Reviews, Interviews, and Podcasts concerning the best Extreme Metal music

Stormkeep – Tales of Othertime

I was inspired to write this review after seeing the mighty Wayfarer (Stormkeep’s main band) in Lincoln, Nebraska on the final night of their US tour with Sonja. I was completely enamored with this album when it was first released and I am certainly not the only one as it ended up on a LOT of end of year lists even with it coming out late in the year and for good reason.

Stormkeep’s *Tales of Othertime* is a thunderous declaration of Black Metal mastery. Dropped in 2021, this opus is an ambitious blend of atmospheric aggression and feral intensity, staking a bold claim in a crowded genre. By summoning the spirits of both Black Metal’s past and the realms of high fantasy, Stormkeep conjures a unique sonic landscape that demands you pay attention.

 The album kicks off with “The Seer,” a track that brings listeners into a chillingly immersive ambiance right from the start. This intro is a masterclass in setting the stage: ethereal synths, brooding guitar riffs, and an ominous atmosphere that’s thick enough to cut with a knife. The track prepares the listener with glimpses of what is to come, effectively laying the groundwork for the journey ahead. It’s a fitting start that hints at the depths of the album’s story and sonic complexity.

 Moving deeper into the album, “A Journey Through Storms” and “The Citadel” showcase Stormkeep’s ability at melding aggression with melody. The blistering drums and searing guitar work are balanced by soaring, melodic passages that offer brief, yet essential, moment of time to catch your breath. These tracks showcase the band’s technical chops and their talent for dynamic songwriting, creating an engaging push-and-pull that keeps the listener engaged throughout the albums runtime..

 “Ancient Sorcery” is a personal favorite of the album for me, where the band’s lyrical themes and musical elements are just perfectly matched. The incorporation of symphonic elements expands on the song’s atmosphere, lending it a grand, almost cinematic quality. It’s a track that not only tells a story but bathes you in it, demonstrating Stormkeep’s ability to weave deep lyrical narratives through their music.

In conclusion, Stormkeep’s “Tales of Othertime” is a tour de force that masterfully blends the aggression of Black Metal with epic fantasy. With complex songs, dynamics for days, and atmosphere that draws you in, the album offers a journey through dark, epic fantasy realms that are as engaging as they are, for lack of a better term, bad ass. For fans of Black Metal and fantasy alike, this album is an essential listen, showcasing Stormkeep’s insane talent in crafting a world where music and myth come together in a stunning package. I can’t recommend this album more highly and if you have the ability to get this on vinyl, don’t hesitate. The music, the artwork, everything about this album is simply top tier.

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