BROTHERS OF METAL
Hailing from Falun, Sweden, Brothers of Metal are bringing forth their newest release, ‘Emblas Saga’. Does Falun sound familiar? It’s the same town that Sabaton was born from! I’m almost embarrassed to admit this is my first experience with Brothers of Metal and, having given their newest work a fair shake, I can see that I’ve completely missed out on their 2017 release of ‘Prophecy of Ragnarok’, which is a shame as it’s a totally excellent Northern Mythology/ Viking album, which carries over into ‘Emblas Saga’. Everyone from their large eight-person lineup has returned this time around, which carries heavy hitters from great bands like Tempory and Good Harvest. Emil Wärmedal wails the bass, Dawid Grahm and Pähr Nilsson blast their guitar axes, Mikael Fehrm also on guitars, Joakim Lindbäck Eriksson and Mats Nilsson on main clean male vocals, Ylva Eriksson singing fantastically gorgeous female vocals, and finally Johan Johansson bonging on the drumhans druhamsson.
Also, the ‘Emblas Saga’ cover artwork was created by Peter Sallai, famous for creating artwork seen on Amon Amarth and Sabaton albums. If you love to display your metal album art works, records, or CDs on your shelf, you should feel very confident adding ‘Brothers of Metal’ to your library! This cover is badass! Well, enough about all that, let’s finally dive into this record!
The very intro to the album opens with a haunting tale titled ‘Brood of the Trickster’ that almost feels like narration from the Lord of the Rings; the voice sounds identical to Christopher Lambert of ‘Highlander’ fame. We’re then swiftly kicked into ‘Powersnake’, and by gawd the smashing power cords mashing forth with bellowing chants carrying your ears on an incredible oceanic journey! This is prime power metal! If you have an interest in Gloryhammer, Amon Amarth, Týr, with dashes of Sabaton and Battle Beast, then you owe it to yourself to dive headfirst into ‘Emblas Saga’! *ehem*, sorry continuing on with the next track…
‘Hel’ and ‘Chain Breaker’ have equally as powerful momentum that builds into such epic chorus’ that should rattle your soul. The theme of Odin, Midgard, hell the entire Norse Mythology shine within these tracks that focuses on each of Loki’s children. The overtures come off as pop-corny/cheesy at times, which really is welcome as it meshes so well in a theatric way parallel to the epic symphony. This is building into quite the album.
‘Kaunaz Dagaz’ might be my personal favorite “killer tracks” on this album; its clean lyric opening by Ylva is terrific, then we’re jolted into a sudden dueling of guitars that bridges us into speedier transition into the main theme. Terrific song writing. ‘Theft of the Hammer’ is just as powerful as the title leads. More epic chorus’ and fantastic power cords. ‘Weaver of Fate’ changes things up a bit with fabulous vocals in this epic folk ballad. A perfect intermission track that eventually builds over time into heavy riffs and a sexy guitar solo.
‘Njord’ is a pure power and folk concoction, leading into the title track, ‘Emblas Saga’, which continues the same simple powerful formula. Nothing like hearing an intro that feels a bit like the intro to Lord of the Rings mixed with Skyrim but then quickly shifts gears into almost hilarious lyrics of the cheesy storytelling for over 7 minutes. Wondrous! ‘Brothers Unite’ feels almost a little out of place with the previous track, but it transitions us along well enough. ‘One’ is obviously a cover of the classic track recorded by ‘Metallica’ in the 80s. They made a music video of it, you should look it up. Also, I’m totally kidding, it’s not a ‘tallica cover! ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ sounds so familiar and, at the same time, takes a nice changeup from the other tracks on this release. Good heavy, speedy, powerful!
We end with a very powerful ballad called ‘To the Skies and Beyond’ that says so much even with it being a softer effort than the neighboring tracks. It’s just as valid as Ylva totally knocks it out of the park on her vocals, giving these softies just as much validity that the heavier songs demand. ALL HAILS! Overall, this album is an essential addition to anyone’s Viking power metal rotation and should not be missed. It’s aggressive at times, it’s melodic at times, and it’s purely captivating throughout. ‘Emblas Saga’ is a great start to 2020’s metal scene!
Review by Joshua Jaeger
10th January 2020
1) Brood of the Trickster
2) Powersnake; 3) Hel
4) Chain Breaker; 5) Kaunaz Dagaz
6) Theft of the Hammer
7) Weaver of Fate
9) Emblas Saga
10) Brothers Unite
12) Ride of the Valkyries
13) To the Skies and Beyond
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...this album is an essential addition to anyone’s Viking power metal rotation and should not be missed. It’s aggressive at times, it’s melodic at times, and it’s purely captivating throughout."