At the end of last fall young band from Hungary Blacklore has presented their debut album Legend of the Lich Pirate I., and has done it entirely independently. Blacklore is aimed to reach the ears of fans of heavy and power metal, making their own music in the best traditions of these well-known classical genres.
This band is truly young; three years together and not even a trace of previous experience in the musical industry. But it’s not like that’s too obvious that Blacklore is their first band, competent possession of professional musical skills is undeniable, but the originality of their own material, that’s another issue. Their heavy metal is a little bit folky (à la Alestorm), and peppered with power metal’s playfulness and pathetic solemnity. But in an awfully minimalistic and orthodox manner, so it’s better to focus more on emotional side than to dig deeper looking for abnormalities or at least some kind of progressivity and other stylistic surprises. Everything here is genuinely traditional and pure, so let’s forget about their visionary possibilities to create something unique and mind-blowing. This band has chosen their path, and they are pretty confident with their roles, so no regrets, no tears of disappointment, only straightforward joy to play what they truly like.
The songs on Legend of the Lich Pirate I. are rather long and repetitive, but this is also pretty pertinent, like every song has its own story to tell, creating sort of integrity. Sometimes the most primitive parts produce an effect of ritualistic vibes, when the drumbeats sound almost mesmerizingly detached (especially emphasized through the composition “Birth of a Pirate”). And “Birth of a Pirate” is also the most ethnic one on this record. We can also hear some enticing ballads throughout this record (like “Iloveyous with Abuse” or “Friend I’ve never have”), bold and sensitive at the same time. The rhythm is mainly medium and steady with war-like canter, but sometimes mischievously accelerating or slowing down. This anthem-like tempo is an epitome of monotonous primitivism, infecting all the songs with drab consistency.
The guitar riffs are the main foundation of the songs, and those are typical, old school and very ordinary, but in a catchy way. Not like they sound like echoes of distant heavy metal hymns of the past, but still very recognizable, like, hell yeah, undoubtedly, this is as pure as heavy metal can be. It is worth noting that this traditional rhythmical heavy metal pattern doesn’t create fighting spirit or optimistic mood, no, on the contrary it gives some kind of inevitable severity and even some sad notes. We can’t also complain about the lack of melodic lines, this album isn’t entirely melodic, but from time to time these gentle melodies soften the overall sound, exposing the subtler side of their music (“This Town is Beautiful”). Mostly the singing parts belong to their female singer Niuve, but sometimes she is joined by their guitar player Æmon, who can growl or softly sing along. But Niuve is the one who paints Legend of the Lich Pirate I. with emotional tissue and candid vigor. She is responsible for the wider range of emotions – from tough determination to sorrowful lamentations. Her voice is a little bit husky and rough, but heavy metal can sound really animated with this kind of voices.
Hungary isn’t a blissful country regarding to iconic metal brands. But we have unique and well-known Thy Catafalque or Sear Bliss or Dalriada, to name a few. Blacklore is now making their first steps into this community, and all we can do is wish them more original ideas and inspiration from their rich national traditions.
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