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Axes of the Dwarves! The Dwarves are upon you! - 80%

Elricgodslayer, August 12th, 2013

The general themes of Tolkienesque high fantasy aren't new to metal by any means. What Lords of the Mountain brings to the table, however, is fantasy-inspired metal from a slightly unusual point of view, that of the bearded and hardy dwarven-folk. Anyone who has been exposed to dwarves in fantasy will know immediately why they are a great subject for a metal band. The Hobbit films provide visual proof of how badass and metal dwarves can be.

Yet despite all this, there are almost no songs concerning dwarves, while there are countless songs about elves and wizards. Lords of the Mountain, who refer to themselves as "dwarven metal", aim to change this. This album, The Journey Began, is a short demo with an instrumental intro, two lyrical songs, and an instrumental outro. The first lyrical song, The Oath of Stone, praises dwarves in general. The second lyrical song The Stone Bridge, tells the tale of Kagi Ironguard, a dwarf with a doom-bound fate who breaks a sacred oath to pursue his destiny. The story, while short and potentially cliche in the eyes of some, is pretty cool and quite worthy of an epic metal treatment.

Musically, Lords of the Mountain are a mix between viking metal, and folk metal. The epic glory of the viking metal and the rustic European feel of the folk metal really compliment the dwarven theme quite well. Imagine, dwarves portrayed with an epic, gloriously melodic score shot through with Irish-style jigs and some somber chanting. The resulting sound is undeniably dwarven.

As a huge fan of dwarves and epic fantasy in general, I was delighted when I learned of this band's existence. As a metalhead, I was even more thrilled when I actually heard them. Of course, what kind of music could truly communicate the axe-wielding, honor-bound, steel-hearted, bearded fury of the dwarves better than metal?

The Journey Began is a great demo from a talented band. I would absolutely love to hear more from them.