway and swing along. The lyrics are about Morgoth wanting to be king and the 5th battle. The solo parts are gr8 and really original; sorta like a big band going up and down and crashing around. Its difficult to describe but if you hear it you'll knwo wot i mean. André is quickly making his way to the top of my fav guitarist list. He doesnt shred really but just makes fantastic overlaying harmonies and melodies. FANTASTIC 4.5/5
22. Final Chapter( Thus ends....)- A nice monologue explaing the aftermath of the 5th battle.
This album is important. Its the epitomy of the passion that Tolkien's writings stir in ppl BG have just so happened to make it into probably one of the greatest albums ever. Everything is perfect, the harmonies, the melodies. This is one of the greatest stories ever told and its narrated through the greatest medium..... EPIC METAL!!! I just wish i could read German cos theres tons of notes in the cover slip :( oh well 5/5 *****