Written by Valkyrjiaa
Battle Born – Blood, Fire, Magic and Steel
> Power metal
> Released May 12
> Prosthetic Records
Skyrim fans rejoice! Finally, a band has come forward to take on the gargantuan task of recounting the tales of dragons, high adventure, endless dungeons, fantasy, and even the Red Eagle. UK-based power metal force Battle Born unleashes Blood, Fire, Magic and Steel to bring us the experience and lore from our very own realm of Windhelm.
Since the band’s creation in 2019, Battle Born has earned themselves quite the following among the ever-shifting UK power metal scene for not only their superior story-telling talent, but their music as well. Previous songs like “Bring the Metal Back” gives us a taste of Battle Born’s dedication and advancement in their craft with a flair for theatrics and an unbeatable sound. Now once again diving into the realms of myth and legend, Battle Born bring wizards, swords, battle, and bloodshed before our eyes with sharpened guitars, elusive drumbeats, bewitching vocals, and mystifying keys. So, are you ready to traverse these lands once more, Dragonborn?
“Wind Caller” echoes upon us like a cold breeze as we reach the catacombs. As the horn rings out, the music builds, and we’re blasted into draugrs filled corridors filled with ancient magic and mystery. It captures the journey across frigid wastelands and barren plains to the stone; twisted and hollow as it sinks deep beneath the ground, with a path that is laid before us, begging us to open the door.
Unrest screams through righteous riffs, and speedy drums fuel the destiny of our doom. It’s high-soaring vocals and delicate keyboards that are energized by the wicked melody as we scream “wind caller!” into the night. Locking into our radar with a stunning solo, this piece not only introduces us to Battle Born’s new era, but a new adventure as well!
We follow up with “Dragon Heart”; a muse to our recollection and necessity that rides in on wild electronicore vibes like an 80’s montage. Vocals stretch higher and tension runs taut throughout this elevated and electric track. The chorus is catchy as hell with a melody that rides the wind like dragon flight. It’s dancey, with tone to fist punch the air as you sway to the beat helplessly. A perfect power metal track to BLAST on your speakers to the max.
“Blood and Fire” rings out like helpless church bells as a thundering cry erupts from the smoke and ash. Burning villages span the horizon and we clutch our sword, prepared to bring vengeance upon its cause. It’s a speedy, heavy track that brings in galloping hooves, sword slashes, and a villain who needs to know “off with his head” is quite literal. The sheer speed of this track’s solo is mind-numbingly good and beyond divine, with the weighty percussion collecting its energy at the end to hammer on, making this track one of the most repeatable on the album with ease.
When emotions ran high and we face the fork in the road, what path should we choose? Do we choose a conqueror’s reign or freedom for the people? “When Empires Die” takes that choice, bringing bloodshed and battle to the land as peace was never truly an option. “Rise! / Conquer the Tyrant, keeper of the stolen throne / Ride! / Glory awaits us, we are taking back our home!” rolls in like thunder, with fists raised and a unified call to arms as the warriors rise just like the melody to take on those who seek to displace them.
This track is an absolute party. From the heated melody to the lyrical tell, this song gets your blood-pumping, ready to leap into battle. It embodies the Nords vs. the Empire, allowing Skyrim fans to relive the fights with the same glory and intensity felt on the fields. It’s screaming highs, and the call to join, the camp-fire strategies and the theories of betrayal, all perfectly captured in this track’s wild guitar riffs and seamless storytelling. Easily one of my favourites, hands down!
“Fire Storm” brings the metal cries through fire and flame, emerging like the World-Eater to drench the land in ash. This track’s energy is next level with the images of dragonfire and demise running rampant across rhythmic tune and bludgeoning drums. I absolutely loved the curious keyboard intro that brought down the rain of fire upon us, drenching us in the heat of an ashen storm. The unity this track commands is mirrored by the music, with story and sound going hand in hand to bring a creation to us that not only widens eye but has us armed and at the ready.
The cascading gentleness that comes on “Meridia” is a welcome change in pace. Bringing a refreshing melody and feel, like a good night’s rest, or a hearty meal. Alas, we cannot sit for long as the energy winds right up again on a sound that’s both tranquil like clouds in a blue sky, yet speedy like the fear of missing your ride to the next town over. The sound on this track is downright infectious and you can’t help but feel excited at the chance to relive the first steps into that temple, and the beacon falling into your hands. It’s such a fun, thrilling track that emits a strange aura of warmth, light, and prosperity like a motivating speech, or inspiring scene. One of my favourite tracks for its varying melody and inspirational feel.
“Ride North for Winterhold” is curious and strong. Easily one of the most powerful and captivating tracks on the album for both its lyrical and musical composition, this track takes power metal to new heights, bringing thunderous, rapid drumming and sensational riffs together to paint myth and magic in vivid light. It’s got the adventurer’s call, the sense of urgency, and the tantalizing visuals all down perfectly; mesmerizing with the flashes of white light, the passion of advancing knowledge, and the unity of magic and science that glisten in mind and soul as the music lifts up and drives us ever onward.
The final track “Sky Guard You” brings the soundscapes together. It’s flashy and fun, with intriguing musical quips and additions that really harness your attention. Vocals move from gentle to stunning just as the music does, giving closed eyes that visual blessing before the journey presses on. It’s a return to the homeland, the struggle to overcome the consequences to our actions, and the burden of the Dragonborn name. The upbeat melody is impossible not to enjoy as keys chime against feverish drums, and rhythmic guitars glide like hands through wildflower fields. There’s a reason it’s the finale and it is breathtakingly beautiful.
THE BOTTOM LINE
I love how upbeat yet cataclysmic this album is. It takes the essence and feel of the Skyrim story and world, bringing it all back from memory with fiery magic, clashing shields, and shimmering beacons. It looks back yet is a new journey, and we get to taste every bit of adventure so skillfully painted for our minds in a musical feast of blazing guitars, maddening drums, and spectacular soundscapes. Vocals are harmonized to every emotion, to recapture the feel of each tale and we’re completely immersed. It made me want to pick up the game again and put this on as my new OST. So, if you’re feeling the Skyrim itch again, give Battle Born’s Blood, Fire, Magic and Steel a go; you won’t regret it!