Having recently signed with Pitch Black Records, Legendary Greek classic metal band Marauder unleash their fifth album Elegy of Blood on May 15th bringing ten accomplished tracks of well crafted classic heavy metal. The album is a powerful beast with an anthemic heart and adrenaline soaked pulse that is sure to please all heavy metal fans.
Honesty has to be brought forth at this point and state that classic and heavy metal is not a flavour that incites the most eager response here at The RR so excuse the tempered enthusiasm behind the review. That being said it is not hard to see and appreciate the passion and craft behind the boisterous melodic metal that makes up Elegy of Blood. Formed just over 22 years the band has obviously evolved into a mighty and inventive band as the new album alone gives enough evidence for and it is easy to see why they are one of the most respected Greek metal bands for many years now. The album is varied with strong elements of power metal and harsher tones added to the classic blood each track flows with and whether a fan of their style of music or not it is very easy to be swept up in the chest beating and calling to arms that frequent its corridors.
The title track intro opens up the release with a dawning epic atmosphere, a declaration of something far reaching and evocative to emerge. Whilst the following The Great War may not quite live up to that billing it is still a rampant anthemic mix of incisive melodic guitar play, impetuous riffs, and combative rhythms. The vocals of Alexandros Kostarakos spread throughout the track with the expected style and ability of the genre with solid back up elsewhere whilst sharing centre stage with the ear catching melodies and guitar craft from and Andreas Tsaoussis and Giorgos Sofronas but great as they are the highlight here and throughout the album is the excellent prowling and grumbling bass of Thodoris Paralis alongside the formidable drums of Grigoris Vlachos which drive every song with an impressive and stirring control.
Alexander follows with equal satisfaction before handing over to the first of three songs which did ignite some sparks within us. Warriors is a muscular track with a metal spine and a compulsive predatory bass as combative as the cause of the lyrical tale. The track marches through the ear with the surety of weighty power without unleashing an overly aggressive intensity. The other two songs which caught the imagination most deeply also strike in similar vein, brought forth with a military precision and storming pulse.
Crusader is a more expectant and rampaging animal though still without unleashing its unbridled might. The group vocals that form the chorus moments give a band of brothers effect to bring extra energy to the stirring riffs and rhythms. Once more it is the great bass work of Paralis that brings most pleasure though the song has some of the best and most inciting riffs on the album too, the combination making it the best on the release. The third of the songs to make the biggest mark is Black Gold and again it enters on a military breath with drums to rile up the senses and riffs to strike down all before them. It is probably one of the least creative tracks songwriting wise but it has an energy and life to it that sets it apart.
Every song within Elegy of Blood will bring much pleasure to classic metal fans, from the expressive instrumental Hiroshima, the power ballad Mother, to the closing World War II. It is a very strong album with plenty to feast upon and be inspired by, if you like that kind of thing. Though this genre does not fire us up generally often the opposite, it has to be said Marauder have come closer than most classic metals band in finding a regular place on our daily playlist. For those with a welcoming for heavy metal Elegy of Blood is a sure thing to be high on their regular selections.