The good thing about Battlelore is that I know exactly what I am getting. With album number four, their second with their revamped line-up, (notably vocalist Tomi Mykkänen), who brings a more aggressive style to the table, the band continue their predictably enjoyable mix of bombastic Tolkien inspired Goth/death metal.

Still though, the band is stuck in a rut of sorts. Not a bad one by any means, as Evernight is a solid album, but the band’s chosen subject matter and delivery, seems to be rapidly painting them into a creative corner. It just seems the band is so close to the crest of greatness, but can never make that final push to get over the hump.I mean how many Tolkien based, well produced, synth laced, stern orc-ish war marches (i.e “We Are the Legions”) and ethereal Elfish ballads (i.e “Ocean’s Elysium”) can one band make?

That being said, tracks like the album’s standouts “Summon the Wolves”, “The Cloak and the Dagger” and “Beneath the Waves” deliver lavish, atmospheric tracks of rousing, yet often delicate metal that’s neither offensive enough to be death metal, nor frilly enough to be Goth metal. Kaisa Jouhki has a nice, elegantly appealing, if restrained Elven voice that caresses, and the music is competent, but as with all the prior albums-it’s just ‘there’.

I’d really like to see Battlelore expand creatively. Though lyrically they have the subject matter covered, they really need to spread their wings musically and challenge themselves. That being said, are they truly talented enough to do so, or prefer the safety of their current sound? I’m not sure we’ll ever find out.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
March 17th, 2007


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