There are certain elements that we take for granted when it comes to great Power Metal; the amazing storyline that keeps us enchanted; the meet and greet with medieval dragons and the mythical hints that keeps us hooked. All of these elements are found on this three track EP of the Swedish Power Metal band Stormhold.
In the kingdom of Astraal, we set our scene, with the help of the very graphic intro The Legacy. It is a vivid track and I can almost feel the warriors and dragons creeping around me as I sit by a fire in the deepest of forests. It really conveys the feelings and mindset needed for the epic tales to come.
We are first cast into the battlefield with Legions Of The Brave, where we get to meet the soldiers who fight for justice and a new beginning. It is masterly done with an incredible synch between guitar, bass and drums. We also get to enjoy some unexpected vocal dimensions that takes this track to exciting hights – literally. A perfect opening act.
In the second part of the story we are introduced to Godric Hammerfist, a pure lyrical masterpiece, playing with words, which clearly shows the creativity and talent of the band members. The storytelling is further enhanced with musical precision and staggering riffs which makes this the strongest track on the EP in my book.
Last, but not least, we are left with the more up tempo song Westbay, which focuses more on vocals and choirs than the other tracks. Here the singers voice really comes to its right, and the range of emotions he mediates is vast. It is a grand ending with enthrallning musical elevations, leaving me wanting more.
It is not every day one travels to another world, meets mythical creatures, fierce warriors or brave soldiers. But in the musical story of Tales of Astraal this is exactly what you will do. Every beat, riff and pitch has its on role to play in this epic collection, and it is done with extreme thought and care. I want to hear more, and I want it now. Because it doesn´t happen every day that music moves mountains.