Bloodbound – Creatures of the Dark Realm

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Earlier this year, the Swedish power metal band Bloodbound released their 9th studio album. Although the band went through a few line-up changes since their formation back in 2004, they have remained relatively stable since 2011. ‘Creatures of the Dark Realm’ marks their sixth album release with AFM Records.

Before I go any further with my review, I should point out that I’m not at all familiar with this band’s discography. ‘Creatures of the Dark Realm’ is their first album that I’ve listened to from start to finish. If their previous output is of the same caliber however, then it would seem that I’ve been missing out, because this is by far one of my favorite power metal releases of the year.

‘Creatures of the Dark Realm’ begins with a very brief acoustic guitar intro before transitioning into the title track, which sets the tone for the rest of the album. High-pitched clean vocals, melodic keyboards, infectious hooks and riffs and a chorus that you can sing-along to after just one listen.

Although most of the tracks follow a pretty similar pattern, I never felt bored due to a lack of variety. Every track felt sufficiently distinct from one another to keep me engaged. The album has a runtime of 45 minutes but it feels somewhat shorter, because the tempo is consistently kept at a fast pace and there are no overly complex tracks that overstay their welcome, like you might find on a Helloween album for example.

I also found it surprising that the album didn’t feature a single slower ballad-like track, as is usually the case with power metal releases. Although I don’t mind the occasional slower track for the sake of variety, this isn’t a point of criticism here, as the album works perfectly fine without one. There is one track however that sounds somewhat out of place. ‘March Into War’ isn’t a bad song per se, but it sounds as if Bloodbound was trying to emulate Sabaton in this particular case.

Some of Bloodbound‘s previous albums were inspired by the writings of George R. R. Martin. Therefore I’m inclined to believe that the cover artwork of ‘Creatures of the Dark Realm’ depicts the creatures known as White Walkers from ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’. The epic looking artwork matches some of the dark fantasy lyrics on the album. The artwork was provided by Péter Sallai, who’s also responsible for the cover artwork of bands such as Sabaton, Powerwolf and Brothers of Metal.

Release date: May 28th, 2021
Label: AFM Records

  1. The Creatures Preludium
  2. Creatures of the Dark Realm
  3. When Fate is Calling
  4. Ever Burning Flame
  5. Eyes Come Alive
  6. Death Will Lead the Way
  7. Gathering of Souls
  8. Kill or be Killed
  9. The Gargoyles Gate
  10. March Into War
  11. Face of Evil
  12. The Wicked and the Weak


  • Music / Composition9/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics9/10
  • Production / Mixing10/10
  • Artwork / Packaging9/10
  • Originality8/10
9Bloodbound's 9th album is one of the better power metal releases of the year. It has great momentum and features plenty of catchy songs that never overstay their welcome.
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