Stormkeep
Galdrum EP

There’s not a lot of info out there right now on Stormkeep (a D & D, Forgotten Realms thing apparently), but I knew as I saw the words ‘triumphant’,  ‘epic’ and ‘melodic’ as well as the renowned JRR Tolkein artist Ian Miller cover art (who also graces one of my favorite other EPs ever, Abigor’s Orkblut), i would love it. And boy do I!

Though only 4 songs and the fourth, “Lost in Mystic Woods and Cursed Hollows”, being a dungeon synth-y instrumental, the 3 songs are 6 -10 minutes respectively, so you get 30 minutes of damn good stuff here.

Other than the artwork, Orkblut is also a pretty solid musical comparison, ( and maybe France’s Abduction and Véhémence as well) as this is blistering, fantasy-based , melodic but raw black metal with swirling medieval keyboards and a little medieval chamber music/dungeon synth/monkish chants bits here and there.

10 minute opener “Glass Caverns of the Dragon Kings” starts with a little Mortiis (a definite influence on the band’s interludes and instrumental bits)-y jaunt before exploding with a blistering, icy cold blast that has Epoch of Unlight levels of percussive fury. The little mid-song acoustic sway and subsequent melodic blast a 6:50 is to die for, recalling “The Rising of Our Tribe” from Orkblut. The second track the 6 minute, “Lightning Frost”, start with a fucking rousing blast before settling into a more mid paced but no less stirring track.

The EPs best cut (though all of them are amazing), is another 10 minute number,  “Of Lore”, with a flutey/acoustic intro and not one, but two absolutely stunning riff; one about 5:30 in and the second after a short orchestral bridge around 7 and a half minutes in, and it’s one of y favorite melodic black metal/symphonic crescendos of the year. And yes, it ends with a war/battle sample … perfect.

Easily my favorite EPs/MLPs of 2020 so far, and I can’t wait to see what a hopefully forthcoming full-length delivers.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
November 13th, 2020

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