I think, that if this genre even really exists outside of Bal-Sagoth, it does describe Bal-Sagoth quite well. Bal-Sagoth, if you don't know (and not many of you probably do), is a symphonic "black metal" band from Britain. However their sound is pretty cheesy, featuring songs about an elaborate fantasy multi-verse that band leader Byron created, and symphonic sounds done by a keyboard based on the soundtracks from movies like Conan the Barbarian. The guitar parts are pure power metal run through a black metal blender, and to tell the truth as are the vocals. If this sounds interesting to you, then you probably like Dungeons and Dragons and Robert Howard a bit too much. I thought I might like them (as I like Dungeons and Dragons and Robert Howard's novels a lot), but somehow, the cheese factor is almost too much for me. Like some reviewers I have read have said, if they would hire some real strings and brass to do the symphonic elements, the sound would be a lot better and a lot less Switched-on Bach (the first album to use a synth as a total replacement for an orchestra, it sounded alot like early video game soundtracks actually).

Indeed this "style" (which I think has maybe one or two other bands) is interesting to a point, but to what end? Do we really need albums based on Conan like adventures, which seem to attract equally nerdy followers who covet every word released from the band? I dunno, but it exists, and if you're feeling adventurous you can experience the "brilliance" of "Britannic Battle Metal" for yourself, who knows, maybe you'll like it.

(To those fans of there's my main problem wasn't the band per-say, as much as the album I have, Atlantis Ascendant, I don't think it was fantasy enough for me or something, as crazy as that may sound.)

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