Blackguard is the new offer from Nuclear Blast. This Canadian band was formed in 2001 under the name Profugus Mortis and released its debut album “So it Begins” in 2007 and the EP “Another Round” next year. Later, they participated on a contest run by the myspace team of Nuclear Blast and they were the winners among 3.000 other bands!!! They changed their name to Blackguard (for legal reasons) and here they are releasing their first album “Profugus Mortis” under this new name!
Since I have listened to their debut, I can definitely say that they have made many steps forward with this release. They play symphonic melodic black-death metal with some folk elements. They have a professional crystal clear production and an amazingly solid sound. Their songs are always up-tempo with great riffs, ultra fast guitar solos and melodic keyboards. I think they are something between early Children of Bodom and Ensiferum, being skillful musicians and creating a very epic and folk atmosphere. All compositions have a typical structure, with bridge, melodic refrains and solos. Blackguard seem to have many ideas and they managed to express them through their songs and especially through the guitar lines that seems to be their strong “card”, both in riffs and solos. All of the vocals are black-death screams that try to compete the power and intensity of the songs, that most of the time are at the same bombastic level. This lack of variety in the “power of their sound” is in my opinion the only negative of Blackguard’s music, but I have to admit that they managed to improve it a lot, since their debut was becoming tiring at sometimes, due to the same high speed all the time.
This time the band removed the quite beautiful violins they used on “So it Begins” and replaced them with some folk instruments here and there, but mainly with a more symphonic mood and an overdose of solos! I am not sure which of the two “versions” of the band I prefer, but I welcome the fact they refreshed their sound and I hope they will repeat it in the future. It is most likely that fans of this genre will love this album, but none is better judge than your own ears. So follow the links below to their official Facebook and myspace pages.
Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos