The comparison with Summoning is immediate: the number of musicians, the style, the drum programming (in some editions you can even find two covers of the last-mentioned: “The Passing of the Grey Company” and “Marching Homewards”) but this must not stop the listener because it would be a big mistake. Caladan Brood is certainly influenced by the Austrian duo (and they do not intend to deny it), but they have managed to make a very respectful product.
All the tracks are quite long (the shortest one lasts over 9 minutes while the longest one almost 15) but in spite of this they do not prove to be heavy thanks to the atmosphere created.
A big contribution comes surely from the keyboards that on several occasions hit orchestral levels through their textures, thus creating beautiful atmospheres; a special mention goes to the clean vocals that with their opera traits (just hear the closing part of “Wild Autumn Wind” or the final track “Book of the Fallen to Realize”) are the cherry on the cake of an album that succeeds very well in taking into fantasy and ancient worlds.
The lyrics are inspired by the epic fantasy saga Malazan Book of the Fallen written by Canadian author Steven Erikson. The saga relates the struggles between the races that inhabit the Malazan lands (this is evident in the song “Echoes of Battle”, where one can hear battle noises and the smashing of swords) and everything is told through the point of view of several characters. Unfortunately I have not had the pleasure of reading the books of this saga but the reading of the lyrics combined with the music of Caladan Brood made me definitely want to remedy this fault.
Echoes of Battle was released on February 15th, 2013 through Northern Silence Productions
1. “City of Azure Fire” 10:09
2. “Echoes of Battle” 09:21
3. “Wild Autumn Wind” 13:46
4. “To Walk the Ashes of Dead Empires” 13:12
5. “A Voice Born of Stone and Dust” 09:50
6. “Book of the Fallen” 14:55
Shield Anvil - keyboards, vocals, guitars, bass, programming, final choir (track 6)
Mortal Sword - vocals, guitars, keyboards (additional), final choir (track 6)