Nemedian Chronicles
The Savage Sword


4.6
superb

Review

by Gary STAFF
March 16th, 2024 | 8 replies


Release Date: 02/23/2024 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand…” -- Robert E. Howard

Conan the Barbarian, the most famous character in the works of Robert E. Howard, has inspired numerous art pieces and even found his way into the realm of metal as well in the works of several bands. Among them, the French outfit, Nemedian Chronicles, stands out, commemorating the Cimmerian's adventures in their debut, a masterfully crafted cinematic heavy/power metal album.

The album kicks off with the incredibly epic intro, "Nemedian Chronicles," which leads into Conan's story with a narration reminiscent of classic sword and sorcery film scores (using Howard's own words). At this point, one can already feel the tremendous amount of work poured into this album, making it an ideal introduction to the album: an instantly immersing experience. The album's “second intro” seamlessly shepperds the audience into the "realm of guitars", as "Born on a Battlefield" functions as a clever shift from orchestral music to cinematic heavy metal. Personally, these two tracks were my favorites throughout the album, as they captivated me with their epic atmosphere and melodic richness.

The true metal journey begins with the song "Venarium," stylistically reminiscent of bands like Blind Guardian and Hammerfall (with a touch of Manowar-esque “barbarism”). The songwriting is praiseworthy, each song has its own character, skillfully exploring different aspects of Conan's adventures - this is a particularly enjoyable experience for those familiar with the novels. Altogether The Savage Sword contains excellent compositions, plenty of great riffs, solos, and, notably, beautiful vocals throughout the album. Speaking of singing, Alexandre Duffau's performance really stands out, as he’s confidently singing in both lower and higher registers. Additionally, the choirs in certain tracks (such as "Tower of the Elephant" or "The Song of Red Sonja") are also fantastic, and these had an important role in maintaining an epic atmosphere. I would especially commend the aforementioned two tracks, as they demonstrate that the guys in Nemedian Chronicles have no difficulty crafting longer songs (nearly nine minutes each). It's also worth highlighting the album's sole instrumental piece, "Black Lotus / The Curse of Thog," which incorporates Eastern/Egyptian melodies, adding a unique flavor to the album. This kind of creativity was exactly what’s necessary to prevent an album from becoming monotonous, despite having a quite lengthy duration (more than seventy minutes). In my opinion, the only downside here is that there could have been more interludes on the album, such as one or two pieces evoking cinematic sensations similar to the intro, “Nemedian Chronicles”.

In my opinion, The Savage Sword is an exceptionally strong heavy/power metal album. Its thematic choice is particularly compelling, as it irresistibly draws listeners into this epic realm - not to mention the great riffs! I wholeheartedly recommend this album to those who enjoy Blind Guardian or the Conan novels.



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user ratings (13)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
garas
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2024


8076 Comments

Album Rating: 4.6 | Sound Off

No Bandcamp link this time, but you can find the album on most streaming platforms. I really love the Conan universe, so it was a love-at-first-sight scenario. :]

Egarran
March 17th 2024


34085 Comments


Hail to the most metal figure in literature.

TheTripP
March 18th 2024


4511 Comments


gonna have to check this

Pikazilla
March 18th 2024


29797 Comments


this is cool but 70 mins of Conan music might be too much

UniverseCalling
March 19th 2024


107 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You fool



No amount of Conan is too much



It is what is best in life

dachstheangry
March 19th 2024


241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice that this album got a review. It's so much fun

Egarran
March 19th 2024


34085 Comments


Such woman-like frailty.

ChaoticVortex
March 21st 2024


1596 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The 70 minute runtime had me worried a bit too, but this an expertly paced album that switches the variety well enough to never get boring. And the songwriting itself is top tier.



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