It’s always funny when, as a writer/reviewer, you get an album and you basically bookmark it and don’t really give it a shot. That can be due to any number of things: not enough hours in the day, your job, family, all kinds of stuff. This was the case with Swedish Power Metal band BROTHERS OF METAL and their debut album Prophecy of Ragnarök (available now, AFM Records). Somewhere during all the holiday hustle and bustle of 2018 this one went totally under my radar. Thank the Gods for Dustin Hardman and his follow-up e-mails, because it was one of those pertaining to interviews that finally galvanized me into action. Quite frankly as soon as I hit PLAY I knew I would love them.
Take the best parts of SABATON, MANOWAR, and anyone else that strikes your fancy, throw them in a blender, and enjoy the Metal Smoothie that comes as a result. Made up of three vocalists, three guitarists, and one each of the basses and drums, the eight-piece (yep, you read right) group has made quite a statement with this here release. Song-wise, you’ve got a ton of hooks, and the tunes are very well-written with an anthemic quality. “The Mead Song” is one of those that jumped out at me right away, as did “Gods of War”, and “Tyr.” These are three I keep coming back to again and again. I may or may not do the shots a wee bit faster when they come on as well!
Elsewhere “Sleipnir” has probably my favorite chorus, courtesy of Ylva Eriksson (Voice of the Valkyries). I love the way she sings, not only here, but on the other tracks as well. “Fire Blood and Steel” is a galloping number that will come at you with swords drawn, and oh wow, the guitarists Dawid Grahn, Mikael Fehrm, and Pähr Nilsson really have themselves a good time with this one. The same can be said of the title track, and you really get to enjoy the triple voice attack from Ylva Eriksson, Joakim Lindbäck Eriksson (Battle Cries), and Mats Nilsson (Tongue of the Gods). “Defenders of Valhalla” will have you ready to fly the flag as you head into battle to vanquish all those who oppose you, and it is a fist-pumper for sure.
One of the marks of a great record is the opener and the closer, how the band bookends the journey. This album starts off with “Death of the God of light”, which showcases everyone’s talents, especially on the vocal front, and ends with “We Believe In Metal,” a tune that you might not know where it’s headed at first. But stick around, because the build is so worth it! And Jeezus, that hook is pretty badass! Gotta tell ya, I am so glad I’m into BROTHERS OF METAL on their debut release. And any fan of heavy Power Metal should be as well. We are eight days into 2018 and Prophecy of Ragnarök is already one of my favorites of the year. Not a bad song in the bunch, and such fun from start to finish. Highly recommend this one, folks!!
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM