A Throne of Hollow Fire

I was late to the Stormtide party as I didn’t hear this Aussie Fantasy metal act’s 2016 debut, Wrath of an Empire until 2020. But When I finally did stumble across it, I very much enjoyed the band’s Asian/Far East inspired take on melodic, symphonic death metal, imbuing an mix of Amon Amarth, Stormlord and Whispered rather well.

Well out of the blue, comes the band’s second story telling offering and despite a significant line up shift, it retains the sound of the debut, with a bigger production, if though a little less ethnic and Far Eastern, being a little more ‘traditional’ (Western), though there are some more ethnic moments here and there.

After the intro “A Valley of Ashes” sets the mood in expected fashion, the title track delivers a killer start to the album, with a riff in the chorus that’s rousing as heck. The next track “Awakening”, has an other similarly catchy, cool as hell rousing riff, adds some choirs and little ethnic twinkle to the epic bombast.

From there, there is a run of decent, enjoyable songs like “Crucible” and “She Who Would Name the Stars”, the rollicking drinking anthem “One Last Pint (At The Duck)” and “He Who Would Drown the Sun”. Big crunchy riffs, a few blackened blasts, deep growled vocal and a few Melo death rasps and lot and lots of orchestration, but it lacks the staying power of the two openers.

“Wayfinders” brings things back to a more elite level with stern blasting and choral arrangements while “Eternal Fire” slows things down to an epic orchestral stomp and a cool little late song jaunt. 6 minute closer “A Warship Breaks the Tempest” ends the album on a fitting, sprawling note, and I feel like this were a movie this would be a cliffhanger of sorts.

Here’s to the last part of the trilogy being a truly special end note.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
March 26th, 2021


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