How could anyone fail to be intrigued with a band name like this? Any self-respecting metalhead would be unwise to refuse to accept such an invitation as offered by the Brothers of Metal. With the listener’s attention so grabbed, the Brothers are on a mission to retain it with Prophecy of Ragnarök.Weighing in at 14 songs, this stellar debut is the Swedish warriors’ announcement to the world that they have arrived, and are a force to be reckoned with.
There is an innate joy in power metal, and the fact that this piece has elements of fantasy only serves to make it better. Song after song of narratives depicting glorious mythology and righteous battles for honour and justice can’t help but leave the listener feeling fired up and ready for war themselves.
Most notable on initial listens is the vocal work on Prophecy. While there are eight mighty sons of Odin making up the band, vocal duties are split between three of them. Leading the charge into the first song is Joakim Lindbäck Eriksson. His official role in the band is “Battle Cries” and sure enough his rough growl describes rallying tales of Odin’s might, and Loki’s deceit throughout the work. Next to him is the perfect balance in the form of Ylva Eriksson, “Voice of the Valkyries”. Her powerful belt cuts through the mixes effortlessly, and next to Joakim the pair make for a formidable duo much stronger than the sum of its parts. The hooks on almost every song are catchy, driven, and delivered for the most part in effective close harmony. Also featured is Mats Nilsson, the Tongue of the Gods, who presides over some contextual, spoken word sections of the album’s storytelling.
Supporting these storytellers in their depictions of glories past ad battles fought and lost are the rest of the Brothers. Drums, bass and three guitars all work together, not stepping on each other’s toes yet also providing an essential, evershifting backdrop for the vocalists to deliver over. True to Scandinavian metal style, there is plenty of kickdrum and drop tuning, and the production itself is warm and crisp, especially on bass and guitar tones. Most of the rhythm tracks (particularly the drums) are reminiscent in style of a place somewhere between Children of Bodom and Sonic Syndicate. Yet, the Brothers incorporate lead guitars straight influenced from true heavy and power metal.
As is also sometimes the case with such albums, the English lyrics are sometimes a little more “on the nose” than we have become used to, with most of the lines being free from metaphor or interpretive meaning. However, there is again an innocent joy in this, and the Brothers have managed to stay just the right side of the difficult-to-spot line between fantasy storytelling and cheese with only sheer conviction in their words.
Prophecy of Ragnarök was released November 16th via AFM Records
- Death of the God of Light
- Son of Odin
- Prophecy of Ragnarök
- Defenders of Valhalla
- Concerning Norns
- Siblings of Metal
- Gods of War
- The Mead Song
- Fire Blood and Steel
- We Believe In Metal
Brothers Of Metal are: Ylva Eriksson – Voice of the Valkyries, Joakim Lindbäck Eriksson – Battle Cries, Mats Nilsson – Tongue of the Gods, Dawid Grahn – Guitar, Pähr Nilsson – Guitar, Mikael Fehrm – Guitar, Emil Wärmedal – Bass, Johan Johansson – Anvil and War Drums