'Songs of the Caravan' by Bardic Compass released earlier today. This album is like a musical journey through their D&D campaign, and the band's got a killer lineup: Carl Hengen on Rhythm Guitar and lead vocals, Artem Bank handling the bass and backing vocals, Damian Silvas rocking the Lead Guitar, and David Wilson keeping the beat on the drums. They produced the album themselves, with a cool cover by Samantha Kanios.
Now, let's review.
The album kicks off with 'Convergence,' and if you're into power metal with a D&D twist, this one's for you. It almost give me a 'Release the Archers' vibe, and it's got a solid sound. The vocals are strong, the drumming is on point, and those guitar riffs keep things lively.
Then we've got songs like 'Born from the Ashes' and 'Black Tusk'. It was around fifteen seconds into Black Tusk that I had to pause the album, pour myself a drink, slap on my studio headphones and sit back in my swivel chair. The tempo's got a mix that reminds me of 'The White Stripes' with a touch of 'Incubus' or even 'Coheed and Cambria,' but they've got their own unique sound that's really captivating.
With 'Monster,' you'll catch a hint of early '90s grunge, at least in my opinion. It was nostalgic. The band does a great job with the shift in tone, all while staying true to their style and to the theme and as we move through songs like 'The Girl from the Woods' and 'The One You Need' they bring back that light-heartedness and fun.
'The Door in the Dark' keeps your head nodding, and those guitar pitch bends add a nice touch. It was almost as if they took their grunge sound and their light hearted songs and melded them together. It was a refreshing way to move the album forward.
When you hit 'Zhin's Sermon', you are really in a rock and roll zone tapping your feet moving perfectly into 'Feels Like Home' which in Bardic Compass fashion blends the upbeat - move your body- tracks into the more mellow starting with a smooth acoustic intro, building up a mood that's perfect for kicking back and getting lost in the music.
Finally, 'Shipwreck' closes the album on a high note while still keeping that balance between jamming out with your friends, and getting lost in the theme with your eyes closed. I can definitely see me listening to this on a long drive home, although with someone else in the car to keep me from zoning out to the imagery these songs paint.
So, in a nutshell, I'm giving this album a thumbs up. It's clear that these musicians had a blast making it, and I bet it's a really fun time jamming out with them. This album's versatile; you can use it as the soundtrack for your D&D game night with friends or blast it during a scenic road trip. It's definitely earned a spot on my personal playlist so go check it out asap.