Isengard (Sweden)

Crownless Majesty

Isengard (Sweden) - Crownless Majesty ©2001 Hemisphere Entertainment
1. Dreamland
2. Coming Home
3. Legends
4. The Winds Of War
5. Stormcrow
6. Dragon Empire
7. Shadows Of Light
8. The Crownless Majesty
9. Armour Of Gods
10. Poltava
11. Eye Of The Storm
12. The Empire

If someone threw these guys a going away party, is there a chance that they might actually go away for good? Not only does this band share a name with a slightly more infamous side project of a slightly more infamous figure, Fenriz, but this band also provides listeners with some watered-down, exceptionally bland "power" metal that is sure to only please those who can't see beyond the walls that Gamma Ray and Helloween built years ago. Someone needs to put a trumpeteer outside Jericho and knock things down. Whatever it'll take to make bands like this go away, I'll advocate wholeheartedly.

Isengard's list of faults is long. First, bands who do very little beyond offering a lousy rendition of an old blueprint of music (you know, the one Gamma Ray and Stratovarius have beaten into the ground years ago) should be given their walking papers. Second, when you have a singer who lacks any sort of drive or conviction such as Isengard's Linus Melchoirsen, it's very hard to impress anyone. Think of a nasally Rock'n'Rolf, only lacking any sort of charisma or ability to sell the song to the listener. Finally, the reliance of lyrics about dragons, warriors, gods and mighty people doing mighty things simply relegates this dreadful waste of plastic to eternal banishment from CD players who have done nothing so wrong as to deserve this. Isengard attempts to spice things up with weak MIDI-sounding orchestration and folksy elements but they're haphazard and entirely hokey at best. At worst, they sound like those bad Conan the Barbarian styled B movies from back in the day. Considering the band's best ideas have been previously done by other outfits and with much more flair and talent, Crownless Majesty is a horrendous excuse for a power metal record and will only serve as more fodder for those who criticize much of the inherent lack of originality and power in the subgenre. Chances are, Fenriz' legion of Isengard fans will cross the border into Sweden and beat that country's Isengard over the head with their own instruments for defaming Fenriz' good name.

I'd smash this CD, but it'd be a waste of a good hammer swing.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/2001

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