Band – Romantik II
Album – Bergfried
Country of Origin – Austria
Genre – Epic Heavy Metal
Release Date – September 1, 2023
Label – Fiadh Productions
Author – Barry Winter
Expectations can be a hell of a thing. I’ve missed out on so many great albums for years because they didn’t line up with my preconceptions or expectations. That was almost the case here!
From the erudite power metal lead that takes center stage on The Highest Divine to the bluesy stomp of No One Saves You, Romantik II covers a surprising amount of sonic ground, while still remaining coherent. Very impressive! It’s an incredibly difficult album to put a genre label on, but the sound that pops up the most can possibly be described as the kind of 90s alternative rock you might have heard on the radio, best exemplified by Crossroads of my Soul. It really threw me off on first listen, but it’s so well executed that I couldn’t help but fall in love with it.
It’s really hard to pick only a couple of songs as highlights, but I adore the gentle xylophone intro of The Highest Divine, as well as the guitar lead that it leads into. My other favorite might be May the Devil Pull Me Under, with its infectious chorus and clever syncopation.
This review was an interesting challenge for me because the two things I normally focus my reviews on (explicitly metal riffs and solos) aren’t so much of a factor, but between the catchy choruses and clever instrumentation, I had to give it a shot. I’m glad I gave this album the time of day, and you should too!
Barry Winter is a longtime disciple of the cult of traditional heavy metal.