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Review: Battlelore - The Return of the Shadow
The Return of the Shadow

Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2022
Duration: 1:02:16
Tracks: 12
Genre: Symphonic Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: July 21, 2022
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
The Return of the Shadow

Rated 3.33/5 (66.67%) (6 Votes)

Battlelore had an extremely active period from 2002 to 2011, producing 6 albums in 9 years—some of them very good, but as with any body of work produced that fast, there were highs and lows, with good albums like Sword’s Song and The Last Alliance sharing space with much weaker works like Evernight and Doombound. The band was broken up for 5 years, but since they announced their reunion in 2016 there had been no new material, and so it seemed like one of those reformations that ultimately amounts to nothing except a few shows and maybe a boxed set release. But now we have their seventh proper full-length, and their first recording in 11 years.

If you like this band, then The Return of the Shadow is an album that sounds like they never left. This one reminds me of the highly consistent The Last Alliance in that it is strong all the way through, with memorable songs following one on the other, all of them so on point for this band you are amazed you have not heard them before. This is the sound of Battlelore doing what they do best, and doing it better than they have for quite a while.

The last three songs are a kind of mini-EP, which on the physical album are on a second disc. These songs were written just before the band went on hiatus and are in a slightly different style, much more in line with the slower, more mellow style of Doombound. For all that I didn’t really like that album, these songs are good, with a lot of layered melody and Kaisa Jouhki getting more center stage to give a full-bodied vocal performance. It actually makes for a satisfying way to close out the album. I have missed this band, and I am glad to see them back in such fine form.

Other related information on the site
Review: ...Where The Shadows Lie (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Doombound (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Sword's Song (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Last Alliance (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Third Age Of The Sun (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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