Anyone else read “Grimgotts” and immediately think of a bank in Harry Potter (and, yes, I know it’s not the same spelling but it’s close)? The vague connection is apt with Grimgotts being a fantasy-based symphonic/folk power metal band based in the UK. They’re the kind of band who could rattle off a Potter-esque tune as easily as the boy himself could cast Expelliarmus. They’re maybe a bit more suited to traditional fantasy, but you get the drift.
Indeed, I just read their bio and it seems they formed as a Harry Potter parody outfit in 2015! After this, they created their own fantasy land (Andria) in which their songs are based. Their 2017 album Lions of the Sea and follow-up Dragons of the Ages in 2019 document the battles between man and flying scaly beasts. Most recently they released three EPs – Tales, Sagas, and Legends. This album, surprise, rams these into one collection with the addition of a couple of other songs. Owners of the originals should not feel put out, as the songs have all been remastered for this release.
Before I get to the music, I have to say that the band have gone all out with this whole fantasy world thing. The map included with the press pack is up there with the stuff you used to get bundled with the TSR / Interplay games before everyone started just getting their gaming fix via download. Seriously, you youngsters don’t know what you missed out on (mutter, mutter).
But, yes, the music. If I’m honest I found “Fight Till The End” a little of a slow song to start things out with, good as it is. However, by the time we get onto “The Dawnbringer” and “Reign of Might”, Grimgotts are really pulling out all the stops. Fast furious flurries bring to mind Dragonforce with added keytar.
It doesn’t really let down after that, either. The songs are all pretty grand in sound, and the production is spot on. You really get that folk metal feel with the various instruments and Grimgotts definitely have a sound all their own. Some songs are more folk-y that others (“Plunder, Loot and Chantey” for one), some more epic (“Kinsman”) and some ballady (“The Edge of the World”, though it’s kind of an epic ballad). Suffice to say, it’s not all samey!
Tales, Sagas & Legends manages to be seriously fantasy enough to keep the nerds happy, while fun enough to be nicely accessible to the listener. More Gloriana than Gloryhammer for sure. Yes, I’m one of the nerds…
Tales, Sagas & Legends is out on May 7th (Bandcamp Friday!)