Bloodbound are a Swedish power metal band that formed in 2004. War of Dragons is their 7th record & first since Stormborn in 2014. It’s a lovely slice of fantasy based power metal with serious emphasis on the fantasy. Its fast pace, high note vocals & guitar soloing will feel instantly familiar to anyone used to a more modern power metal style (think Dragonforce but less guitar twiddling). It’s bombastic music is designed to raise a fist to the sky & get the head pumping.
Battle in the Sky is a great opening song with a very catchy tune, in particular the chorus. However it’s with Tears of a Dragonheart that the album really gets going. This is when the vocals really get to shine with some fantastic harmonies. It’s exciting beat will put a smile on your face & you’ll find it hard to not nod along happily with the brilliantly done guitar solo.
In fact War of Dragons is filled with great guitar solos. Music with a real bounce to it, catchy with a really epic feel to it. Songs like Stand and Fight, King of Swords & Guardians at Heaven’s Gate are just three that get the blood pumping. Hard-hitting riffs, vocals like melted butter & drum beats to crack the earth open.
These kind of songs are what makes this album so listenable, so much fun & so filled with vigor. Unfortunately it’s not all great though.
The biggest flaw with the record is just how little sticks by the end. You’ll have enjoyed yourself but it’s not likely to be an album that you’ll still be listening too in 6 months time. Silver Wings with its folksy tune is one of the most forgettable of a bunch that just don’t excite. It’s the slower ones that tend to suffer the most. Far from bad songs, just not as inspiring as what else is found throughout.
By time Symphony Satana hits War of Dragons is beginning to over stay its welcome. Songs start to blend into each other & you’ll be checking to see if you accidentally hit repeat on an earlier song.
The album ends strongly with the chorus driven Starfall (another great guitar solo near the end) & the upbeat, high-tempo Dragons Are Forever. The latter of the two in particular brings back the ‘fist in the air’ feeling, a really strong finish that leaves you smiling once again.
War of Dragons is a damn good power metal album. What it lacks in originality, it makes up for in bombastic tunes & feel good moments. A few too many boring tracks & some repetitive moments take the overall shine off its quality.
War of Dragons Overall Track Listing:
1. A New Era Begins
2. Battle in the Sky
3. Tears of a Dragon
4. War of Dragons
5. Silver Wings
6. Stand and Fight
7. King of Swords
8. Fallen Heroes
9. Guardians at Heaven’s Gate
10. Symphony Satana
12. Dragons Are Forever
War of Dragons was released on February 24th 2017 & is available on most streaming platforms. You can pick the album over on AFM records here, the Limited Boxset here as well as over on Amazon here. You can find out more about Bloodbound over on Facebook.
Bloodbound - War of Dragons (AMF Records)