If ever there was a subgenre with tons of potential waiting to be excavated, it would be symphonic black/power metal. It’s no secret that both black metal and power metal are awesome when saturated in endless layers of cheesy keyboards, and as power metal bands begin experimenting more and more with harsh vocals, it seems only natural that this subgenre would gain more prominence. This is where Númenor, from Serbia, comes in. “Sword And Sorcery” is their second-full length record, and is the equivalent of taking Rhapsody of Fire’s music and adding harsh high-pitched, raspy vocals. Amazingly, however, the band doesn’t stop there. They also feature clean singing (both male and female) that rival anything a power metal band could do. In general, there is a much greater proportion of harsh vocals, but the clearer sections are certainly quite prominent on tracks like “Dragonheart”.
Musically, Númenor is pretty authentic in their Rhapsody worship. In fact, since the only primary difference is the singing, you’d almost think you’re listening to a band like Dark Moor, who similarly apes Rhapsody. This means a thunderous cacophony of double bass, aided by soaring keyboard melodies and heavy, chugging guitars. There is little deviation away from this standard formula, though compared to their Italian counterparts, Númenor’s symphonics and shredding are decidedly less classically influenced.
One area where Númenor does differ from other power metal bands is that they’ve kept “Sword And Sorcery” down to the bare essentials. This album barely exceeds half of the length of a typical power metal album, and benefits greatly from this. As a result, it feels more energetic and less indulgent. In large part, the length also prevents the switching between clean and harsh vocals from getting tiring. Though both are performed at a high level, so few bands can really make combining the two styles work, and to be completely honest, Nùmenor would benefit from just sticking with one or the other. Overall though, there is no doubt that this band is a unique entity in the power metal scene. Their enthusiasm for this style of music (and Rhapsody in particular) shines through in their performance, and ultimately makes “Sword And Sorcery” an enjoyable release.
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"Dragon of Erebor"
4.0/5 or 80%.
Written by Scott