WKNC Pick of the Week, February 11, 2011 by Jonathan Newman, WKNC deejay
Musically, this album is more akin to the bands earlier works Where The Shadows Lie and Sword’s Song with the driving guitars and blast beats. They blend the male and female vocals seamlessly over the keyboards and guitars, giving the songs a more earthy, yet powerful tone.
The male vocals have improved dramatically. The vocalist has seemed to have found the perfect line between growling and singing to add a voice that blends both a uruk-hai and a man. The female’s vocals sound like the elves Arwen and Galadriel combined, forming a light sound that compliments the male’s harsh vocals. Together with the lyrics, the music creates a powerful effect that sucks you in, leaving you wanting more.
While all the songs on the album are special in their own right, there are a few songs that one should take notice of, with the first of these songs being “Bow and Helm.”
The song immediately kicks in with dual guitars and a pounding drum beat before filling your ears with the horns of Gondor. The male vocalist speaks softly to us about the land of bow and helm, before the voice of the orc breaks in screaming over galloping guitars about the rise of the dragon. Then it slows down, letting the elf and man sing quietly, before quickly returning to the orc attack of guitars and drums.
“Kärmessurma” is one of the more unique songs on the album, utilizing both male and orc vocals over a driving guitar. Yet what makes it special is the whole song is sung in elvish, making us feel as if we are watching a shouting match between a man and orc, before the female comes in and calms everything down.
The second-to-last song on the album is worth noting. “Doombound” is the last song to use vocals, and it uses them to such an extent that when mixed with the keyboards and guitars, you truly feel the pain that Túrin felt in his last moments. With a catchy hook and painful roars, the song plows on, dragging you down, before lifting you back up with a piano interlude filled with the serene voice of the elf, giving you peace despite the fact that you are doom-bound.
88.1 WKNC Pick of the Week is published in every Friday in the print edition of Technician, as well as online at technicianonline.com and wknc.org.