Review Summary: Proper Epic/Power Metal done right.
I never was a big fan of the Power Metal genre. For almost 2 years, I kept worshipping only two styles of Metal: NWOBHM and old school Thrash. For all this time, I kept myself separated and I snootily rejected everything else, because, according to my tastes, it wasn’t “HEAVY ENOUGH”, or because it had “TOO MUCH MELODY”. On Top of it, I was never fond of the Greek Rock/Metal scene. Silly me. A year ago, I had a chat with a fellow metalhead. This friend of mine introduced me to a Greek band named Battleroar. He told me that my perceptions regarding the Epic/Power genre will change once and for all if I’ll expose my ears to their music. Reluctantly I agreed and after listening to this band, indeed, I felt like a new person. Immediately, all I wanted to do was start digging everything which was relevant to this kind of Metal. Thus, I was introduced to some great bands like: Helloween, Manilla Road, Blind Guardian, Manowar and so on.
Now, let me say a few things about these guys. Battleroar were formed in September 2000 by 5 lads who grew up listening to the likes of Manilla Road, Cirith Ungol, Omen and Heavy Load. In order to enunciate their love for this kind of music, they decided to form a group that will follow in their forerunner’s footsteps. They also named their band after a Heavy load song, which is, “Singing Swords” (I Loved The Battleroar). Their first record titled “Battleroar” ensured them a place mostly in the underground cycles, where they made fans who willingly followed the band everywhere. After touring and gaining valuable experience with participations in big European festivals, Battleroar, returned not only to record their second studio album, but to prove they deserved to be treated as one of the top Greek Metal bands.
“Age Of Chaos” isn’t just another Power Metal album. It’s one of the best Greek releases of the past decade. A masterpiece which proves that Greeks can write and deliver music of high quality. The album begins with an acoustic ballad, which is written and sang by the frontman of Manilla Road, the great Mark Shelton. The musical piece narrates the story of a man who is lost in the age of chaos. What follows the introduction, is a majestic journey plunged in epic guitar riffing, beautifully haunting, interludes, excellent lead guitars, and wonderful minor melodies (played by Firewind’s keyboardist Bob Katsionis) backing up the main musicians. The amazing, effective sound effects (horn blasts, battle sounds) enrich the compositions, and makes you believe that you are actually lost in an ancient battlefield right in the middle of a war, condemned to fight for your own survival. The vocals delivered by Marco Concoreggi are nothing great and probably his performance will go on unnoticed. Nevertheless, his vocals are not harmful and he doesn’t ruining the efforts of his fellow members, but on the other hand, he doesn’t offer anything extra to carry the compositions into a new level.
The musicianship of this band cannot be described as being remarkable in terms of pure techinique. You won’t find any mindless, lightning fast solos, you won’t find flashy musical moments, or any other exaggeration of any kind. But you will find a glorious, epic atmosphere carefully orchestrated with patience and handled with precise mastery. And if you ask me, that’s what’s important. It doesn’t matter if you’re not the best guitarist or the best musician in the world. What really matters is to be honest and have a passionate yearning for what you’re doing. Then the results will be positive. These people definitely know their craft and their songs prove my words. The rhythms are being kept throughout the whole record at an ideal pace. The tracks are neither rapid nor slow. The production is also stunning. Their previous album had it’s classic moments, but it’s mediocre production betrayed the overall experience. In this album, the work on the production has gone through a massive improvement and everything sounds huge and marvelous.
I never thought that a Greek band, completely unknown to me, could have such an impact on me. Not only did they change completely my views regarding the genre I rejected, but also they made me change my mind about the Greek Rock/Metal scene. In conclusion, if you are a fan of the Epic/Power Metal style, then you need seriously to check out these guys.
Each night I do ponder, I gaze at the stars and sing my song, destined to wander this age of chaos.
The Tower Of The Elephant
Narsil (Reforge The Sword)
Calm Before The Storm