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Bloodbound – Stormborn [Review]

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Bloodbound – Stormborn
2014, AFM Records
Buy the album

1. Bloodtale
2. Satanic Panic
3. Iron Throne
4. Nightmares from the Grave
5. Stormborn
6. We Raise the Dead
7. Made of Steel
8. Blood of My Blood
9. When the Kingdom Will Fall
10. Seven Hells
11. When All Lights Fail

Band:
Patrik Johansson – Vocals
Tomas Olsson – Guitar
Henrik Olsson – Guitar
Anders Broman – Bass
Pelle Akerlind – Drums
Fredrik Bergh – Keyboards

Producer: Bloodbound

When I first came across this album, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Either some type of cheesy heavy metal or perhaps something extreme? Well, while power metal is known for having quite a bit of cheese factor, I wouldn’t call Bloodbound cheesy: the keyboards don’t drown out the guitars and there’s plenty of riffing, big anthems and frenetic drumming here.

While I’m not too familiar with the band, I can tell you that Bloodbound have been around for about 10 years and they hail from Sweden. Stormborn is their sixth album and if you’re looking for a point of comparison, their music reminds me a lot Edguy, Avantasia, Dream Evil, Hammerfall, Manowar and Halford. “Made of Steel” sounds like it could’ve come from Manowar or Halford’s Halford IV: Made of Metal album while “When the Kingdom Will Falls” sounds like it came right from one of Tobias Sammet’s bands (Edguy and Avantasia… your choice). Patrik Johansson’s vocals are similar to Sammet’s as well but a little Halford comes through on songs like “Made of Steel” and “Satanic Panic”.

I’ve listened to this album a couple of times and I can’t help but think I’ve heard it all before but I don’t mean that in a bad way. Many of these songs reminds me of other power metal bands. Bloodbound are not plagiarizing or ripping off other bands but their influences do come through. Anyone that is into good old fashioned power metal should be able to find plenty to enjoy on Stormborn. As for myself, going by this album alone, the band has gained a new follower and I’ll have to see if I can check out their previous releases.

Highlights: “Satanic Panic”, “We Raise the Dead”, “Made of Steel”, “Blood of My Blood”, “When the Kingdom Will Fall”, “When All Lights Fail”

MASTERPLAN – Time To Be King

Masterplan – Time To Be King (2010, AFM Records)

1. “Fiddle Of Time” … 4:20
2. “Blow Your Winds” … 3:19
3. “Far From The End Of The World” … 3:35
4. “Time To Be King” … 4:44
5. “Lonely Winds Of War” … 4:35
6. “The Dark Road” … 6:19
7. “The Sun Is In Your Hands” … 4:32
8. “The Black One” … 4:13
9. “Blue Europa” … 5:07
10. “Under The Moon” … 4:14

Band:
Jorn Lande – Vocals
Roland Grapow – Guitar
Jan S. Eckert – Bass
Mike Terrana – Drums
Axel Mackenrott – Keyboards

Producer: Roland Grapow

I don’t follow the power metal scene all that closely so I don’t know much about Masterplan but I have been familiar with Jorn Lande thanks to his work with Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia projects and I’m aware he’s a pretty big deal in his own right amongst the progressive, melodica and power metal communities. He’s a truly gifted vocalist but I’ve never been enticed to try out any of his other projects just because I’m not a huge power metal fan. When the option to check out Masterplan’s Time To Be King came along, I first did a bit of research on the band and liked a few songs from their earlier releases so I figured I would give this a try.

I’ve listened to this album more than a few times but to be honest I’m having trouble finding enough words for fill a review for it. There are very few power metal bands that impress me. While there are some really good moments on this album, ultimately, Masterplan is not amongst that elite group that makes an impact on me. It’s certainly a competent album filled with talented musicians and Jorn Lande proves his worth once again as one of metal’s best active vocalists but I can’t help shake the feeling that this music has no soul (this coming from a guy that LOVES hair metal!).

Again, that’s just the way I feel about power metal in general so perhaps Masterplan never really had much of a chance with me in the first place and I’m not the best opinion to seek out. Is this “bad” music? No, but I don’t think anyone who isn’t already sold on melodic metal is going to be converted by this album.

Highlights: “Far From The End Of The World”, “Time To Be King”, “Lonely Winds Of War”, “The Dark Road”

http://www.master-plan.net/
http://www.myspace.com/masterplanmetal

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