• 9/10
    PLANESWALKER - Tales Of Magic - 9/10


Saibot Reigns
Release date: January 21, 2022

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

The board is set…

As a foreword to this review, this author would like to admit her complete ignorance of the card game Magic The Gathering. But whether you are a seasoned player, a newbie or an uninitiated to the arcane and the lore of the games, you definitely should lend an ear to the compositions of Jason Ashcraft (Helion Prime) and Sozos Michael (Gloryhammer). Tales Of Magic is the first album of the project Planeswalker. The musicians drew their inspiration from the vast universe of the game. But you don’t necessarily need to know about it to appreciate their music, especially if you have a knack for modern Power Metal with a big dose of epicness and tinges of Prog and Symphonic.

The pieces are moving

With only seven songs to convince you (with one cover), Planeswalker wastes no time in useless narrations or decorative instrumentals. All of their songs are well-written with a clear production and paying attention to details and balance. That is probably why this project is so enjoyable. Despite the obvious parodic pitfall of Epic Power Metal, Tales Of Magic never succumbs to clichés. Yet they are telling stories of immortal dragons, elves and other magical bustles. It is also noteworthy to mention the guests on this album as their contribution truly emphasizes the qualities of an already great project: amongst them, Brittney Slayes (Unleash The Archers), Heather Michele, Taylor Washington (Paladin), R.A Voltaire (Ravenous).

The greatest battle of our time…

All of the songs on the album display a great variety of atmospheres: epic choirs and chorus, great soli and equally enticing vocals… To pick just one example: “The Forever Serpent”.

But the pièce de resistance and the apex of the album is definitely ” Oath of the Gatewatch” (11 minutes and not one too much). The four singers complement themselves on this operatic piece. While in a different style, it could remind you and Ayreon song, or Avatansia. All of their voices have a different texture. It is the perfect quest party: the elven warrior, the mage, the paladin and the one with the cool steampunk goggles. The song is on the brink of cheesiness but stays on the truly epic side: a masterpiece. The perfect way to end the album… But wait, here comes a Kiss cover of “A Million To One”. It is not bad, but it kind of dampens the mood after a relentless session of headbanging to “Oath of the Gatewatch”: entirely dispensable. Or perhaps it was just a joke.

Fans of the card game will be thrilled by this odd project and the others will probably try their hand at the game as well. Now, if you’ll please excuse her, this reviewer has to buy a starter deck and build herself an armour in her garage. For Zendikar !


  • Séverine Peraldino

    Reviewer, interviewer and apprentice photographer for Metal Express Radio, Séverine comes from a small place in the Southern French Alps, near Grenoble. Her taste for classic Heavy Metal is a family heritage and after growing up listening to Iron Maiden, Dio, Metallica and Angra she expanded her horizons with almost every subgenre of Metal, from Power, to Prog, a little bit of Death and Black Metal. She mostly enjoys albums telling stories with originality. When she is not travelling around for concerts and festivals, you can find her reading a good book, or playing board games with friends.

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