FELLOWSHIP “The Saberlight Chronicles”
By Dr. Abner Mality
By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth, what have we here? D&D power metal that’s as cheerful as a chipmunk on helium! This practically begs to be roasted over a slow fire, even though parts of it are perversely catchy and it seems to be delivered with straightfaced earnestness. How nerdy is FELLOWSHIP? If you heard the recent POWER PALADIN record, that sounds like PANTERA’s “Vulgar Display of Power” next to this sugary concoction.
Power metal nostalgia is definitely a thing. FELLOWSHIP is the sweetest, most bombastic, most over the top aspects of RHAPSODY, TWILIGHT FORCE and SONATA ARCTICA. The songs are drenched in sappy keyboards, flutes, orchestrated sounds, the vocals are sweet and utterly devoid of grit, the choruses are hugely melodic and poppy. There’s tons of high speed guitar runs and fluty, arpeggiated solos. And this is the formula for all 12 songs. They are extremely hard to tell apart and by the time the overlong “Avalon” wraps things up, the record has turned into one big gummy mass. Three or four songs could have easily been pruned from this with no loss to anyone.
There are different levels of power metal and this is the most overdone and juvenile. I confess, some of this is a guilty pleasure, but FELLOWSHIP just lay everything on too thick. The debut POWER PALADIN record has many power metal characteristics, but the songwriting was varied and there was a certain level of metal crunch to it. Those qualities do not exist on “The Saberlight Chronicles”. This is Ren-Fair metal to the max.