Bloodbound – Rise of the Dragon Empire

Band: Bloodbound
Album: Rise of the Dragon Empire
Release Date: 22nd March 2019
Record Label: Avalon Label

I first heard of Bloodbound just over 3 years ago when they opened for the joint Alestorm and Sabaton tour. I remember really enjoying their set and having a listen to some of their tracks, but they fell off my radar until now.

The title track kicks off the album in style. The full band hits you with a catchy riff. There is synth there but it isn’t extremely prominent, and there is a group chorus. Slayer of Kings begins with pipes and a slower pace, with some great “woah’s” for a live crowd. Then we are hit full force by a power scream and fast drums and guitar, the vocals have a bit of grit to them. The pace slows down a bit throughout the song, but it is still upbeat.

A power fist, marching track is next with Skynders and Stormbringers. There’s a power vocal intro, and the overall track is slow and heavy, prime for a headbang and a fist in the air. Magical Eye has a dramatic strings intro, and is mid-paced with a fast solo. There is a triumphant intro heavy on drums and strings for Blackwater Bay, it’s a motivational feeling track once again ready for headbanging and fist pumping. There is also a great, epic sounding guitar solo.

Giants of Heaven is another faster paced track, and it reminds me a lot of Sabaton. A more synth sounding intro leads us into The Warlock’s Trail, with a jumping chorus and group vocals which are prime for a crowd singalong. Another synth intro gives us A Blessing in Sorcery. The instrumental strips back completely in the verses, slowly building back up. There is also an acapella section, and towards the end of the song it’s triumphant and majestic.

Another fist pumping and headbanging track follows with Breaking the Beast. I feel the band may have missed a trick here, they could have had a crowd chant of “Breaking the Beast!” in here, which would make a live experience with this track just a bit more special. Balerion builds up anticipation with strings, drums and a faster pace, before we are greeted with fire crackling, bird song, and a low vocal chant. Pipes and strings come in, and the vocal chant increases in volume. Reign of Fire is the ballad of this album, ready for a lighter in the air, and there is an epic guitar solo, finishing the album.

Bloodbound are another one of those bands I feel like I need to listen to more. They are overall not the typical cheesy power metal band, although their back catalogue does have some really catchy tracks such as Nosferatu or Moria. However, it’s good, solid power metal which I really enjoy, and is something that caters to those who also enjoy the more serious power metal (which I do). I’ll definitely be adding this new album and Bloodbound’s back catalogue to my music rotation.

Verdict: 8/10

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