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An Epic Tale and Great Metal Album in One! - 95%

PowerMetalGuardian, July 16th, 2007

For awhile now people have been telling me that I must listen to Bal Sagoth, because I would enjoy them. However, I was hesitant. Many people bashed them for not being “black metal,” enough and having to much “flower metal” influence. Even though this raised my curiosity, not till many years later have I bought this amazing disc. Just looking at the cover art – with this bad ass dude wielding a sword coming out of some portal like structure – makes you want to get this album, or should anyway. As all Bal Sagoth albums tell a story, or arc of a story, so does The Power Cosmic. I haven’t picked apart the storyline to examine it yet, though it deals with space and people with big names like Zuranthus and Zakumakura (the dragon king). It has enough lore and creativity to be marketed with the best fantasy/sci-fi novels.


So what do you get when you mix Moonsorrow with Rhapsody (of Fire)? Bal Sagoth!!! While the sound has been done before, this mixture of it is extremely well done. This album is truly masterful and epic. Like Rhapsody it has a lot of what I like to call “enchanted” keys. The rhythm behind the music is like reading a fantasy book or watching a sci-fi movie. It has the ability to take you to another place, which to me at least is really cool. It starts out with a pretty good instrumental that sets the stage and until the ending shouts of Zurra “so shall it be DESTROYED!!!” the album takes you on a mystical ride!


One thing I’ve noticed musically about the album is that it is heavily driven by the keys. This can be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it. The keyboard gives it the power metal edge, making the music truly epic in the sense; however, it covers up the guitars many a time. While I love the keys, I like my guitars better, and you really have to focus on the guitars to truly grab its style. However, without the keys, the guitars would be meaningless in this style, especially that there are no real guitar solo/lead parts in the songs. So they are complementary and in some parts mimic each other, like the lead into the verse on The Voyagers Beneath…


The vocals are also well done on this album. Surprisingly the growling vocals are less and sporadic compared to the speaking parts. I also enjoy the drumming as for the most part it is fast paced, even when the other parts of the song are cleaner and slower. Some amazing drumming that should not go unmentioned for sure!


Overall if you like epic power metal and also like growling vocals, this band is for you. In so many ways it reminds me of Rhapsody, with its epic story telling, yet it can be folky like Moonsorrow. I highly recommend any one who likes either band to get this album. Do not do what I’ve done for so many years – put off listening to this band! The album is solid all the way through. Each song grabs you and pulls you deeper into the story. There are no fillers, this is truly a masterpiece!