Grendel - Dragon's Awakening

Grendel continue their saga on Beowulf folklore, although their second album is not as focused on the story as before. 'Dragon's Awakening' seems to be more the second half the story, for those who know it, and how it terrorizes Beowulf's land until he slays it at the cost of his own life. As far as the music goes to sing this tale, these two metal bards combine melodic black metal with folk elements for a very choatic, yet enjoyable ride. The opening and closing tracks are very epic and symphonic- about as close as to folk as one could get. They are also the only real 'soft bits' on this album as mostly the melodic black metal takes over, such as with "On The Throne." It's hard and fast, but very melodic, with snarling vocals that range from Amon Amarth style to Keep of Kalessin. There isn't anything in the way of keyboards, violins, or flutes as so many other folk metal bands use. As far as Grendel goes, they tend to use clean vocals/ chorus (such as on "Sepulchral Treasures") and acoustic guitar moments, either as introductions or interludes. For the most part, fans should expect quite a heavy album.

The music style tends to lend more to tremolo pickings, such as with the title track, and how it all seamless flows together rather than pausing between chugs as death metal would usually have. The melodies are not always distinctly present, such as with this track, and more often than not fans may consider this overtly black metal. However, when it comes to a track like "Beowulf Funeral Pyre" the melodic moments, black metal, and folk elements play wonderfully off each other and leaves for a very well designed track. Overall, the entire album is well balanced and not a let down for those who were expecting 'Beowufl- part 2' from their previous efforts. Sure, there is so much of the story they could have gone in depth with, but Grendel still have far to go, and plenty of folklore to explore and bring to life with their crushing melodies.

  1. Legacy
  2. On The Throne
  3. Sepulchral Treasure
  4. The Dragon Awakes
  5. Death Prophecy
  6. The End Is Near
  7. Beowulf Funeral Pyre
  8. Bad Days Are Coming
  9. Epitaph

NHR Records
Reviewer: Colin McNamara
Feb 16, 2011

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