Sweden – it seems that there is a neverending amount of bands in the metal sector that are coming up every day, month, week.
…and now there is a new album out called „Angelsbane“. The band describes traditional metal heroes as their influences. Ok…lot of bands do that. Let’s see if Cult of the Fox can shine out of the masses….
Well…first I have to say that the artwork is more looking like a german fairytale than a metal album. It means….not the best artwork I’ve ever seen, but it offers a kind of thrashy charme.
The title track starts riff-orientated. As the vocals of Magnus Hultman appear we know where the way goes…..Mercyful Fate. And so the vocals are a mix of rough metal shouts and King Diamond high screams. The sound is deep rooted in traditional heavy metal with dark vibes. Good handmade stuff….not killing, but also not boring.
„Nine Ones“ is leaving the paths of Kim Bendix orientated style. The song becomes more a midtempo smasher with clean vocals in middle heights. Magnus is performing more as a storyteller here. Erika Wallberg’s guitars are spreading the traditions of pure metal attitude. Yes…there is a lady doin’ the lead guitars….and she is doin’ it well. Not in a way that guitar heroes will be born, but with enough hookline ideas to entertain the listeners.
Take a seat now on the „Throne of Skulls“. Faster leads here…a song with more speed than before. Twin vocal chorus to round it up. Old school smasher.
Bass and heavy stomping drums intro on „Rising Flames“. But there is a problem….Magnus vocals don’t work in darker spheres. So I has to say that those parts are killing the song, that is owning an epic base. Luckily the darker parts are not appearing that often, so that the strong riffs and songwriting can save the song over the finishing line.
Are you „Ready for Eternity“? Power metal guitar line in the beginning. Uptempo track with partly triggered drums. Some mighty vocal lines is catching your ears and offer some good live qualities.
„Winter came silent“….yes. Acoustic guitars welcomes it….electric epic parts, slower played in semi-ballad spheres to follow. Elegian guitar lines in alliance with acoustical moments are painting pictures of long cold winter days. Only some deeper vocal parts again are killing my nerves. Magnus…you own a good voice, in middle heights and higher. But not in deep areas.
….and elegian moments continue in the beginning of „Black Magic“. Slower parts are changing with midtempo ones and it seems that the song doesn’t know where to go. So the song is crossing your ears and in a moment later you don’t know what you’ve heard. A little boring song, cause of missing excitement in songwriting.
Suddenly speed is coming up….“My wrath unleashed“. Riffing everywhere, vocal shouts, rough and partly clean. Again a real heavy metal old school smasher. Made for the metal cowl wearing people. Hands in the air and banging your heads !!
„The Fire“ points with some cool guitar licks. Dark and epic riffs together with baneful vocals. Very heavy song….tight and thick sounds.
Fast start into the last song „The Divine Kill“. Remembers me a little to Leatherwolf’s first album. In the solos the guitars are spreading lots of harmonies. The vocals appear a kind of chaotic and hectic. Good song to kick you out of the album !!
Cult of the Fox is a band that is deep rooted in old school metal sounds. And I have to say that the instrumental side is doin’ a great job to create those beloved sounds. But as I told before, the vocals of Magnus are working good in middle heights but not if he performs in deeper ways. So the band has to work at this point for future releases in my opinion.
„Angelsbane“ is a good quality metal album for all that love heavy traditional music. Ok…the big highlights that let it shine out of the mass of releases are missing a little. But the base for future progression is done and the band is able to climb another step of the metal ladder next for sure.
Points: 7 / 10
Review by Kerbinator
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