Well, after a little unplanned break, which took longer than I’d like, Rubber Axe is back and what’s better than to jump into the action with some nice review, right?
And for that we have Blutfeld’s new EP – “Kingdom of Mine”. So what’s in there for you? Glad you’ve asked.
It’s a debut EP for this Swedish duo, which consists of Daniel T (vocals and keyboards) and Lord Flabriel (guitar and bass) and contains 6 tracks. Oh, and not to forget the guest musicians – Jonas Hoffman on drums and guest singers Sampantha Kempster and Hada Pixie.
The opening sounds belong to the intro „Fanfare“. From the get go I‘d assume we’re gonna deal with some symphonic metal stuff or maybe Dungeon Synth, although the guitar, which nicely (and I mean it, I like the riffing) interwines through the notes excludes the latter one (or at least in the pure DS point of view). But the guitar has caught my attention, therefore thumb up so far, boys and girls.
But the second track “Natural Born Leader” affirms its position in the melodic black/death genre with evident nods to Viking and epic stuff and it’s definitely not unwelcome here in my corner. Although the music is simple enough and I’d say it kinda betrays we’re not dealing with a full band here (the drum work especially), I’m in a mood for such music and added bonus in Samantha Kempster’s beautiful voice makes it even better. And again, guitar work works for me (the beauty of the main riff, although I’d hesitate to call it original, in his simplicity is just, well, beautiful).
Third cut here is the “New Dawn”, an interesting song, more of an invocation, as it comprises of broken segments with Daniel’s reciting the lyrics, but in the last minute we’re again in the musical realm (although I wouldn’t be mad if that final segment lasts longer) and melody reigns supreme. Not cheesy and not overdone, but definitely weird of sorts.
“Ritual” is another instrumental song (a collaboration between Daniel and Mikael Tjernberg) and yeah, epic/viking/DS is present in this one very very firmly. I love these genres, so obviously, I can revel in the atmosphere. And I am not afraid to say I’m gonna re-play it again. Cos’ I want, you know?
And the “Victory or Defeat” is another surprise. A pleasant one. Although melodically Blutfeld be lost side to side to Northsong or Ensiferum, the part of it sounds pretty rockish (the part after the “Victory or Defeat” proclamation). Fuck yeah, that what I like, I think this one is definitely the highlight of this nice little EP. And just to confirm we’re still in epic genre, that nice interlude with horses, sword clashing and the start of the final part, that’s pure orgasm for my ears. I love the inspirational music, and although I’m not gonna buy a sword and horned helmet (not yet), the dramatic element of the song definitely works for me. Haven’t I forgotten to mention something? Oh yeah – again, kudos to Lord Fabriel’s guitar.
Last song here is “Kingdom of Mine”, the longest track here, and Hada Pixie has come to help Blutfeld guys to deliver a fitting finish. Good thing is the change of drums, although I certainly wouldn’t complain about the percussions used before, proper drumkit sound is a welcome enrichment. The midtempo track sounds like an companion track to the final battle – you know, the thoughts, the memories…all this put together with nice melody and guitar solos I can’t praise enough (OK, I know I’d sound like an idiot, but what I like, I will praise. End of.)
All in all, if you like melodic metal of black/death/epic/viking variety, Blutfeld could be up your valley. It might not be the most original album of all times, but the time spent with it will certainly be not spent in vain. I, for one, am quite interested what these Scandinavians could come up with next.
Give it a listen here: https://blutfeld.bandcamp.com/releases