Release date: January 10, 2020
Genre: Power Metal
Brothers of Metal is an eight piece metal band from Falun, Sweden featuring three vocalists, the powerful clean vocals of female singer lva Eriksson (Voice of the Valkyries), the aggressive vocals of Joakim Lindbäck Eriksson (reminicent of Joakim Brodén of Sabaton), and the spoken words of Mats Nilsson. Musically, Brothers of Metal are influenced by old school metal and power metal, sounding like an amalgamation of classic Manowar, Sabaton, and Hammerfall with folk metal melodies and influenced by Viking and Norse mythology. The band took the metal world by storm with its impressive 2018 debut Prophecy Of Ragnarök. The young band toured extensively, including Germany’s Rockharz & Rock Am Stück festival and Sweden Rock.
The band has returned in 2020 with its sophomore effort, Emblas Saga, featuring 13 molten tracks of heavy, melodic, power metal with folk and celtic influences. For this go around, the songwriting is tighter and the melodies are stronger than ever. The album begins with the epic spoken word track Brood of the Trickster and bleeds right into the first proper song, the heavy and catchy as hell Powersnake, which features Iva Eriksson taking over the majority of the lead vocals along with Joakim Eriksson’s raspy growls. Eriksson’s charismatic and powerful pipes weave the tale of the giant serpent, Jörmungandr, who was banished by Loki to the sea.
The epic power metal crunch of Hel is another great song featuring all three vocalists in perfect harmony. The guitar work of Dawid Grahn and Mikael Fehrm is stellar from the riffs to the solo section and the strong chorus is chill inducing. Chain Breaker is an old school metal anthem in the tradition of Judas Priest with a sing-a-long chorus that is perfect for a live performance.
Things slow down on the celtic metal of Kaunaz Dagnaz, featuring a hauntingly beautiful intro sung by lva Eriksson. The song has tons of melody and another winner of a chorus. The next song, Theft of the Hammer is without a doubt, the standout track of the album for this reviewer. The song is the story of Thor’s hammer Mjölnir being stolen and the God of Thunder’s revenge. This song has everything a power metal fan could ask for, pounding double bass drums courtesy of Johan Johansson, the chugging guitars of Fehrm and Grahm, and a glorious soaring chorus with multi-layered harmony vocals.
Weaver of Fate is a beautifully crafted symphonic metal ballad sung by Iva. It cannot be understated how amazing Eriksson’s soaring vocals are, especially when she gets the spotlight on this powerful ballad. Njord is a crushing metal tale about vikings sailing off into battle. The chorus is a fist pumping anthem that will have fans raising their horns in the air with a mighty Hail.
The title track is an epic tale clicking in at over seven minutes and combines, celtic, folk, power, symphonic, and viking metal influences. The blending of the three vocalists worls extremely well here, trading off the “beauty and the beast” vocal lines. Iva’s ethereal beautiful tones and Joakim’s gutteral raspy yet melodic growls. Brothers Unite is a song that could have been on any of the early Ross the Boss era albums with it’s strong drum beat intro. The song builds slowly, with increasing with intensity until it culminates in a gloriously epic melodic chorus. Towards the end of the song, there is a section where the music stops and features gang choir vocals sung in Swedish
Bröder av stålHöj ert mjöd och säg skålSejdlarna flyger I ValhallaOm vi förgåsFår vi smörja vårt kråsFör mjödet flödar I Valhalla
The next song, titled One, is slightly ordinary for a metal song, until the epic, cheese-laden anthemic chorus hits and makes you want to raise a flagon of mead and hail these mighty warriors of metal. Ride of the Valkyries kicks things into anther gear with a powerful Manowar-esque power metal track that has a “Black Wind Fire and Steel” vibe to it. The album ends on a fine note with To The Skies and Beyond, another epic tale of power and glory. Iva’s charismatic vocals carry this song to another level and the chorus reaches for the horizon and beyond.
Emblas Saga improves on the debut album in each and every way, from the songwriting, to the production, to the individual performances. Fans of bands as diverse as Nightwish, Amon Amarrth, Tyr, Sabaton, and Orden Ogan will all find something to enjoy here. Emblas Saga may be the power metal release of 2020.