In Twilight’s Embrace – Lifeblood13th November 2022
MMXX – Sacred Cargo15th November 2022
Label: Cruz Del Sur / Release Date: 22nd April 2022
Fer-de-lance is a French term meaning ‘Spearhead’, as in the actual iron tip of a spear. But do not let that fool you – In this specific example, Fer De Lance (in three separate words) refers to an American so-called Epic Heavy Metal quintet, one that has been around for an unspecified amount of time. What can be unearthed about them from the corners of the World Wide Web however, reveals that they have been releasing music for the last two years – An EP and this, their first Full-Length, to be precise.
Hyperborean, as is the title of this, their most recent opus, is credited with being the brain-child of the lead singer and apparently primary songwriter MP, a direct result of his isolation during our most recent pandemic. Pouring his solitude and isolation into musical form, shaping it through a lens of fantasy and mythology, a nearly one-hour long tale about the majesty and horror of the frozen ocean is shaped – The second album in as many weeks I review who has seen the light in the deep, dark ocean.
Aiding him in this task is his four bandmates, all of whom takes his experience to heart and does their best to give it an epic soundtrack; Through what I can best describe as a fusion between Heavy and Power Metal. The end result, in my opinion, is seven tracks which can best be described as Power Metal slowed down, not quite to a snails pace, but definitely taken down enough notches to allow the simple yet characteristically catchy Metal riffs (as well as the occasional spanish guitar solo) flow freely into the listeners ear canal.
I have heard the band being compared to Bathory on a few occasions since beginning researching the band, and I can to some extend see why people draw this parallel – Both have a focus on rhythm and melodies as ear-catching melodies designed to lure in potential fans and then let the lyrics set their hooks sink deep, leaving you bobbing away with the ebb and flow of tracks such as ”Sirens”. And not unlike their Norwegian long-dead counterpart, they do so quite expertly, even if it is with a more apparent mainstream appeal – Which is naturally only to the bands advantage, if they hope to make a living writing, producing and performing music.
All in all, Hyperborean was a pleasant little release, one that will no doubt find its way into quite a few Power Metal collections in the next few years.