Blackguard
Profugus Mortis

A Canadian band playing bouncy, synth filled, epic, Finnish styled folk power/black metal on Sumerian Records (though Nuclear Blast did do the European release) with a female drummer?

Yup.

Culling from the likes of Ensiferum, Wintersun, Turisas, early Children of Bodom and such, Blackguard (formerly known as Profogus Mortis) give folk fans another solid entry into 2009s already impressive slew of releases with a high octane, high energy, release that makes no bones about its influences and simply rocks out with a smile and an ale.

“Scarlet to Snow” gets right to it with a enjoyable controlled, synth laced trot throwing out all the bands obvious influences right of the get go with lots of melodic lead work, but it’s on “This Rounds on Me” where I really start to enjoy myself as an Alestorm -ish intro gives way to a ridiculously catchy jaunt then a Finntroll-ish blast beat that’s to die for, though its missing the catchy romping, sing-a-long chorus that the song title implies.

Admittedly, a lot of the rest of the album simply rehashes the first two songs with a mix of happy blast beats and mid paced canters- all laced with synths (Courtesy of Jonathan Leduc, who also plays the synths in Maurizio Iacono’s Roman themed death metal outfit Ex Deo), that aren’t too folky or organic, but more from the hokier/cheesier side of things, lots of power metal solos (“The Sword”) and the blackened rasp/semi growl of Paul Zinay. All of it is incredibly catchy and enjoyable, and it’s well produced, but by the same token, I still tend to reach for the source material and by the time the more straightforward heavy metal of “Cinder” and the by the numbers “Vain” rolls around, the album seems to have offered all its highlights. Closer “The Last We Wage” does at least close things nicely with a raucous return to the galloping form of the albums first two cuts, but again the word ‘recycled’ kept popping in my head, despite my enjoyment.

Either way, this is a nice, surprising little album though I’m still not entirely sure how theses guys and Swashbuckle got on the second Pagan Fest with so many other legitimate Pagan bands from Europe yet to make the bill, with the likes of Tyr, Alestorm and Suidakra getting ‘relegated’ to the Pagan Knights tour

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 21st, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: Sandwiches

    So this band is on this years summer slaughter tour? Weird


  2. Commented by: Dan

    Ensiferum is headlining too I think.


  3. Commented by: Dan

    I’m curious to see if any fights break out on that tour between the death/folk metal bands and the slew of obnoxious deathcore bands like Winds of Plague. My money’s on the dudes in Origin.


  4. Commented by: Dan Zidar

    The female member is the drummer, not the guitarist.


  5. Commented by: Erik Thomas

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