These days it seems that there simply aren’t enough metal bands in America willing to take the “battle metal” shtick completely over the top, employing soaring melodies and flamboyant lead singers who can carry a tune. Consequently, Ohio band Lunarium’s decidedly European style is so damn endearing, as their ambitious debut album has fun combining the classic gallop of British metal’s new wave and the melodrama of Manowar with a strong Celtic element similar to the growing number of like-minded pagan metal bands emerging from Europe these days. Comprised of 15 tracks over 64 minutes, the boys flirt with overkill, and the no-frills production could use a good spit and polish, but Journeys, Fables, & Lore‘s heart is in the right place, be it during the rousing “Warcry”, the elegiac “Hail the Fallen”, the epic “Elizabeth’s Song”, the rollicking sea chantey melody of “Sea Dragons”, or the Helloween-channeling “Death Rides”, each track sold confidently by singer/guitarist Cinnead Loreweaver. A very solid inaugural outing, there’s enough potential shown on this album to convince listeners that this band could do wonders with a big budget and reputable producer.
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