|Release Date||19 July 2019|
Arriving five years after their debut, Brocelian’s Guardians of Broceliande is finally here. The female-fronted symphonic outfit attempts to deliver a catchy, epic, melodic metal powerhouse but ends up entirely missing their target, landing instead in the desolate land where one uninspired melody reigns supreme as ultimate god and overlord, imposing itself over and over and over again upon its helpless inhabitants.
Honestly, it doesn’t really matter where you look; nearly everything here is a musical crime at best. The most immediately-noticeable culprit is the passionless vocal performance, which is a one-dimensional one-way ticket to Snoozeville. As if it wasn’t enough to have such a monotonous focal point, the guitars and orchestrations are both rather weak, which begs the question: what in the hell do the members of Brocelian think ‘epic’ means?
Aside from the shoddy foundation the band lays, the songwriting is equally as uninspired. None of the songs are longer than four minutes (except for one, which is longer by five seconds, but whatever) and they all follow a simplistic and straightforward formula. That isn’t to say short songs are bad, but I don’t think it helps the case of “originality” when every song is structured in the same way.
There is a fair amount of variety in the feels of the songs, though, and that’s what gives Guardians of Broceliande their only, real, tiny shade of hope. The titular track is more of a high-fantasy-sounding folk tune, and there are a couple light, slow songs in ‘My Last Melody’ and ‘Summer Days’ (although they’re painful to get through). There’s also some really good drumming in ‘Escape from Alcatraz’, but the shaky male vocals quickly strangle the life out of whatever performance is underneath. Then we have the biggest attempt of bravado in the entire album, ‘The Signs’, but, rather than bringing an anthemic roof-breaker, the song further proves that Brocelian really suck at generating any sort of energy.
So, yeah, it’s always shitty to talk almost entirely about the bad aspects of an album, but Brocelian really haven’t given me many positives to work with. Guardians of Broceliande is a poor excuse for symphonic metal and it’s failed to produce anything entertaining, nonetheless unique.
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