Stormkeep
Tales Of Othertime

Back in 2020, I reviewed the debut EP from this D & D, Forgotten Realms named, then-unknown act, Galdrum. I loved it and it ended up on my year-end list, and I ended my review stating I was really looking forward to what the band was going to release next. And apparently, the metal world agreed, as there has been quite a bit up build-up to a full-length debut. Well, I didn’t have to wait long and now we know the band is members of Wayfarer and Blood Incantation, and they have quickly delivered a killer follow-up to Galdrum, albeit a slightly unexpected, different follow-up.

Don’t panic, it’s not way different, but certainly, if you played both releases side by side, you be challenged to determine if they were the same band, but also that’s in a good way. Where Galdrum was a more raw, primal style of black metal mixed with extended dungeon synth moments that were more Abigor meets Mortiis, Tales Of Othertime is a far more fleshed out, polished, and traditional symphonic black metal effort more akin to some more obvious peers like early Emperor, Borknagar, Arcturus, Dimmu Borgir, and Ancient

But this development is for the better as the new, sweeping, majestic and still triumphant output is downright epic. With a cleaner sound from a whole new producer/mix/master crew, the sound is bigger and more ‘traditionally’ second wave symphonic black metal, which is certainly a benefit. The songs are now full of more full fantasy-driven symphonic elements as well as some clean vocals (with hints of Garm/ICS Vortex) and some almost Bal-Sagoth-like narration/spoken words carrying this tale of othertime along and a brisk, rousing pace. The rangy songs all have a killer entertaining pace and gait mixing swirling blast beats and mid-paced moments to catch your breath.

9-minute opener “The Seer” sets the tone pretty well with a nice mix of swirling frosty blasts and regal marches, all layered with stirring keys. However, the album really hits its stride at its midpoint with the 11 minute “A Journey Through Storms” which has a lovely little mid-song break, and the album standout, “The Serpent’s Stone” which has an excellent array of frenzied riffs leads and epic bridges. Aptly named closer “Eternal Majesty Manifest” rounds out the album and might be my favorite track with the clarion of battle (always a favorite) to start and a killer melodic blast, some rousing vocal breaks, and a perfectly epic ending crescendo.

My only minor quibble is that the incredibly entertaining album is only really 4 songs, with “The Citadel” and “An Ode to Dragons” being short Summoning-y instrumentals. That said the 4 actual songs are all over 8 minutes, but I selfishly just wanted MORE. Also, while the classic art from 80s art maven Les Edwards is fine, it’s tough to beat the Ian Miller artwork from the EP.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
November 29th, 2021

Comments

  1. Commented by: Gabaghoul

    This is flat out fantastic. I feel like these guys have punched a portal to 1999 and let the sounds of long-faded bands like Obtained Enslavement, Windir, Thy Serpent, and yes, Emperor/Borknagar/Bal Sagoth come pouring through. Songwriting is excellent and keeps my interest throughout (I couldn’t quite say the same for Galdrum). High on the year-end list for sure.


  2. Commented by: F.Rini

    As always a great review Erik and I love this album


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