BLOODBOUND – Tales From The North (Album Review)

Release Date: July 07th 2023 - AFM Records

Bloodbound - Tales From The North

Bloodbound is a heavy metal band from Sweden formed in 2004, releasing ten albums over a near two-decade career – ‘Nosferatu’ (2005), ‘Book Of The Dead’ (2007), ‘Tabula Rasa’ (2009), ‘Unholy Cross’ (2011), ‘In The Name Of Metal’ (2012), ‘Stormborn’ (2014), ‘War Of Dragons’ (2017), ‘Rise Of The Dragon Empire’ (2019), ‘Creatures Of The Dark Realm’ (2021) and ‘Tales From The North’, released in 2023.

The band are recognised as one of Europe’s finest anthemic and epic metal bands, their sound evolving to incorporate symphonic and power metal elements, too, with grandeur and flair a massive part of what Bloodbound do! None more so than on the band’s latest opus ‘Tales From The North’, a forty-six-minute march of infectious and spellbinding heavy metal. The band are in fine form here – and when are they not – pounding the ground with elegance and majesty. Album opener, and title song, ‘Tales From The North, ‘ floats in on the crest of an immense mellow passage, creating a tense atmosphere of anticipation as soulful vocals cascade like a waterfall! And then wam, bam, thank you heavy metal, ‘Tales From The North’ (the song) is up and running the only way Bloodbound know how – a perfect meld of melodic power metal and classic “foot on the monitor” heavy metal. And let’s be honest, if you’re looking for heavy metal with tonnes of finesse – you’re looking in the right place. The album marches on with the anthemic thunder of ‘Drink With The Gods’, a massive rabble-rousing call to arms feel rising high in the air. And a colossal chant-style chorus, too, that every listener, fan, follower and concertgoer will heartily sing a long to.

A fabulous opening double salvo, becomes a terrific opening triple salvo, Bloodbound roaring forth with ‘Odin’s Prayer’, another perfect example of how melodic heavy/power metal should sound. The band have been at the forefront of the worldwide metal scene for years now, proudly holding aloft the metal flag – Bloodbound have been there done that in terms of everything a band can do! And still they’re not resting on their laurels, pushing themselves on, stretching horizons and breaking new ground, ‘The Raven’s Cry’ bringing just a hint of folk metal to the album and the mighty gallop of traditional sounding heavy metal! Feet are firmly planted on the monitors here, Bloodbound adopting the iconic metal pose, standing tall and very, very proud. The infectious level since the album began has been getting stronger and stronger with every song that passes by, ‘Mimir’s Crystal Eye’ picking up the pace and thundering off at full tilt! The fastest song heard so far, ‘Mimir’s Crystal Eye’ will have the headbangers of the world stretching their neck muscles further than at any other point during the album so far!

All the songs on offer clock in at around four or five minutes in length, paving the way for a quick and very enjoyable listen, Bloodbound rarely allows any time for a breather – ‘Between The Enemy Lines’ displays a tremendous surge of energy, a party metal feel filling the air. The style of metal the band have on show here with ‘Between The Enemy Lines’, is the style power metallers Battle Beast, Beast In Black and Metalite have taken on board – Bloodbound influencing the direction of a new generation of metal bands! And with blistering speed, ‘Land Of Heroes’ comes hurtling around the mountain, blazing a fiery trail of flames and smoke, sending the mosh pits into overdrive! The fastest song heard on the album so far, ‘Land Of Heroes’ is exactly the style of heavy metal I could live on twenty-four-seven! The breathless pace of the album is incredible, Bloodbound does not pull over for any kind of break, ‘Sail Among The Dead’ maintains the recent upsurge in speed! And I’ve been furiously head-banging for the second song on the trot, which has made me make a few spelling mistakes! Thank god for spell checker eh – correcting all my errors as I frantically type faster and faster, trying to keep pace with the band!

Thankfully, Bloodbound slowed down to a majestic mid-tempo stride for ‘Stake My Claims’, allowing my fingers a much-needed rest – the band fusing anthemic metal with bold, big and bombastic melodic power metal. Bloodbound has been at the forefront of the Swedish, European, and worldwide metal scenes for a while now, and on the evidence of ‘Tales From The North’ (the album), the band are going to remain there for some years to come! And an enormous party feel takes front and centre with ‘Sword And Axe’, perfectly blending everything great about power, anthemic and traditional foot on the monitor metal – Bloodbound delivering a brand of metal-rich in majesty and dripping with grandeur! It appears that even after twenty years, the band are still getting better and better, with each new album more impressive than the last. And in what seems like no time at all, the final song is upon us – and what a song! Many years ago when I was at school, history wasn’t a great subject of mine, but I do remember why the year 1066 was a momentous year for England. But even if I couldn’t remember why, ‘1066’ (the final song) tells me everything I need to know – where was Bloodbound when I was at school? Oh yea, that’s right, not even fucking born! And let’s be honest if you had to submit an essay on the events at the Battle Of Hastings in 1066, use Bloodbound‘s ‘1066’. I’m sure you’d get a Grade A. Or a pass! Or a distinction! Or whatever the school grading system is nowadays!

Overall, ‘Tales From The North’ is a breathtaking gallop of majestic and highly melodic heavy come power metal with an immense infectious level.


Tales From The North
Drink With The Gods
Odin’s Prayer
The Raven’s Cry
Mimir’s Crystal Eye
Between The Enemy Lines
Land Of Heroes
Sail Among The Dead
Stake My Claims
Sword And Axe

Bloodbound: Facebook

Release Year: 2023
Label: AFM Records
Category: Album
Country: Sweden

Reviewed by Iron Mathew for Frenzy Fire and Metal-Roos.