Blood, Fire, Magic And Steel
Review by Lynxie on July 2, 2023.
If I recall correctly, Battle Born came on my radar alongside Fellowship. You know, both are British bands, both are newcomers to the genre. Unlike Fellowship's upbeat Disney metal style of power metal though, Battle Born's Blood, Fire, Magic And Steel probably gravitate to the more late second-wave of things, with some Beast In Black thrown in the mix.
So yeah, talking about ''the old meets the young'': opening with grandiose orchestras, 'Wind Caller' starts to blow your mind away, the pounding drums and trilling guitars taking you on a journey back to the 2000s; but Beast In Black is just around the corner, since the following track 'Dragon Heart's bouncy synth and groove were too obviously drawn from Berserker. The pattern would go on as Battle Born swing from blistering power anthems to more synthy speedsters, only slowing down for the emotional ballad 'The Endless Grey'. It's a working progression though, at least they've managed to appeal to both the adamant old-schoolers and young newcomers whose intro band was Sabaton. I doubt any power metal fan could resist raising their mead to 'Down Your Drinks And Raise Your Swords' glorious chorus, and I swear 'Ride North For Winterhold' was molded off "Black Fire" or some ZP-era Dragonforce songs.
Battle Born is surely pure fun, sporting some of the most rousing choruses I've heard in a while in each and every one of their songs - yes, even the ballad, but 'Fire Storm' and 'Power Force' are true brain surgery materials. However, do not think for a moment they are poppy synthy disco-power, even with the evident Beast In Black blood coursing through their veins. Will Kerr's shreds will soon assuage your doubts, especially on tracks like 'Wind Caller' or 'Blood And Fire'. You really need to think back on your love for power metal too if you didn't bang your head and pump your fist to 'Meridia'. Also, Jack Reynolds is a damn fine vocalist; I had first heard his works on "Woods Of Wonder", but that album was too fucking slow to bring out the charisma of any vocal. His works here on Blood, Fire, Magic And Steel shows he have both the grit and the pomp, his falsetto screams almighty -- almost like to Yannis.
I'm not the hugest fan of the majority of modern power bands out there, but Battle Born's mix works, especially in the almost 'Freedom Call' reminiscent closer 'Sky Guard You' with its balanced blend of lofty synth and solid riffing. There's an almost circular sense around the arrangement as 'Sky Guard You' ends in a flow of near the same epic orchestra as 'Wind Caller', but the circle is not complete in a melodic sense. Instead, it veers off the other side, making us want more. Real sneaky work there, but I like it.
Well, you cannot deny that the UK's got some pretty apt new bands of recent years, Fellowship and Battle Born being the best of examples. I'd like to see how this one would go off. It's a really popular and appealing mix of second-wave and third-wave power metal Battle Born is going for, at least they could hammer those choruses into my head. Recommended for anyone who likes Beast In Black but not One Night In Tokyo.
(You'll never know how many times I'd written 'Battle Beast' instead of 'Battle Born' during this review, urgh.)
Highlights: 'Wind Caller', 'Blood And Fire', 'Meridia'
Rating: 8.6 out of 10491