Review – Battle Born – Blood, Fire, Magic and Steel

We don’t do Power Metal on this site…. but when we do… it’s Battle Born!! Gareth don’s his leather cod-piece and fur cape and reviews the debut album Blood, Fire, Magic and Steel…

When your cover art is a War Bear named Bjorn, wielding a double headed battle axe, and your album title is ‘Blood, Fire, Magic and Steel’, and a name inspired by open-world fantasy epic ‘The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim’, Southampton’s Battle Born aren’t exactly hiding their power metal light under a bushel. Nope, they proudly wear this fact on their sleeve. 

With roots going back to 2018, when guitarists Will Kerr and Tom O’Dell, on a long car journey back from W:O:A (Wacken Open Air) wrote their first song, with the aid of an iPad and GarageBand, and came up with the concept of the band and quickly roped in singer Jack Reynolds, and Battle Born was, err born. After writing for 12 months or so they had enough material for their eponymous EP, not only featuring a dragon riding Bjorn on the cover, but that original car anthem; ‘Bring the Metal Back’, and was released back in 2020, but then the world shut down, so touring and promoting the release went out of the window, so the band proceeded to write, what would become this, their debut full length album ‘Blood, Fire, Magic and Steel’.

Starting with the epic ‘Wind Caller’, with soaring guitar melodies, pounding drums and rousing vocals, and atmospheric keys, the band delivers a song worthy of riding into battle and if you’re not tearing off your t-shirt and fist pumping the air before you reach the end of the track, I’ll be very surprised. ‘Dragon Heart’ is a bit more Euro-power in style, with the keyboards a bit more prominent, and a cleaner more poppy vocal melody, but with no less power, while ‘Blood and Fire’ is a bit more trad metal, with sharp riffs, and harmony guitar parts, but with a massive, chanted refrain, which will go down a storm live. The band do both styles well, and the whole album is great fun, and has plenty of variation, take album centrepiece ‘The Endless Grey’ which is a grandiose ballad which builds gently to a guitar solo, ‘Down Your Drinks and Raise Your Swords’ is one of the most rousing metal anthems of recent times.

The whole album is built on the chemistry and camaraderie of the band members, completed by drummer Charles Lamacraft-Perrett, and it shines through that the guys really enjoy and love the work they are creating, and if you haven’t got a huge grin on your face whilst listening to this album, even if it isn’t your chosen genre, you probably want to check your pulse. Saying that, this is definitely one for the power-metal fans, so if you like Beast in BlackBattlebeastBurning WitchesSabaton, etc. I think Battle Born might just be worth checking out.

Battle Born – Blood, Fire, Magic and Steel is released tomorrow (12th May) via Prosthetic Records and join them and friends at The Hairy Dog Derby on the 27th May for a massive show!!

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