ALBUM REVIEW: Bloodbound – Creatures Of The Dark Realm

BLOODBOUND is a Swedish power metal band that formed in 2004, and since forming they have been through several changes. The current band line up has been together since 2017 and consists of keyboardist Fredrik Bergh, guitarists Tomas Olsson and Henrik Olsson, vocalist Patrik J Selleby, bassist Anders Broman and Daniel Sjögren smashing it on drums.

In their long career the band have released eight albums, with Creatures of the Dark Realm being their ninth. Throughout they have stuck to their metal style which makes it easy to identify their music from the opening beats, a trend they have managed to achieve in this album. One would think that having such limits can have a negative effect on the music produced but Bergh claims ‘It can be tricky trying to not to repeat ourselves, but I think we succeeded in doing that on the new album.’ I agree, even though they have created a similar sound scape in line with their previous albums, there is a definite feeling of unholy choirs and melodies, harmonies and undercurrents that lift the album from the everyday metal into a hybrid of musical genres. They push their music further into a style all off their own. Bergh defines it as ‘we always aim to come up with the best melodies we can. We take influences from all kinds of music genres of music because a good melody is a good melody’.

When I first listened to this album, I fell in love with BLOODBOUND all over again. The mix of metal and harmonies just make my skin tingle and my soul leap. This album mixes the best of so many styles that it can work as the background music in so much of life. With great bass and drum work, you can stomp along listening (and usually get to your destination quicker) or just chilling and relaxing on your sofa. Not sure it will work for reading as the tune and lyrics can draw you in. Even having listened to it several times there is always a new aspect to a song. On first play, I enjoyed Death Will Lead the Way, the sound they produced was a mix of triumph and aching want. Having re-listened to the track the lyrics came through more clearly, ‘in my darkest hours, I am fading’ struck me as a beautiful melancholy that is coupled wonderfully with the melodies. ‘March into war through the smoke and the fire, sinners will burn as we return to the sky.’ from March Into War paints a striking image in my mind.

Albums like this remind me why I like to listen to music. Not only listen to the musical products of talented individuals and groups, but to lose myself in the pure joy of music and be swept into a land in my head where the artists will lead my imagination on a merry little walk. It does this by guiding it alone with sounds and lyrics that paint pictures as vivid as any painting in the Louvre. With such wonderful melodies and their growing style and popularity, I will keep a close watch on BLOODBOUND, not sure how they can improve but I am excited to see them try.

Rating: 9/10

Words: Steph Warren

Creatures Of The Dark Realm will be released on 28th May 2021 via AFM Records.

Find BLOODBOUND on Facebook.

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