This Swedish 8 piece (yes, eight piece!) Epic Melodic Power Metal band do not hang about! Eager to capitalize on their debut released via AFM just a year ago, this band of Metal brothers (with one sister) are ready once more to continue their ongoing fabled battle in the cause of Metal…though maybe I should point out that they aren’t actually related to each other at all, as legendary tales of who got the top bunk, stole another siblings Lego, or got biggest piece of treacle sponge at dinner maybe wouldn’t have quite as much musical impact.

Brothers Of Metal are definitely still a band with an urgency to get to the chorus – and as with the debut there are plenty of them! Some are cheesier than others, but all are incredibly catchy and melodic. The good thing is that it isn’t always down to the same one of the three vocalists to carry that hook, as the load is shared well, adding a sense of anticipation to each track. Before we get into all that though there is of course a scene-setting intro, with a rhyming spoken narrative that evolves gradually into opening track…’Powersnake’??? Really? Powersnake? What is it – 1982? I bet David Coverdale wishes he’d thought of that one! But no, luckily it hasn’t any hidden phallic metaphor and IS actually about an enormous serpent…I think – the whole song could be a euphemism for all I know. Lyrically the band do appear to be sticking to their trusted epic fantasy/battle type shenanigans, however this time based around the concept which is laid out in the narrated intro – which I’ll let you discover for yourselves.

Here on their second album the band are not playing it safe as would be the easiest option, instead they are expanding on the sound that they stamped so emphatically down on their debut. Battle Beast, Crimfall, Hammerfall, Battlelore, Freedom Call, Lost Horizon, Sabaton, Virgin Steele and Lonewolf all spring to mind at various points, but as do Clannad on the intro to the title track as well as touches of Black Messiah and Grave Digger at times. In truth, the fabulous variation to the vocals, as well as the different styles of Melodic/Power Metal the band display, mean that you could make an endless list of bands that you can hear within their sound, but it’s how Brothers Of Metal put it all together which makes the difference. On the whole this album comes across as slightly a more unified and focused release than its predecessor, sculpted by a band who have found their style, have landed a good record deal for who they are, and now want to embrace that and drive forward. It’s a varied album, but within its own personal parameters, dripping with classy melody and great musicianship. Brothers Of Metal have proved again that they are a Metal band with their own unique sound and approach, which I tentatively state, is steadily improving and nicely maturing with each release.

(8/10 Andy Barker)