BATTLELORE - The Last Alliance
Battlelore from Finland started in 1999 and are now back with their already fifth album The Last Alliance. Lyrically inspired by the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the band aims their music at gothic metal fans.
Although they claim to be an epic fantasy metal band, they use just too many typical gothic clichés, starting with the juxtaposition of a clear female and an aggressive male voice. Kaisa is in charge of the more melodic and atmospheric elements, while Tomi delivers the brutal growls. Despite this well known approach, they still do nicely, especially when the two vocalist sing their parts together, as can be witnessed on Guardians.
Another stereotype are the dominant keyboards which carry the melodies of most songs, pushing apart unfortunately guitar and bass that only seem to play a secondary role. At least the drums hold their ground and surprise with ultrafast double bass drum attacks that occasionally let the music drift into black metal territory.
Battlelore take care to avoid monotony, and this fill their songs with ideas and tons of breaks. Kitsch, symphonic, atmospheric, romantic, ballad and brutal parts go hand in hand. As good as this works in the beginning, the band loses steam in the last third, missing to add new impulses.
The Last Alliance has the potential to become a success among the gothic community, but pure metal fans will be deterred by the high kitsch factor. The limited edition of the CD comes with a bonus DVD containing Battlelore’s concert at the Metal Female Vocals Festival 2007.