Hot off the Press

Bloodbound | Stormborn

by Justin Gaines
– Senior Columnist/News Editor —

BloodboundSwedish Heavy/Power Metal band helped close out 2014 with a bang with the release of their latest album, titled Stormborn. It’s the band’s sixth album overall, and it appears Bloodbound is still trying to figure out exactly what their sound is. Over the course of their eight year career, Bloodbound’s brand of Power Metal has gone from heavy and dark to somewhat progressive to melodic rocking and back again. The formula has been changed yet again, but this time around the band may have gotten it exactly right.

With Stormborn, Bloodbound opts for a mix of the traditional, Hammerfall-style Melodic Power Metal, but with a definite nod to the more bombastic sound that Sabaton and Powerwolf have had so much success with. They also adopt Powerwolf’s penchant for cheesy pseudo-Satanism on a couple of tracks. It’s a very upbeat album with speed and heaviness held in check by powerful melodies. Between the huge choruses, the straightforward melodic focus and Patrik Johansson’s unique voice, Stormborn ends up sounding a lot like what Edguy might sound like today if they still made power metal albums. The title track and “Made of Steel” are the album’s big anthems, but “Nightmares From the Grave” is very memorable as well, with its haunting children’s choir. And there are at least a few songs here that are lyrically inspired by the Game of Thrones series, which is a fun touch for fantasy fans. And hey, they can’t all be about the devil, right?

You get the feeling this is where Bloodbound was trying to get to ever since Johansson replaced Urban Breed a few albums back. Stormborn sounds like the band is finally comfortable in its own skin. It also sounds like pure ear candy if you like your Power Metal completely bombastic and ridiculously catchy. If Sabaton, Powerwolf, Hammerfall and early Edguy are what gets you pumped, you definitely will want to give Stormborn a listen. And if you haven’t paid much attention to Bloodbound lately, it might be time to give them another try.

Genre: Power Metal

Patrik Johansson (v)
Tomas Olsson (g)
Henrik Olsson (g)
Fredrik Bergh (k)
Andres Broman (b)
Pelle Akerlind (d)

Track Listing:
1. Bloodtale
2. Satanic Panic
3. Iron Throne
4. Nightmares from the Grave
5. Stormborn
6. We Raise the Dead
7. Made of Steel
8. Blood of My Blood
9. When the Kingdom Will Fall
10. Seven Hells
11. When All Lights Fail

Label: AFM Records


Hardrock Haven Rating: 8/10