четвъртък, 18 юли 2013 г.

Realmbuilder - Fortifications of the Pale Architect (2011)

Realmbuilder is a rather strange band whose music style I won't try to define, but as far as I am concerned, the epic metal tag fits them the best.

What do I mean by 'strange'? While most epic metal bands I can think of have either very high-pitched vocals, very often reaching falsettos, trying to sound as dramatic as it gets with a "don't worry sweet princess in high tower, I am coming to kill this dragon" kind of attitude, these guys sound way more majestic and real-balled. Probably most people's first association with epic metal is also Manilla Road and while I don't find many similarities, Realmbuilder is just like the formerly mentioned - one such band that bears the flag of the genre without pissing on it.

As you would suppose, everything in the world of this album is imaginary. Your modern world doesn't have a place in it. From the very introduction of the album you get a horse galloping together with a fast melodic guitar and a marching drum. The soldiers are riding behind their commander on a quest. Seriously, I have no idea what the song is about, but this is how it sounds to my ears. Its music exists in its own empire created by the band. The overall sound of the album is rather quirk and not absolutely to my liking. It smells like low budget production, but in a bad way. While sometimes this gives a more romantic old-school sound to a record, the guitar here sounds somehow "cut". I don't pretend to understand a lot from production and all, but it sometimes bugs the whole experience of the fortifications of the pale architect.

Another plus for these guys is that they don't have heart-melting, cheesy ballads. The whole record is more about weaponry, iron sieges, savage man attacking one another rather then pink-coloured love stories. And while the band consists of only two man, it does sound full-blooded. Of course, if you forget the weird sound, which is kinda hard to forget, because it clings to your ears the whole time. I was recently thinking of what to listen to while I read some of the epic Robert Howard tales I found lying around and now I know. This album is great soundtrack to anything that you would need if you want to pretend you live in another world. The great guitar solos are also a huge helper to get soaked in the old-day like atmosphere. Also, while many might dislike the vocals, I do dig them. Not all epic/power metal has to be fronted by someone whimpering. The powerful riffs are strong and convincing. I don't want to evaluate their originality, but they sound brave enough for me to believe the guys.

It's good to hear some good epic metal these days, as most musicians tend to waver towards the clean production and generally appealing power-pop metal bullshit that big companies would sign.

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