“Codex Epicus”. The title almost seems predestined for Battleroar, a band, who, since 2000, have become Greece’s leading epic classic metal band. Known for creating studio albums packed with majestic riffs, soaring vocals, scorching leads and towering song constructions, Battleroar are never ones to overlook the fine art of larger-than-life songcraft, something that is all over Codex Epicus, the band’s fifth studio foray.
The follow-up to 2014’s “Blood Of Legends” was recorded at Devasoundz Studios in Athens, Greece and features a guest appearance from Manilla Road guitarist/vocalist Mark Shelton on the song “Sword of the Flame”, reprising a role he first took on with “The Wanderer”, which appears on 2005’s “The Age of Chaos”. The album’s cover artwork was created by Vagelis Petikas of Revolver Design.
Undoubtedly, “epic” is the right term for “Codex Epicus”, as Battleroar swiftly moves into action via “We Shall Conquer”, a would-be live opener and future classic, finding vocalist Gerrit Mutz wielding his piercing vocals against a steady backdrop of churning riffs. Shelton’s appearance on “Sword of the Flame” marks one of the man’s most earnest and pure performances to date, effectively channeling classic Manilla Road, a band who remains a tremendous influence on Battleroar’s sound.
Songs such as “Chronicles of Might” and “Kings of Old” weave in a variety of daring, chunky, but melodic riffs, showcasing the dynamic range of a band who understand the value of giving their fans songs with twists and turns of a cinematic quality. “Musically speaking, the album has some new elements to present,” says Tzortzis. “But, overall, it’s definitely melodic, powerful, doomy and most certainly epic! We worked really hard on the songs and tried to come up with some new twists and turns while properly representing the history of Battleroar.”
Elsewhere, “The Doom of Medusa” and “Enchanting Threnody” both feature sing-a-long choruses, which is just another sign of Mutz’s development in Battleroar.
At nine songs at over 50 minutes in length, “Codex Epicus” is an album that may go down as Battleroar’s defining triumph. Furthermore, “Codex Epicus” will further exalt Battleroar, a name now synonymous with epic and challenging metal of the highest order.
1. Awakening The Muse
2. We Shall Conquer
3. Sword Of The Flame (Feat. Mark Shelton)
4. Chronicles Of Might
5. The Doom Of Medusa
6. Palace Of The Martyrs
7. Kings Of Old
8. Enchanting Threnody
9. Stronghold (CD BONUS TRACK)
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