ALBUM REVIEWS            



The Quest

Blackdraft are a heavy metal band from Germany forming in 2015, releasing their debut album 'Recipe Of Pain' in 2016. In 2018 Blackdraft released the concept album 'The Quest', "telling the story of the young researcher Runa Agustsson from Hamburg, who sets off for Iceland to start a journey into the deep sea from there. Over the course of her adventure she meets strong, strange and eerie characters as well as fantastic deep sea creatures and takes the listeners into the cold abysses filled with evil secrets".    
One hour and eleven songs (chapters as the tracklist defines), split with four short instrumentals, sees the new album from Blackdraft deliver a weighty punch. 'Formali', the first of the four instrumentals, gets us underway in a mellow vein, building the atmosphere as it builds to a climax, launching headlong into the first chapter, the heavy hitting and bombastic 'The Calling'. Mixing fast paced and mid tempo heavy metal, 'The Calling' is an exciting opening salvo setting the tone for the journey ahead. Lead singer Julia has an amazing voice, her vocals ranging from the clean and clear hard rock style, to the raspy, throaty style of thrash, bordering on death metal growls. And talking of death metal growls, lead guitarist Karsten delivers some howling guttural vocals. The second chapter 'The Struggle' lifts the intensity and heaviness to new heights, slamming the listener to the floor with a savage barrage of riffs and rhythms. 'Vakna', the second instrumental, is a one minute mellow guitar swagger, leading to chapter three, the up tempo and catchy 'Motivation'. Heavy rock and heavy metal combine perfectly as 'Motivation' canters on, highly infectious and with a sing a long style chorus, it's guaranteed to go down a storm in a live arena.    
The mix of vocals adds an interesting twist to the albums overall sound, ultimately making it a more exciting listen. Chapter four 'Capsule' runs very close to the thrash metal genre as it picks up the heaviness and intensity. Germany, as am sure we all know, is a hotbed for either power metal or brutal thrash, yet Blackdraft have managed to weld those two genres together, delivering brutal power metal! 'Out To The Open Sea' is chapter number five, and runs perilously close to the traditional power metal sound. Close, but not that close, as the tempo swings to the brutal end and back again as chapter five swaggers on to a conclusion. 'Leap In The Dark', chapter six, sets a menacing tone as it rockets off at high velocity. Galloping hard, chapter six is "foot on the monitor" styled heavy metal, with one of the catchiest choruses the album has to offer. Third instrumental 'Uppgotva' leads the way to chapter seven, 'Discover Beauty', the first of three six minute plus epics. And what an epic...welcome to the melodic side of Blackdraft. A much more soulful vocal performance, 'Discover Beauty' hints at symphonic metal, with soaring vocals and power ballad like riffs. Chapter seven is a welcome breather to the albums heavy hitting nature, allowing a moment to nurse bruises, wipe the sweat from your brow and catch a breath.    
The fourth (and final) instrumental 'Logn Fyrir Storminn' sets up the second and third six minute plus epics. Chapter eight 'Graveyard' is the first and brings back the albums earlier thunder. Hard hitting and sharp edged, chapter eight sees the growled vocals take more of a focal role. The blend of fast paced passages and melodic hard rocking ones, has chapter eight standing tall as one of the albums highlights. Second six minute epic (and third overall) chapter nine 'Blackdraft' doesn't relent the albums intensity, thundering on, with the growled vocals playing a larger role once again. With just two songs left, Blackdraft has not lost any of my attention, if anything, they have managed to increase my attentiveness, as the album stretches its legs towards its one hour play time. Chapter ten 'Fight', is an almighty gob smackingly ferocious metal menace, Growled vocals lead the way once more, with the chorus a catchy and sing a long duet of both styles. 'The Quest' is one of those rare albums that just gets better and better as it plays out. With the hour almost up, the final chapter, chapter eleven 'Death', rounds off the journey in terrific style, with the heaviest hitting song the album has to offer. Addictive and infectious, chapter eleven is a barnstorming end to a thoroughly enjoyable journey of heavy metal come thrash metal come power metal come melodic metal.    
Overall, a heavy hitting and brutal style of power metal, Blackdraft pummel and punish the senses with an aural avalanche of fiery heavy metal.    
Review By Iron Mathew Collins    
Reviewed For Metal Gods TV