2003, the Finnish fan club of J.R.R. Tolkien, also known under the name BATTLELORE, is back with "Sword's Song", their second praise of the "Lord Of The Rings" Epos. Had the debut "Where The Shadows Lie" gone under in the release flood, the song of the sword hopefully will find the attention that it deserves.
Again the band has clad itself into fantastic costumes, so the figures of Fangorn the Ent and Beorn the Skinchanger have been added and the music also has gotten even better. So apart from the sound of old POWER SYMPHONY we also get a good portion of THERION and a little squirt of MOONSPELL in "Irreligious" times.
Even though the major press already put the CD down, that should not, if possible, keep you from lending the music your attention. I myself might have rated the debut a little bit too euphorically, but that will not happen again this time. I have listened to it in depth 10 times now and I can say that I hardly found any weak points.
If the rough opener "Sons Of Riddermark" with its more than opulent men's choirs and a short elven vocal part, the excellent title track that combines a rough, but at the same time sensual charm, "The Mark Of The Bear" that reminds me a bit of newer SAMAEL and HAGALAZ' RUNEDANCE, "Buccaneer's Inn" that floats between European bombast and Gothic Metal, "Attack Of The Orcs", fast and with really very simple synthesizer attacks, with a light FALKENBACH touch or… Basically every song sends you onto a sound journey into the realms of fantasy.
Even though the songs are catchy from the very beginning, we get a lot of variation. This album still gives me a good time and the DigiPak version even has a bonus track, just as info. (Online July 16, 2003)