(Review by Patrick De Sloover)

Power Metal meets Fantasy Metal with a huge cinematographic input, that’s how I would describe the music and album of Heralds Of The Sword. This band is a six piece that lives in the state of California and they gained inspiration in a self-crafted land of fantastical creatures, dragons and nobility are part of the experience that makes you remember the Heralds of the Sword: Welcome to Tyrinthia! All these ideas are summoned in the artwork of this digipack release, as we get a great front album artwork, followed by all lyrics of the songs, a map where the mystical lands of Tyrinthia are situated  and a little history of the foundation of the band and the ideas that they spread.

The first track on this album is an intro, which evokes an instrumental guideline to a movie like e.g. Dances With Wolves. This intro takes over 4 minutes, and that’s a long trip to the real first track: “Kingdom Of Old”. This track opens really bombastic, has a very interesting beginning until the vocals of Khadar lead off.  Although my first impression was tasty, it only lingers on for 30 seconds as the vocal chords are way below the average. It’s a pity that this band hasn’t been looking for a frontman with an adequately voice, which lifts the songs to a higher dimension. Now, we get a setback, everytime when Khadar drops in.

The next track is “Order Of The Valenguard”, which takes +8 minutes, with again a prominent part of the vocalist. This song is pretty long, has some great guitar solos by Caleb and Wolfgang Shadduck that results in a great finale. “March Of The Heralds” is a short track with narrations by Miriam Millikin, and can be considered as a prelude to an upcoming battle. Fight To The Death Heralds, she commands while this track is followed by “Battle Of The Tyrinthian Plains”. Horns are followed by ferocious guitars, and this up speedy song make one message clear: it’s time for battle! Halfway, there is a part that slows down a lot, and you will hear a piano that accompanies the vocals, to burst out for a second time during the final 3 minutes. It looks like the battle is fought hard!

“Lodac’s Wrath” is the next track, that opens with a very bombastic intro, followed by a very bombastic part and again the solos of the guitarplayers are giving full axe. This is song is undoubtedly the best one so far. After 2 minutes, you expect the vocals to drop in, but instead of a substandard voice, we hear another attack of the axemen. It’s like a salvo of solos, an outburst of strings! Awesome!! Time to get a resting point with the next track “Glorious Thyrinthia”, which is a piano driven track that last for about 7 minutes. After another short track we hear some oriental influences in the song “Riders of Kassadar”, with an outstanding performance of drummer Adam Wojack. The last two tracks on this debut album are pretty straight forward with a good pace, but add nothing to the album as a whole.

All in all, this is an album of 68 minutes, divided in 12 tracks, that sounds pretty prestigious, but I really regret that the production of the album isn’t that great and the main disappointment are the vocals, a factor that is so important in albums like Heralds Of The Sword. The overall idea was great, the packing fits to the story of the album, but besides the musicians, there isn’t that much to explore. Conclusion: a missed chance…  http://heraldsofthesword.com/fr_heraldsofthesword.cfm

My rating: 58 /100


95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !

Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan

Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it

Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing

Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate

Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard

50- : Rubbish