Battlelore - The Last Alliance

Even before I pressed play to give start to my first encounter with Battlelore via their fifth full length album “The Last Alliance” I knew exactly what was coming my way. It’s like going out for dinner to McDonalds during your vacations in Greece and ordering a Big-Mac, it’s 99,9% guaranteed that it will taste exactly like the last one you eaten back home.
Well, Atmospheric Metal will sound exactly like what Atmospheric Metal is supposed to sound like with all the clich├ęs and pomposity inherent to the genre. Needless to say Finland’s Battlelore have fallen into the same trappings most groups opting for this style of music usually fall into. The vocal interplay between a female singer that sounds like an innocent and immaculate little girl lost in the woods and a male growler that sounds like a sexually aroused ogre chasing that same little girl, tons and tons of keyboards melodies, it’s all here. Take for instance the first theme “Third Immortal”, completely dull and unimaginative it sounds like a soft bedtime song supported largely on a catchy harmony the kind we all like to hum while doing the dish washing. Its simple structuring coupled with a bridled and tender vocal delivery from Kaisa Jouhki and some uninspired keyboard melodies have roundly failed to make a pleasing and surprising start. Elsewhere things don’t make a better impression either, there’s occasionally a spark glowing here and there, briefly displaying a rare moment of inspiration, but mostly “The Last Alliance” is a uninteresting exercise on Atmospheric Metal better suited for a Disney animated screenplay and not the journey through Middle-Earth the press release blurbs about. (4/10)

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