The most Tolkien of all Metal bands is back with its third album “Third Age Of The Sun” now: BATTLELORE from Finland. Ever since their foundation, the septet goes far beyond the usual Tolkien influence, because not only the lyrics are based in Middle-Earth, but up to costumes the band fully stands in the fantasy world, BATTLELORE even is the only band that has the official approval to use the original names and they even headlined the RingCon, the official “Lord Of The Rings” festival in Bonn, Germany, so you see that the guys and gals take it really seriously!
Musically the Finns stand between traditional Heavy Metal, Gothic Metal and some Pagan Metal, with Fantasy atmospheres, rough vocals (Tomi Mykkänen, who replaced Patrik Mennander) and a front elf (Kaisa Jouhki) and quite extensive keyboards, building their own sound, which, though, also makes them vulnerable to attacks from different camps. That they have cut out the overblown computer effects is a good thing, even though it at least partly seems as if they have reduced heaviness and overdid the concentration to create the perfect atmosphere.
Yes, unfortunately some of the compositions sound a bit too streamlined and that new singer Tomi roars a bit too uniform does not really affect the overall impression too positively. But don’t think that “Third Age Of The Sun“ has turned out as a complete flop, no, no, it just is no highflyer either. “Ghan Of The Woods“, the heavy “Trollshaws“, the very nice ballad “Elves Of Luva“ and “Valier – Queens Of The Valar“ all are very good compositions, which combine atmosphere with good melodies and ideas, but unfortunately on the other side we have a whole string of songs that just flow past your ear, with nothing sticking whatsoever, as especially in the guitars it lacks innovation and overall action.
After I had liked the first two albums quite a bit, I honestly am a bit disappointed by “Third Age Of The Sun“, as the variety fell through a bit and they overdo the atmospheres, so in the end the overall impression remains split… (Online August 19, 2005)