Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2024
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Privacy Policy

In need of evolution - 60%

Aurora Rider, May 18th, 2019

After a good first impression, Bannerwar stroke back with ''Centuries of Heathen Might''. This is of course another good release by these Greeks, but unfortunately it fails to take the band to the next level, since it mostly moves in the same waters with ''To Honour Fatherland''. And when I say the same waters, I mean both the musical direction and the album's general quality.

This time, the band chose to use no introduction. Instead, ''Centuries of Heathen Might'' starts dynamically with a classic hellenic black metal rift. Pretty enjoyable, like most of the work done with the guitars in this record. Melodic and aggressive, the majority of the compositions here reminded me of bands like early Naer Mataron and Kawir. However, these same aforementioned catchy rifts and melodies end up being repetitive and tiring after some point. This is due to the numerous recycling and lack of innovation and new ideas. Even the acoustic ambient interludes seem a bit biased to me, since Bannerwar chose to just compose too many of them. Still pretty epic sounding, but even epicness needs evolution and change from time to time.

The rest of the music makes no difference in this record either. The bass is well-played, the keyboard melodies give you the sense of an upcoming glorious battle and the drums strike like the clash of sword and shield... But still nothing out of these is enough to save "Centuries of Heathen Might" from being conventional, at least to an extent. There is literally no element you haven't heard somewhere before. I was able to spot influences from Rotting Christ to Bathory. Which means I could spot the usual influences you expect to listen to in any late 2000s NSBM album. The bad mixing, mastering and sound quality don't help much either. It is a bit sad to realise, but the best part of this album is the Graveland cover at the end, to which Bannerwar gave a brand new refreshing character.

In conclusion, I can't say this is a bad album. Just not something you want to listen to if you search for something different. ''Centuries of Heathen Might'' is a release which has no separate identity but will satisfy anyone looking for an epic black metal album and nothing more. I will not rate this with less than 60%, but I am afraid if Bannerwar continue towards the same path, I will have to do so with their next full-length.