Monday, 20th November 2017. 2:00:15pm ET

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Artist: Battlelore
Album: Evernight
Label: Napalm Records

You know, it always amazes me when I think of how many people have been influenced by J.R.R. Tolkien and his books "The Hobbit" and of course the "Lord of the Rings" Trilogy. If Tolkien were alive today I'm sure he would be a very rich and very proud man. With the amount of adoration that his work has received throughout the years from not only loyal readers and filmmakers, but musicians as well. Battlelore is just one of the many bands who show their fondness for the works of this great author. Founded by ex-Horna guitarist/bassist Jyri Vahvanen and ex-bassist Miika Kokkola in 1999 and signing to Napalm Records in 2002, Battlelore play epic power metal with some goth metal influences. The music is bombastic and symphonic and every song seems to work together to create an album that must be listened to start to finish. Singing tales of middle-earth, vocalists Kaisa Jouhki and Tomi Mykkanen work together in a beauty and the beast fashion typical of goth and some doom metal. I have been growing into a fan of female vocalists as of late, and Kaisa has a very good voice that offsets Tomi's growling vocals to go along with the darker/lighter mix of moods on the album. Lead guitarist Jussi Rautio and guitarist Jyri Vahvanen create the dark atmosphere with distorted riffs accompanied by some acoustic passages for the lighter parts. At times some of the riffs sound like Jyri is still kind of in touch with his black metal history, but those times are few and far between.

The production on "Evernight" is excellent which allows you to easily hear the heavy bottom end provided by bassist Timo Honkanen and drummer Henri Vahvanen, who also play in Grey Inside together. This gives the music a fuller sound and along with Maria, who is another bandmate of Timo Honkanen in the Elderthrones, on keyboards and flute the music takes on an even more epic sound, perfect for the tales being told here. While some people don't seem to feel that this is Battlelore's strongest album, this is my first experience with the band. I was a bit skeptical of the whole "Tolkien-inspired goth metal" description but it ended up not being bad at all. I would say this is more symphonic power metal than goth, but overall the album is actually really good.


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