It's been two years ago since the Dutch metal heads of Shadowlord released their last album ‘Scourge Of Heaven'. A lot has happened in those two years; keyboard player Dave left the band just after the recordings of ‘Scourge Of Heaven' and bass player Arno left the band to focus on his other band Am-Tuat. Both have been replaced; Dave by Daphne and Arno by Ruud, who is also in Sammath.
So much for the background information, let's talk about their new album. As you might have guessed, if you know your Dutch and Roman history that is, ‘Batavorum' deals most of the time with the history of the oldest city of The Netherlands, Nijmegen. The Song ‘Moenen En Mariken' is about the famous Dutch story about Mariken van Nieumeghen and Shadowlord gave it a new twist. ‘Legion X' is about Julius Caesar's favorite battle legion,to the area where Nijmegen is based these days.
Musically the band has grown a lot in the past couple of years.
The keyboards had a prominent role on the previous album and not everybody liked that. This time the keyboards aren't as prominent as on ‘Scourge Of Heaven' and that is in favor of the music. In my opinion that music Shadowlord makes these days has little to do with the black metal they used to play in their early days. Although the vocals of Cor and Marit are still brutal as hell, the music takes a more melodic direction. ‘Batavorum' was recorded and mixed at New Road Records and the people at New Road did a good job. And as a little bonus ‘Batavorum' contains a cool, but sometimes a bit chaotic video of ‘Moenen En Mariken' which is directed by Bart Schoutete. My only question is why this band hasn't been signed yet!? More info on Shadowlord?
© Rockezine Jul 27, 2005
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