Marauder is a classic Power Metal band from Greece who has been around for over 20 years. Their new album Elegy Of Blood marks the band's fifth full length release. Marauder has become famous for recreating the high energy twin guitar sounds that are analogous to Judas Priest, Helloween, and Gamma Ray. Not to mention the high pitched screams of lead singer Alexandros Kostarakos, who certainly gives plenty of Rob Halford-like invocations with a highly emotive performance.
Marauder’s general premise has not changed much over the years. It’s hard to argue the band has evolved or matured as they continue to use pretty much the same sound on each album. That being said, Elegy Of Blood is a modest continuation of their previous 2008 release Face The Mirror. However, this album tends to follow a common thematic approach with respect to the compositions. All of the tracks are about wars, empires, or famines utilizing a historical reference.
Regarding the musicianship on Elegy Of Blood, the songs are typically centered around the twin guitar riffs and the vocals are enacted as a secondary feature. One of the reasons the vocals seem to be downplayed somewhat on this album is that Kostarakos performs mostly in a subdued lower register for many of the tracks. Thus, not allowing his vocal to become the main focal point of the songs, as Marauder usually does with their previous work, is detriment to the product as a whole.
Kostarakos however, does still maintain an extremely strong vocal performance but his wide range does seem to be used in a limited capacity. One of the tracks which contain a classic, highly emotional vocal performance is the song “Crusader.” During this track, Kostarakos uses his full range and shows off a great transformation from elevating the verse into the chorus line with theatrical and progressive vocal. Not to mention, the powerful riffs which carry melody with a dramatic fashion. Clearly, this is one of the best and most energetic compositions on the album and reminds the listener what Marauder is truly capable of.
Elegy Of Blood may not be the finest hour for Marauder, however there are bits and pieces of greatness on this album. These guys could easily evolve into making longer and more intricate arrangements given their immense talent. There is a sense the band is holding back on this album by putting together a small dimensional performance. The final three tracks, “Crusader”, “Black Gold”, and “World War II” are arguably the bands best on this album. It’s a shame the band didn’t put the same level of energy into the earlier tracks; otherwise it could have easily been one best of the year.
Official Marauder Website
Pitch Black Records