(Review by Slater922 of Metal Archives)
Stormkeep is one of the newer black metal bands to come out in recent times, but this Coloradan band has been gaining a lot of buzz lately, especially with this year's debut album "Tales of Othertime". And man, if you want a new black metal band that worships Emperor in a good way, then you can't go wrong with this album. Everything from the instruments, the synths, the vocals, and everything else is amazing, and it stands out on its own merits and not just be a blatant "In the Nightside Eclipse" clone. Let's start off with the instrumentals. The album starts off with the track "The Seer", which consists of an acoustic guitar playing a calming riff while some synths play in the background. This goes on for about 50 seconds before the rest of the instruments kick in. The guitars play many riffs that are melodic, but also cold and hard-hitting, and are fantastic at evoking a grand and vast atmosphere. The drumming is also spectacular, with its mix of blastbeats and technical patterns giving the track a variety of intensity as well as working well with the guitars. Even the bass is exceptional with its deep-tuned riffs creating a sturdy and deep foundation for the track. As for the more ambient-driven tracks like "The Citadel", they work just as well as the metal tracks, as the synths have that authentic dungeon synth sound that gives it a cheap, yet effective sound, and the acoustic guitar only further enhances the atmospheric composition. Other great tracks on this album include "A Journey Through Storms" and "The Serpent's Stone". Every track on this album is special in its own way, and there's very little misses on each instrument. As for the vocals, they're pretty good, but I wish there was more to be done. Now to his credit, Isaac Faulk does know how to shriek with pride, as in the track "The Serpent's Stone", his shrieks have a bold personality that gives the story he tells a more epic feeling. However, in certain moments, the shrieking can feel a bit monotonous, and sounds like something I've heard from other black metal vocalists. This is especially true with "Eternal Majesty Manifest", as while the track is a great way to close off the album, Issac's vocals sound like every other melodic black metal vocalist that's ever existed. Issac's vocals are pretty great overall, but his vocal work can feel tedious at times. However, these weaker vocal moments are rare and don't stop this album from sounding excellent overall. The riffs on every track are memorable and unique, the synths on here sound great and enforce the grand atmosphere, and this album does an excellent job at blending in Emperor-worship riffs with the band's unique personality and sound. If you want some great modern melodic black metal from this year, then look no further than in this album.
Stormkeep "Tales Othertime" Jewelcase CD
- Brand: Ván Records
- Product Code: CD
- Availability: In Stock