By Rosie Walker
Sweden is a nation where many metal masters have emerged. Scandinavia in general is known for inspiring heavy bands, making it home to some of the biggest metal acts in the world. Birthing legends like Amon Amarth and Opeth, Sweden is also cranking out new, upcoming bands.
The name Bloodbound was a term used during the Middle Ages. Two men would slice open their hands and shake. It was a blood oath that they thought would link them together forever and create a bond that could never be broken. In 2004, two friends thought this would be a perfect name for their new project. These guys have been making their mark on the scene ever since. Bloodbound has raised some eyebrows by combining their epic sound with darker lyrics, and a more menacing image than the average power metal band. Their new album, ’War of Dragons’ takes their grandiose sound to the next level. Being their seventh record, it reveals how this band is ever evolving and committing to their vision of melodic, powerful heaviness.
The 30-second intro track catches you off guard. The narrator of the brief bit tells us what’s about to go down. He even tosses in the title of the album so there’s no confusion. After his little speech, you hear what appears to be a dragon roaring in the background. What they used is the exact same sound bite from the T-Rex scream in the original Jurassic Park movie. Yet the random recording is quickly forgotten when you jump into the first song, ‘Battle in the Sky’. Right off the bat you hear the influences of Hammerfall in the powerful vocals of Patrik Johansson. The keyboards, mastered by Fredrik Bergh, mimic an organ, making you think of the band Powerwolf. Yet even with these obvious influences, Bloodbound makes their own sound. They have such intensity mingled with melodramatic melody, they keep things unique, fun and enticing.
‘Tears of a Dragon’ packs a wallop with its speed, synths and soul. Roaring choruses and gliding guitars soar the listener to a fantastical world. The stories about warfare, violence, and dragons let the imagination run wild. With songs like ’Fallen Heroes’, the exciting electric catchiness of the album continues in full earnest. The bass playing of Anders Broman and the guitars of Tomas Olsson and Henrik Olsson gallop alongside each other, pushing their themes of relentless energy.
Giving the record some variety, ’Star Fall’ has a slight groove and slows things down a bit, creating a more romantic, whimsical vibe, then charging into the last number ‘Dragons are Forever’ with the energy back at a thousand. On the high seas of speed, the drumming of Pelle Akerlind allows this number to end with a big bang.
Bloodbound is a power metal band that likes to get nerdy. The dramatic telling of dragons is corny, but fun. Even with themes of war, this album is uplifting and refreshing. Everyone could use a little fantasy metal in their life. Even if the dragon sounds like a T-Rex.
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Record Label: AFM
Release Date: February 24th 2017
01. A New Era Begins (0:30)
02. Battle In The Sky (4:25)
03. Tears Of A Dragonheart (3:50)
04. War Of Dragons (4:09)
05. Silver Wings (3:46)
06. Stand And Fight (3:34)
07. King Of Swords (4:06)
08. Fallen Heroes (4:20)
09. Guardians At Heaven’s Gate (3:42)
10. Symphony Satana (4:57)
11. Starfall (3:56)
12. Dragons Are Forever (3:55)
Total Duration: 45:10