Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Blackened Epic Metal: 1st Draft - 96%

thatcoltkid, May 27th, 2008

People ask me why I'd make a Myspace... Well one day this band called Stormlord added me and I won't lie to you my friends, I was smitten. First I checked out their cover of Moonchild off of their third album The Gorgon Cult then figured these guys were worth the check out. First off I got The Gorgon Cult and I was pretty impressed but it left alot to be desired, I then stumbled across this album and I tell you not only is this one of the most uniquely amazing things I've ever heard, I'm willing to call it the best debut album since Melissa or Holy Diver.

I will admit I'm not the biggest aficionado of either Black or Power metal, but I was floored by Supreme Art of War from the opening keyboards of Where My Spirit Forever Shall Be. This album has a great mix of keyboards as both ambient background and actual music but doesn't sound weak in the slightest, the majority of the guitaring is heavy but powerful enough to fill the song with emotion, the vocals focus mainly on a black screaming style that fits perfectly well with the power metal feel but also have an interesting almost choir style of vocals during some songs. But the real star of this album is the drummer, this guy can play fast, this guy can play heavy and this guy can play epicly. As you'd imagine for Power Metal and Black Metal, it's mainly double bass work, but it never gets repetitive, something tells me this guy isn't new to drumming.

Now as for the songs, they have a recurring theme about the Roman empire (hell, these guys are from Rome) and the music reflects it (check out the instrumental “Sir Lorial”). Also, they seem to go for a very epic and progressive feel, with all but 2 songs going for well over 5 minutes and one of those two songs is simply an outro, but due to the length of these songs there are only 8 tracks to be found and only 7 real tracks.

Things start off with the masterpiece “Where My Spirit Forever Shall Be”, which is without a doubt the best track to be found here, starts off slowly with some keyboarding before a seeming never ending army of riffs take over, when I first heard this I didn’t know what to expect and I was floored by the opening minute and a half. Check out the riff at 00:57, wow. Once the singing kicks in you immediately get the idea on how varied these guys can be; first line – rapid screaming, second line – operatic vocals. There’s a great over the top chant along bit to be found in this song as well, it really embodies the black metal/power metal fusion.

"A Decent Into the Kingdom of the Shades" is as forgettable as it is hard to say, although the break at 3:00 has a kickass gallop which would make any metal fan proud, also has a hell fun yet cheesey and dramatic chorus. “Sir Lorial” is the previously mentioned Instrumental and is the only real song that is under 5 minutes in length (just over 2 minutes to be more precise), this song is really all over the place and has an awful lot in it in the span of two minutes, only problem is a lot of cool moments are cut short and the song feels rushed.

“Age of the Dragon” starts off with some cool opening passages spoken in Latin and unsurprisingly turns into a kickass song about dragons, ah the cheesiness of power metal… “War (The Supreme Art)” is what I guess you could call the title track is the shortest normal song at 5:20 probably has the second best riffing to be found on this album as well as the short but sweet chorus “SUPREME ART OF WAR!” Good times… good times.

“Immortal Heroes” is a bit more different as mid song there seems to be a verse sung by a woman that seems to come out of nowhere but doesn’t take anything away from the song, these guys really know how to throw a curve ball like this in songs.

Then we come to a close with “Of Steel and Ancient Might”, which along with “Outro” goes for a nice 10 minutes. This song really wraps up the album nicely showing off all the key aspects of this band, plus the keyboard “breakdown” around 4 minutes in is amazing, you think it’s going to be the end of the song then… bam! More riffing to be had! Finally, after 9 and a half minutes we fade out into the acoustic outro to fill out the last 50 second and the right comes to an end.

Sadly they would go on a spiralling decline after this album which took them 9 years to shake. Either way, this is nothing short of a masterpiece and one of my favourite debut albums ever.