Review: “Dragons of the Ages” by Grimgotts

Formed in 2015 with the concept of being a Harry Potter themed Symphonic Power Metal Band before switching their focus to the realm of fantasy, “Dragons of the Ages” is the sophomore album from Grimgotts. Hailing from West Sussex, the band feature the vocal talents of founder Andy Barton, Synths from Fabio Garau, guitars from David Hills and a rhythm section of bassist Nelson Moreira and drummer Mo Abdelgadir.

Echos of Power Metal soak through the Symphonic start to “Dragons of the Ages” with opening tune “War’s Come To Our Shores” showing off some fine Game of Thrones esq storytelling amid some Iron Maiden influences. Complete with a ripping classic Metal solo, blast beat bridge and both male and female vocals, it’s a real treat despite something of a slow start. “The Last Dragon Warriors” on the other hand wastes no time in ripping through some Dragon Force meets Power Quest riffs with a synth underpinning at frenetic pace. Expanded Instrumental sections give are more time for the showcasing of the breathtaking guitar work. Bringing a sense of the cinematic, “Ancient Waters” tells the tale of sailing to foreign shores to fight epic battles while continuing the high quality, high energy feel. “War at Dusk” has more of a chugging feel and brings in some unclean vocals for the first time. A brief melodic break ushers in another ripping solo that’s extended out through a verse as the tale of a King unfolds.

Using synths to mimic trumpets and horns in a sort of ancient brass section “The King Under The Sea” brings an almost Ska guitar part in amongst the fist clenching Battle Metal vocals of epic proportions. The most varied of the tunes this one features also features of Melodic Black Metal elements with a couple of seriously impressive riffs over some powerhouse kit work. You read that right – Ska, Power Metal and Black Metal in the same song! “The Long Road” on the other hand has some Melodic Progressive influences akin to those witnessed on the last Allegaeon album. Dropping out the guitars for some acoustic action before building back up to enhance the epic feel. The Sea shanty inspired closing is simply brilliant! Telling the tale of Warriors running to face the Dragon Lords “Turning The Tide” is a tale of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. On first listening it’s not one that leaps out from the album however over multiple listens it grows to become a favourite. It’s follow up “Take to the Sea” features some fine lead guitar flourishes and while making full use of a kit with some powerhouse footwork. The acapella intertwined male and female vocal final verse adds that pallette cleansing point of difference and a fine pause for breath.

“The Great Shadow” showcases more vocal range with some of the highest pitched cleans in places that the album has to offer. Ripping through a trio of back to back solos and a big group chorus about fighting for the glory of the Lord against the great dark shadow, it’s another fine tale. The second song to feature some unclean vocals and to mention a Shaman offering some form of black magic “Here Be The Dragon Lords” returns to the Power Metal of the earlier material while repeatedly dropping the guitars out to allow a verse over drums and synths only giving a greater impact when they return. It’s another fine kit performance and brings the concept  album to an 8 and a half minute crescendo. Epic! [7.5/10]

Track listing:

  1. War’s Come to Our Shores
  2. The Last Dragon Warriors
  3. Ancient Waters
  4. War at Dawn
  5. The King Under the Sea
  6. The Long Road
  7. Turning the Tide
  8. Take to the Sea
  9. The Great Shadow
  10. Here Be Dragonlords

“Dragons of the Ages” by Grimgotts is out 17th May via Stormspell Records. You can find more from them over at bandcamp.

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