Album Review: BATTLESOUL Sunward And Starward
In Battlesoul’s new LP, Sunward And Starward—out this Friday on CDN—the band deliver a blend of symphonic, Celtic heavy metal. From death to folk to power metal, Battlesoul embrace a kickass delivery of musicianship within their work. The instrumentals of Sunward And Starward are nothing short of epic. Thanks to a blend of magical and brutal sounds, Battlesoul set the stage for a barrage of chaos and wonder.
“All I Understand” comes charging in with a barrage of riffs and drumming. Vocalist Jon Doyle brings a majestic singing into the forefront, but suddenly delivers a weird, high-pitch tone that’s just uncomfortable to hear. Eventually, the vocals align with the flow and come through much more smoothly. On the other hand, the instrumental component of this record is awesome as hell. Raging drum work, flutes, and chaotic guitar playing make for a blistering start to Sunward And Starward.
“Bear The Word” continues the torrent of instrumentation, drummer Nich Ireland comes in like an avalanche alongside the work of bassist Bill Elliott. Wisps of melody string throughout the work; the vocals fitting in nicely from the beginning. There’s a pure drive in shredding guitars thanks to Thomas Ireland and Andrew Murray, but the track makes sure to include other elements such as a flute solo that comes in towards the mid-point. “The Watcher” begins with more of a draw, each guitar chord lingering before the song drops into a wave of churning brutality. It paints this picture of a ship out in the middle of sea fighting off a relentless storm. The material is a fun and theatrical ride, using instrumentation to rise with moments of adrenaline and awe.
This is the sort of music one would use to make a metal soundtrack for Lord Of The Rings. Each riff and tone cries out in majestic chaos, thrashing and beating throughout the material. There’s a proud aura to the music, like the sort of power one would expect riding on a dragon into enemy territory. This is all thanks to the consistent energy the songs provide, and how it’s always pulsating with thrilling adrenaline. The instrumentation offers exhilarating work that will grab listeners in each track, guiding them through a magical journey.
“Totem” plays with tempo, taking time to scale back on the speed before diving back into the fray. The laid-back folk sections offer plenty of excitement that carries listeners into the more vicious parts of the track. “Azure Skies” makes a grand entrance with radiant blends of guitar tones that wash over the listener. There’s a melancholy element to the track with the vocal work that brings a new blend of emotion.
Battlesoul’s Sunward And Starward is an epic time of enchanting brutality. The album’s adrenaline and mysticism present a captivating rush that flows throughout the work. Sunward And Starward is an excellent direction for Battlesoul and shows their ability to create enchanting metal.