One of the most unique projects currently working in this area, epic entity called Númenor, has reached one of the most important moments in one band’s career: release of the second album. A lot of groups can have success with their debuts but the second one is the moment when they prove their worth and the fact that what they achieved on the first one was no fluke but the result of dedicated work and talent. Most commonly, the ones who pass this mark are the ones that will last and I am happy to say that Númenor can be proudly added among those legions as Sword and Sorcery is perhaps the crowning jewel in this band’s discography. At the very beginning I must say that Númenor is led by our own editor Despot Marko Miranovic which may inspire some negative comments or thoughts that we are pushing our own man here but that could not be further from the truth… In fact, Marko has just passed me the copy of the album without any further comments and awaited on my response just to see how will I experience it myself, with me trying to put aside our friendship as much as I can to enjoy the music with clear mind. I need to be completely honest here, even though I would like Númenor without even knowing the people behind it cause music is right up my alley, my friendship with Marko somehow added some extra dimension to listening sessions since Sword and Sorcery is basically everything that moves and interests him transferred into musical language. That may be the ultimate stamp of approval for this album since art should be extension of one’s soul and believe me when I say that it is the case with members of Númenor and the album that we are dealing here. Númenor’s first album Colossal Darkness marked the end of embryonal phase for the band and was the crown of their inital efforts to define their sound while Sword and Sorcery takes everything that was good about it and pushes it even further into the future. For those uninitiated, Númenor could be most safely called epic metal but that definition is very broad and bands from Domine all the way to Bal-Sagoth or Summoning could be placed under that umbrella. On the other hand, Sword and Sorcery does take the influences from all those various ends of epic spectrum and mix it into one logical whole which does not sound contrived or forced but rather like it was always meant to be that way. Like some good book, Sword and Sorcery carries a lot of twists and turns that will keep you on your toes interested to know what will happen from the beginning till the very end – I must give my compliments to the album’s flow as it is obvious that Númenor paid attention to it. The album does not sound like some compilation of tracks lumped together but instead rather flows like river with its logical path which is something that was nurtured in the old days when bands truly made albums as artistic expressions instead of making simple singles to sell the music as fast as they can, one could really see that the band members are older experienced metalheads because of this fact. You will get what I mean from the moment you start to listen to the album, as after the mystical intro Númenor will bomb you instantly with hit songs such as Dragonheart and The Arcanist, power heavy influences are evident and mainly in the clean refrains that will stuck into your head and pompous keyboard work takes the music into very evocative terrain that will just suck you in and won’t let go. As Sword and Sorcery progresses, overall mood gets progressively more menacing which culminates in the last two tracks Bane of Durin and Sleeping Sorceress which are for my personal taste maybe the apex of the entire album – with very dark overtones they invoke the spirit of 90s melodic black metal masters but done in Númenor original way, and I am just a sucker for this kind of ambiance. When it comes to lyrical themes, the album title alone ambodies what is Númenor all about and what kind of stories you can expect here – it may seem a bit overused term but Sword and Sorcery is immortal and stong slogan that immediately places you on Númenor’s side or drive you away immediately, the choice is yours alone. The production work for Sword and Sorcery is somehow archaic but in a good way, it possesses some 90s vibe that goes perfectly well with the music and anyway whole album reminds me of those glorious times in metal when bands were not afraid to experiment and to push their music into some unknown dimension and I guess that older fans that remember those times will be first that will fall for this album and live through that era once again with Sword and Sorcery… To conclude, I think that it is clear by now that Sword and Sorcery is one more maginificent release from Númenor. What’s most important, it seems to me that they are just getting started and we can just await for their magnum opus in the future as they are constantly growing with the passing of time. But for now, all the people into melodic, powerful and epic metal which invokes a lot of atmosphere of dimensions unknown and strong emotions are well advised to check out Númenor and Sword and Sorcery!
- Stormspell Records CD
- Trifunovic Slobodan