Balrogath – We Bring Calamity (Self-Released)

Friday, 4th August 2023
Rating: 7.5 / 10

Morphing from a punk band The Reckless Heroes, Canadian act Balrogath embrace a mix of melodic power / death metal platform since their formation in 2017. They released their debut EP Nameless Terror in 2020, plus a full-length follow up last year for Arcane Sacrifice. Since there were no gigs in sight until venues safely opened back up post-pandemic, it’s not surprising that we have another EP offering so quickly for We Bring Calamity from these gentlemen.

At three songs of almost similar timeframes (between 5:59 to 6:49), expect an interesting mix of influences across European/North American landscapes – often intertwining multiple subgenres in the same track to ensure dynamic diversity. Guitarist Chris Saunders (Warchanter) employs aspects of melodic death, power, and folk accents in his main riff duties, heightening sequences in harmonic or heavier shades when necessary. The vocal delivery of Gray Panchuck (Bladesinger) moves between a calm orator to maniacal growler/screamer, given supplementary doom-like support from bassist T.J. Riggins (Loremaster) and Chris to give us a multi-dimensional excursion right away for “Calamity” that matches the melodeath meets power/folk musical proceedings. Staccato-oriented / stunted guitar parts appear as a rhythmic element to the vocals on “Of the Abyss”, the final minute picking up slight energy momentum before returning to those Machine Head-like trills. The EP ends on a high note for “Endless Lifetime of Hate”, the circular musical themes very grandiose as they are catchy, containing aspects of tremolo / folk runs turned through aggressive means, the clean melodies against the growls equally captivating.

It’s difficult to truly pinpoint where Balrogath belongs as far as in a specific category because of the genre bleed that occurs song to song. One minute you may think Dark Tranquillity or Carcass, the next Blind Guardian or Ensiferum – just on a more primitive landscape because of the DIY production values and tones achieved. We Bring Calamity is a tidy EP that should keep the band’s profile circulating, as more shows/festivals seem to be in the cards to build things up more for the group.

Balrogath on Facebook

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