Bloodbound – “Creatures Of The Dark Realm” (AFM Records)
Battle Helm Rating
One thing that Bloodbound doesn’t do is disappoint, and here on “Creatures Of The Dark Realm” they prove it once again – in abundance. With scarcely two years gone since their 8th studio album, the three-pronged song writing team of keyboardist Fredrik Bergh, guitarist Tomas Olsson and vocalist Patrik Selleby had a single motivation: to compose a release with incredibly memorable songs containing their best hooks and catchiest melodies. Considering these Swedish heavy / power metallers said that they cut material not meeting those high standards, I can safely conclude that they’ve succeeded judging by the 11 impressive tracks here. Drumming rolling in along with fast riffs on ‘Eyes Come Alive’, Bergh’s keyboards are immediately in there with the melodies as Selleby hits his own soaring highs, although nothing could prepare me for the truly grand chorus basking in the epic glory that made Sabaton! While there may not be a single ballad in sight on the album, the slower but rocking ‘Kill Or Be Killed’ is awash with warrior passion as Daniel Sjögren’s power drumming is stylishly contrasted by blissful Scandi guitar melodies and Bergh’s keyboard emotion while Selleby’s touching soul adds the final brilliance to the hugely singalong chorus. Adding a modern dance beat into the power metal majesty, ‘Face Of Evil’ is an explosion of guitar and keyboard melodies that is ceaseless thanks to the song’s pumping energy as Selleby soars in tune to the wailing Olsson guitars – excellent. Closing with ‘The Wicked And The Weak’, the deep folk melodies are given a double kick from Sjögren as the bountiful guitars add in even more chugging passion, crooning and wailing throughout while Bergh’s keyboards add a dramatic flair as Selleby’s soul shines once again, and indeed throughout this fantastic album, in making the name of Bloodbound glorious once again!