Power Metal: Numenor Announce Album For 2020

Serbia’s Tolkien-oriented black power metal band Numenor have announced that their fourth album, Draconian Age, will be released in 2020. Other than the artwork, which was done by Bob Zivkovic, no further details have yet been revealed.

To get a feel for Numenor’s style, check out ‘Heart of Steel’ below!

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Centurion – Centurion Review

Score8.5/10
GenreProgressive Heavy Metal
CountrySerbia
Runtime01:16:16
Release Date13 September 2019
Record LabelIndependent

Labelling a band as “progressive heavy metal” is usually, in my experience, just a desperate effort of a prog band that has low production quality to appear more legitimate. Fortunately, that isn’t the case in Centurion’s self-titled debut. Instead, we get a solid traditional metal experience with all the flare, technicality, and versatility of a prog album. Right off the top, these Serbs prove that they aren’t just another lo-fi prog outfit by making an actual decent introductory track.

After a tasteful build in intensity, one thing becomes clear: Centurion is an insatiable riff-beast, ready to prey on the ears of all who are close enough to listen. Not only that, but we’re also attacked with an onslaught of powerful melodies, facemelting solos (especially in ‘Ruka Sudbine’ and ‘Virtuelno Ognjiste’. Holy fuck.), and drumming that never settles for satisfactory. Seriously. This is one damn impressive group of musicians who are as mighty as the badass warriors on their album cover.

If there’s one area that Centurion slightly suffers in, it’s the vocal department. While they certainly aren’t bad, there are a couple areas (mainly some the verses) where a bit more expression would go a long way. That being said, vocalist Miloš Marjanović has a great range and I don’t think there’s a single chorus I didn’t love. Aside from this, the runtime (which clocks in at more than 75 minutes) could be trimmed down a bit but, all things considered, these aren’t huge issues.

On the flip side, such a long runtime allows for a lot of potential variety, which we certainly get. There’s a good range of highs and lows, as well as tons of songs that have your usual prog changes, namely ‘Hodocasnik’ and the Mediterranean-flavoured ‘Janjicar’ (and, if we’re being completely honest here, every other song, too). There’s not a moment where I felt the transitions were bad, either, so bonus points there.

If you had no idea of these guys’s existence, like me about a month ago, then you owe it to yourself to check this album out. If you like your metal heavy, gritty, melodic, and dynamic, Centurion is right up your alley.

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Numenor – Chronicles From The Realms Beyond Review

Score8.5/10
GenreEpic Black/Power Metal
CountrySerbia
Runtime34:35
Release Date5 September 2017
Record LabelStormspell

It’s not often that I’ll review an album that’s older than a couple months. Between the constant flow of material sent to me and my ever-decreasing amount of free time, I’m usually struggling just to keep up with current releases. But, once in a while, I’ll receive something that especially catches my ear, and I’ll check it out happily, regardless of when the album came out. The latest of these special exceptions is the third album from Serbia’s Númenor, Chronicles from the Realms Beyond, which is a unique take on Tolkien-themed metal (which, at this point, isn’t all that unique a topic anymore, is it?).

To get the best idea of what to expect from this album, think something along the lines of “man metal”. It’s rugged and intense, but brings together the musical forces of light and darkness to fight side-by-side against the true evil: boring music. It completes itself with diverse arrangements and an epic overtone that is easily noticeable but not overbearing. The most epic, power-metally songs (and, unsurprisingly, my favourites) are the opener and closer, ‘Heart of Steel’ and ‘The Last of the Dragon Lords’. But, as you venture into the guts of this deceivingly-ominous record, you’ll be suprised at what you find.

The most interesting thing about Chronicles is how skillfully it combines elements of black metal and power metal. While a couple of the songs have a majority lean toward one or the other, most of them have a pretty even balance of the two. The result of such a combination is blood-boiling ferocity surrounded by an ever-present sense of darkness. This is usually achieved by mixing dark atmospheres, harsh growls, stoic melodic sections, and a driving rhythm section into a cauldron of badassery, as is evident in tracks like ‘Moria’, ‘Over the Mountains Cold’, and ‘Witching Hour’. Along with male clean and rough vocals, there are also female vocals, which add yet another interesting layer into an album that already pushes boundaries.

My only real complaint with Chronicles is regarding the production quality. I wouldn’t quite call it “lo-fi”, but it is fairly gritty and a bit muffled. I’m not sure whether it’s like this because of studio limitations or as an artistic choice due to black metal roots, and, mind you, it could be much worse. But, even some extra oomph from the drums and guitars would go a long way. It’s not so much an issue with clarity for me as it is an issue with highlighting certain parts to deliver that kick that can take an epic metal album from awesome to exceptional.

However, the album is good enough that the production quality doesn’t suffer it too badly. Every song offers something completely different from the one before and, despite runtimes that rarely exceed four minutes, they pack a hell of a lot into their mighty bellies. Huge atmospheres? Heavy beats? Sword-raising choruses? Excellent musicians? It’s all here. Chronicles from the Realms Beyond is a killer album, and offers plenty for those who enjoy the darker side of power metal.

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