Genre: Epic Metal
Country: Sweden
Label: Gates Of Hell Records
Year: 2022

I would describe the multi-instrument solo approach of lots of artists during Covid era as sign of the times. But there is always talent and effort behind any of these projects. Niklas Holm (Dødsleie, Extermination Temple, Foul Womb, Wanton Attack, Broken Cross) steps forward and spills into music his multi-instrumentalist ideas by the form of Sordid Blade. The scheme was formed in 2021 out of Holm’s desire to create an epic heavy metal band inspired by legendary pioneers of the genre, such as Hammerheart-era Bathory, Manilla Road and Warlord. First came the 2021 demo including two-songs under the name of MMXXI. It was an early indicator of Holm’s ability to meld heroic proto-metal with the style and persuasion of his primary influences. After a brief period of soliciting prospective labels, Sordid Blade found its place on Gates of Hell Records for the release of their first full-length, “Every Battle Has Its Glory”. Drummer Micael Zetterberg, joined Sordid Blade after the release of MMXXI. Together, Holm and Zetterberg tap into the broad, illustrious field of true, mid-paced anthemic metal, harnessing stout riffing and choice melodies to form a sound that remains faithful to the style’s storied past.  Holm’s lyrics deal with existential themes and how the individual can gain strength by focusing on what’s really important in the world. His lyrics are driven by metaphor, developing a sort of “code” for the listener to decipher. Once they do, they will find a wealth of songs with deep, emotional subject matter that adds another layer of depth and intrigue to Sordid Blade. Instrumental “Kiolsvarf”,   a Swedish term to describe a family drowning at sea, also stands out.  “Every Battle Has Its Glory” cover art came along when Zetterberg found one of Larsson’s paintings in a book and shared it with Holm. Holm knew the creation was the perfect choice as  its dark style reflected the overall theme of the album.  Holm’s characteristic and intense voice marks the album in its entity. 35 minutes of pompous but also melodic hymns starting from “Mordian Wings’” intro, marching out through “Hidden Enthronement” and “Every Battle Has Its Glory”, and ending via the confession of a “Lonessom Rider”. When epic metal collides with emotional atmosphere, it’s a record worth listening to.