REVIEW: Bloodbound – Creatures of the Dark Realm

Three years has passed since Bloodbound last graced us with their album ”Rise of the Dragon Empire” which was in my personal opinion a solid and good album, just carrying a little too many resemblances to other songs which gave me mixed feelings. Over the years – the strong songs of the album has really grown on me, so I was more than excited when it was time for new music from the boys. 

”Creatures of the Dark Realm” is yet another work of the three primary songwriters in the band and this time around they attempted to do something new without losing the complete Bloodbound touch. So, let’s get to it shall we? 

The album opens up a little slowly and purposely calm with the intro ”The Creatures Preludium” before it launches right into the heavy and epic opening track, which also so happens to be the title track of the album. The chorus is massive with a bit of a dramatical touch in the musical department, making this song serve as the perfect opener of the album and telling what is yet to come.

This is followed up rather quickly with one of the more commercial tracks of the album, also known as the first single, ”When Fate is Calling” and it works so well together, being on the bit more melodic side to keep the interest going, especially considering that the next song, ”Ever Burning Flame” holds very typical Bloodbound elements. The song itself brings quick thoughts back to ”A Warlocks Trail” and the chorus itself to ”Dragons Are Forever” from previous albums, but with a new added touch that makes it the perfect blend, if it makes sense? The breakdown in this song is also everything I’d ask for in a song like this together with a well crafted solo.

The first major surprise on this album I find in ”Eyes Come Alive” where we hear Patrik pull off some more high pitched singing which I can’t for the life of me think I’ve heard that often with Bloodbound – think HammerFall’s ”Fury of the Wild” as far as the vocals come. The whole song brings some thoughts of arrangements regarding the same song, although I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily similar.

I live for this chorus though – there is something very special with heavy and anthem-like choruses that just makes my heart burst. After this we find ourselves in a fast and heavy song, a song instantly brining the thoughts back to ”Rise of the Dragon Empire” as well as ”Slayer of Kings” with how it’s built, but again – not necessarily similar. Just another well crafted mash up, if you like?

”Gathering of Souls” is the first song of the album that brings an actual sense of adventure och epic anthems – I know I’ve used the word before in this review, but this is on a different level. ”Kill or Be Killed” continues in the adventurous vein of this album, as it brings the typical Bloodbound melodies that we know from before, and has just as the previous an anthem feel to it. Something that stands out for me, that really hits me in the right spots, is the double pedal drum. It’s something with them in this song that just makes it SO GOOD.

Straight after this little adventure we head back into something even heavier and speedier than what we found in ”Death Will Lead The Way”, and if I may say so – it might just be a touch better than the previous one as it keeps on throughout the song with the tempo giving us a higher heart rate – I mean, in case we need that.

For the major wrap up of the album it starts off with the second single of the album ”March Into War”, a song that is most likely becoming my personal favorite of the album. Absolutely massive and epic anthem, having everything I personally like in a song (you all know by now I am all about the slower and heavier songs rather than the speedy ones). 

After this majestic anthem we get another more melodic and commercial leaning kind of song, with a massive chorus which makes me like it, but it’s not a favorite at all. The album wraps up completely with ”The Wicked and the Weak” which serves as the heavy – on – the – spot ending that we all deserve with a nice ”We are the others” kind of message – I love those kind of songs. 

So what is the verdict? I think its a very well crafted album – as someone who has gotten accustomed to them singing primarily about dragons I’m confused by the lack of dragons but then I remember – this is exactly what they were opting for. Creating something relatively new, and so they did. The album lines up amazingly too – I personally look a lot at the way the song order has been decided and it has made or broken albums in the past for me when bands end up putting what is in my opinion the wrong song first. 

But with this – we get an amazing listening experience from start to finish with ups and downs keeping it interesting throughout the whole thing. Overall though, it’s still very, very Bloodbound production wise, and perhaps not as new (comparing to the most recent albums, its very different from the first ones) as one who have wished, but on the other hand – we do like them for a reason, don’t we? 

Well done, Bloodbound. Another solid album to the ranks, and now I can’t personally wait to get to hear the new material live when the time is right, so to speak.

// Sara

Label: AFM Records I CDON I Amazon I Ginza

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