Anders Sköld – Vocals/guitar
Samuel Lundström – Guitar
Joel Kollberg – Drums
Kristoffer Lidre – Bass
1.) Rise Again
3.) Guiding Light
4.) Winds of Asgard
5.) Outcasts of Eden
6.) Sail Away
7.) The Prophecy
8.) Warrior of the North
9.) Gates of Hell
10.) Freedom Vikings
12.) To the Gods
13.) United We Stand
Have you heard of those computer programs that write songs/poems? You provide them with a wide range of examples, they analyse the contents, then create a new one based on those past observations.
That’s kind of what Veonity’s Legend of the Starborn feels like. If you gave a program all the power metal ever made and asked it to create an album of its own, this is what would be produced. To some that concept might sound great, and to others it will sound terrible, and that’s the point, really.
It applies to both the instrumentation and the lyrics, but it’s the lyrics where it really strikes the listener. This album manages (impressively, in its own way) to combine just about every power metal cliché imaginable. Vikings, Atlantis, the salvation of mankind, dragons, it ticks all the boxes:
“In the glorious prophecy
The starborn will come for our salvation
Legends of terror and horrible screams
Are finally fading away
The war is now drawing near
With the heart of a dragon we face our fears
Nightfall and darkness in our sacred land
The album even includes an interlude narration track which talks about a starborn warrior coming at the moment of greatest despair, sent by ancient guardians of the universe…you get the idea. This is Rhapsody/Dragonland levels of cheese.
Now, all that said, there’s still plenty of fun to be had here, and even if the predictability of the lyrics puts you off, the instrumentation is still solid. It’s your European style of power metal, heavy on the melodies and occasional neo-classical flourishes. Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica, maybe even some Symphony X in the more technically accomplished moments. High, falsetto vocals, lashings of melody and dancing up and down the fret boards during the solos.
Tracks like “Guiding Light”, “Outcasts of Eden” and “To the Gods” are so much fun, as the band cuts loose and shows just what they can do, “Outcasts” in particular having some absurdly catchy lead guitar work. “Warrior of the North”, with its harpsichord opening and eruption of epic power soon after, immediately reminds of Rhapsody at their finest. It maintains that well with familiar drive from the drums and gorgeous guitar work; there’s always something going on to hold your attention without ever feeling cluttered.
We also get a couple of guest appearances, with Patrik Selleby of Bloodbound and Tommy Johansson of Sabaton on “Freedom Vikings” and “Winds of Asgard”, respectively.
There’s also a subtle richness to the vocals which I appreciate, similar to Sonata Arctica. Outwardly they’re very soft and melodic, but there’s a richness in there, a pleasing warmth. This quality, despite the numerous larger-than-life falsetto vocals, is often most apparent in the softer moments, such as in “United We Stand”
For me, the lyrics are what let this album down (the instrumentation is firmly within established tropes, but is technically impressive enough to get away with it). It needs to be a lot less predictable to really excel, but if that doesn’t bother you, Veonity have likely crafted something right up your alley here.
Just be warned, there really is a -lot- of the “salvation of mankind”.