Album Review: Grimgotts – Dragons of the Ages (Self Released/Stormspell Records)
Formed in 2015 by Andy Barton at first as a joke parody band, Grimgotts initially described themselves as ‘probably the best Harry Potter themed symphonic power metal band to come out of West Sussex…probably’ and unofficially released one single, which was frankly terrible.
Thankfully Andy then decided to shift the band’s focus to fantasy and nautical themes more generally, and in early 2016 with the help of some other musicians released a debut EP, ‘Here Be Dragonlords’. This marked the beginning of a period of prolific production for Grimgotts, as the band’s 2nd EP ‘Extenditus Playus’ followed in the summer of 2016, a 3rd EP ‘Part man, Part beast, Part dragon’ in early 2017 and a power metal cover of the pop classic ‘The Tide is High’ also in 2017.
By late 2017, Andy had teamed up with keyboardist Fabio Garau, guitarist David Hills and bassist James Taylor to deliver the debut Grimgotts album ‘Lions of the Sea’. In 2018, Grimgotts solidified a line up for live shows by recruiting bassist Nelson Moreira and drummer Mo Abdelgadir. Grimgotts played at the sold-out Power Metal Quest Fest power metal festival, and supported German power-metallers Victorius in London.
Now, Grimgotts is preparing to set sail for their most ambitious adventure yet – a second album, ‘Dragons of the Ages’, is due to be released on the 17th May 2019.
‘Dragons of the Ages’ is a concept album about a war between dragons, sea-creatures and men, and is set in the same fictional world of Vale as previous releases from Grimgotts.
Chances are that even if you have no clue what Grimgotts sound like, from the description above you’ll have a fair notion of what to expect on Dragons of the Ages. Yes, it is a power metal epic filled with huge choruses and uplifting moments. Something to smile about, something to enjoy with a tankard of whatever beverage takes your fancy.
War’s Come to Our Shores gets the party started right with massive vocals, building power rhythm and driving the urge to punch the air well and truly forward. A wickedly fun opener.
The quality is matched on the following The Last Dragon Warriors which ups the power metal ante with some serious fretwork. While Ancient Waters and War at Dawn keep the feel good vibes high.
We then get a more folksy sounding track in the form of The King Under the Sea, the vocal declarations sound fantastic alongside excellent use of an accordion. Such a bouncy track. As is Turning the Tide and Take to the Sea…tell me you don’t want to jump around as soon as these tracks start!?
It’s an awesome power metal album and credit can be given to Grimgotts for clearly having their tongue planted in their cheeks but still making a serious metal record. The strongest praise I can give them is that they’re like a fantastic cross between Alestorm and Turisas.
There is no drops in quality as The Great Shadow seems to personify a power metal epic but then there is Here Be Dragonlords, an absolute beast of a finale. Love it.
Grimgotts – Dragons of the Ages Full Track Listing:
1. War’s Come to Our Shores
2. The Last Dragon Warriors
3. Ancient Waters
4. War at Dawn
5. The King Under the Sea
6. The Long Road
7. Turning the Tide
8. Take to the Sea
9. The Great Shadow
10. Here Be Dragonlords
The album can be ordered over on Bandcamp with the CD version to come later on Stormspell Records. Find out more about Grimgotts on Facebook, Twitter and watch their videos on YouTube.
Grimgotts - Dragons of the Ages (Self Released/Stormspell Records)
The Final Score - 9/10