THE RING - TALES FROM MIDGARD - SCARLET
What to make of an album from a band called The Ring which purports to narrate the journey set out by the great writer Tolkien in The Lord Of The Rings? To undertake such a work is both ambitious and admirable, at first, but upon further reflection other qualities may come to mind. How about pretentiousness or pomposity? For instance, do these Swedes truly believe they can do the work justice? Moreover, is it a mere coincidence that the album follows hot on the heels of the film trilogy or is it a simple act of commercialism?
Musically, The Ring is fundamentally similar to recent releases by bands chasing the traditional metal sound, albeit with a little extra pomp and flair. Thinking back, two such albums this year have been Tarot's Suffer our Pleasures on Metal Blade and Silver Mountain's Breakin' Chains on Reality Entertainment. Having said that, songs five and six, Unite Or Fall and Halls Of Doom respectively, take a slightly different tact and sound closer to '80s era Black Sabbath.
The musicianship is average, the vocalist adequate and the concept, well, can be taken either way. - Ali "The Metallian"