On February 15th 2013, a duo from Utah unleashed one of the best epic black metal albums ever. Caladan Brood took what made Summoning amazing and added their own unique twist to it. Blending folk melodies with tremolo black metal riffs, a steady drum beat with bombastic sound, massive use of tambourine and clean vocals mixed with traditional black metal screams as well as utilizing a story narrative from The Malazan Book of the Fallen series of novels. Yes, it doesn’t get more epic (and nerdy) than spawning something that Summoning fans will adore, whom are already more than likely Lord of the Rings fans, and giving us more diverse music with fantasy lore behind it. My penis can only get so erect.
6 tracks span across 1:11:17 of truly adventurous music. The songs average out to be 11:52 in length but never lose my interest as the songs always seem to have this flow about them that grab onto me and guide me on a trip through foreign lands rich with quests and excitement. There are moments found within Echoes of Battle that will blow my mind each time I listen to the album, for instance during the song “Wild Autumn Wind” after a nice synth intermission we get this surprise guitar solo that just rips in and melts my face off each and every time I listen to it. I even know that it is coming and it still gives me crazy goosebumps. This also happens on the track “A Voice Born of Stone and Dust”. The ending track “Book of the Fallen” is simply the most brilliant, catchy, sing-along song I have ever heard.
Caladan Brood just know how to write music, there isn’t one second of Echoes of Battle that is wasted or unnecessary. Every note played or every note sung is a treasure to my ears and it makes my imagination run wild. If you play Dungeons and Dragons, Skyrim, World of Warcraft or The Elder Scrolls Online then this is the must have soundtrack to your questing. Echoes of Battle is just dripping with excellence for just about any occasion really. I once listened to this while cleaning the house and I felt like I just led an army to battle. God damn it was the most heroic house cleaning in the world! I mean come on that is some of the catchiest flute playing I have ever heard. You will be whistling these tunes for days.
Fan boy and joking aside, it truly is a solid album that features the best of what epic black metal can be. Fans of Summoning, Emyn Muil, Falkenbach and Gallowbraid will more than likely already have heard this album but if you somehow missed this one and love those bands….then you need to listen to this album immediately!
Another neat thing about Caladan Brood’s Echoes of Battle is that this epic tale and masterful musical endeavor is a debut album! However, the artists names are under a pseudonym, so we have no real identification and if these are new artists or veterans. There are rumors about the artists and their other projects, but nothing seems to be set in stone quite yet. Nothing new has been released since Echoes of Battle but you can hear them cover 3 Summoning songs to help tide you over. 2 songs can be found on the special edition of the album and that includes the tracks “Passing of the Grey Company” and “Marching Homeward”. The other Summoning cover can be found on a massive compilation album called “In Mordor Where the Shadows Are – Homage to Summoning”, where you can find the song “Farewell” there.
Listen to the majesty that is “Echoes of Battle” right now.