So AFM sign a Swedish Power/Heavy Metal band. No big news there. AFM sign a Swedish Power/Heavy Metal band with 8 members – well that’s a bit more out of the ordinary…3 guitarists and 3 vocalists (with a bassist and a guy who plays “Anvil and War Drums”… I wouldn’t want to be THAT blokes roadie!), OK, I’m listening. I guess the bands name is slightly misleading as one of the main Brothers Of Metal appears to be a Sister, but as the bands name is ready to paper over that, we’ll just enjoy the fact that vocally all bases are covered comprehensively.

Initially on the musical side there’s elements of Lost Horizon, Sabaton, Battle Beast, Manowar and Lonewolf, but the varied delivery of the different vocalists (spoken, gravel-throated, clean, whatever is needed for each track – most are covered) give the whole sound an identity of it’s own – think Amaranthe does Power Metal and you might get an idea. There’s an urgency to get to what is generally a fabulously catchy chorus about Brothers Of Metal which also put me in mind of Amaranthe’s approach but both musically and lyrically there is plenty of distance between the two.

Now, as the band’s penchant for leather-and-fur costumery might suggest, they lean towards Battle Metal territory in the lyrical department. Actually, they do a damn sight more than lean, they run headlong at it with their shields and bludgeon it repeatedly with whatever ancient Nordic weapon happens to be in the other hand. They love Metal and they like to drink and fight – lyrically that’s about the long and short of it really. But that’s the point really, each song is basically an uncomplicated anthemic warcry that lodges in the brain like…well…whatever that weapon was in the other hand.

There is an accessibility and a sound that Brothers of Metal possess which no other Power/Heavy Metal band out there has – no-one has quite the same approach and delivery as this band. Their sound won’t be for everyone, but whether you favour anything from Crimfall to Hammerfall, Battlelore to Freedom Call, Brothers (and one Sister) Of Metal will have something to interest you. I applaud their we-don’t-give-a-toss attitude – they dress how they want, they sing about what they want and they sound like they do because of it – and more power to them for that.

(7.5/10 Andy Barker)