Album Review: Bloodbound – Rise Of The Dragon Empire (AFM Records)

Bloodbound can be considered as one of the hardest working bands of the Metal scene. Since Fredrik Bergh and Tomas Olsson toyed around with ideas of founding a new band in 2004, Bloodbound have secured an impressive fan following which increased steadily and significantly since vocalist Patrik J. Selleby joined the band in 2010 (and followed in the footsteps of Michael Bormann and Urban Breed).

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Only the biggest optimists (and the band itself) would have imagined where Bloodbound’s place in the scene would be today: their 2016 release ‘War Of Dragons’ was their first to achieve impressive chart results in numerous countries, the band played a successful European headlining tour and a big number of festivals. The years of consistency, delivering quality releases over and over again, as well as making new fans on tours with Sabaton, U.D.O. and HammerFall, paid off. In the process Bloodbound have played concerts in 25 countries.

“Our audience is very much a combination of fans who follow us since they early days of our debut “Nosferatu” and ones who joined party somewhere along the way”, keyboardist Fredrik Bergh smiles. “Many of our older songs have become classics among those fans, but at the same time our audience demands that we play lots of songs from the new records, every time we tour again. That’s a great situation to be in for us as artists and keeps things fresh and exciting.”

Album number 8 is called ‘Rise Of The Dragon Empire’ and music-wise it is a continuation of the latest two albums War Of Dragons and Stormborn, but this time a clearer Nordic folk music influence is mixed in with the typical trademark sound of Bloodbound. It will be released on March 22nd via AFM Records.

When power metal is done right it can be so uplifting, so exciting and so ‘punch the air’ and feel-good. When power metal is done right it can lift the soul, get the head-banging and put the silliest smile on the faces.

Bloodbound’s Rise of the Dragon Empire is power metal done right. Eleven tracks of bombastic metal, soaring vocals one minute, group harmonies another all while the guitars thrum like the gods themselves are playing them and the drums hit with all the power of Thor’s hammer. A wonderfully feel-good mix of traditional power metal with folk influences, the title track will have everyone bouncing on the spot immediately.

Banger after banger: Slayer of Kings, Skyriders and Stormbringers and Magical Eye keep the tempo high and the epic-ness flowing. The absolute quality of these tracks and everything that follows can’t be understated. Chances are even if you think power/folk metal isn’t for you, you’re going to absolutely love this album.

Even the more run of the mill tracks like Giants of Heaven and Breaking the Beast still have such hugeness about them that they’re still so enjoyable.

Rise of the Dragon Empire is an album that is everything good about power metal and the infusion of folk just gives it extra layers. It’s one not to be missed for fans of the epic, summed up wonderfully in the harmonious finale of Reign of Fire.

An excellent album.

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Bloodbound – Rise of the Dragon Empire Full Track Listing:

1. Rise of the Dragon Empire
2. Slayer of Kings
3. Skyriders and Stormbringers
4. Magical Eye
5. Blackwater Eye
6. Giants of Heaven
7. The Warlock’s Trail
8. A Blessing in Sorcery
9. Breaking the Beast
10. Balerion
11. Reign of Fire

Head over to Bloodbound’s website to find out more and find ordering links for the new album. It can also be picked up in a number of exciting formats over on AFM Records here. Check out Bloodbound’s Facebook Page and Twitter for more.

Bloodbound - Rise Of The Dragon Empire (AFM Records)
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