Third Age of the Sun
(Napalm Records) Enslain Magazine Volume 2, Issue 1 Prepare for a stroll through the enchanting world of Tolkien's Middle Earth. I don't just mean metaphorically. Close your eyes as this album takes you for a walk-through of the forests of Rivendell, the elven legacies narrated by Kaisa Jouhki's sweet and delicate voice, and backed by the mystical melodies of harps, flutes and soft keyboards. Then travel through the foreboding land of Mordor, with Tomi Mykkänen's deep growls, and crushingly dark guitarwork.
"Third Age of the Sun" is Battlelore's third release, and shows such maturity. Although gimmicky in nature, their Tolkien/fantasy theme is so well developed and eloquently detailed that it's nothing less than extraordinary. They also have loads of creativity and originality to back up their theme. These Finns really know what they're doing; their inspired blend of metal and fantasy elements creates a heavy melodic album that is concurrently dark and majestic, and never sounds mismatched. Perhaps most impressive is the differentiation between songs, with well-conceived themes on each track representing every mood in the novels.
Other than in "Storm of the Blades" where they sound uncannily like Orphanage, from the style and flow of the vocal lines to the arrangement of the riffs, Battlelore has a very unique and unduplicated sound. It is a true pleasure to explore the world and tales they musically reproduce, and it's easy to fall in love with this ethereal and magical masterpiece.