When we last heard from Colorado "fantastical dungeon metal" band Stormkeep, 2020 MLP Galdrum took the black metal scene by storm with its sophisticated take on mid-1990s symphonic flourishes and atmosphere-driven riffcraft. A year later, Stormkeep not only moves forward in time as a band, but their sound, too, finds itself moving down a linear path.

Sounding more like where symphonic, riff-driven black metal was heading in 1998 (just before everything got modern in the face of the new millennium), Stormkeep's debut full-length album Tales of Othertime takes on the more epic, indulgent qualities pre-millennium black metal but with a modern wisdom and studied stylistic understanding which only truly comes with time. Using this as a springboard for the band's own concept, Tales of Othertime fully unveils the Eldic myth atop which the band crafts their art. Taking place in the kingdom of Elda (don't worry, the release comes with a map), Stormkeep's approach to high fantasy, paired with the legendary Les Edwards' art, pairs perfectly with their own "fantastical dungeon metal symphonia."

On "The Serpent's Stone," which can be streamed below ahead of the album's November 19th release, Stormkeep takes the "epic" influences which drive Tales of Othertime to a peak. Verging on power metal (which very fluidly crept into a lot of black metal around 1998) at times, "The Serpent Stone'"s folkish melodies and driving rhythms recall a time in which "epic metal" was an everyday term (thanks largely in part to Bal-Sagoth). Frequent guest vocalist Shield Anvil (you might recognize his voice from elsewhere), who also made a powerful appearance on Galdrum, truly transports this song into the power metal sphere with a particularly stirring clean vocal performance about halfway through, transporting the listener into this frosty kingdom of fantastic beasts, battles, and sorcery.

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Tales of Othertime releases November 19th on Ván Records.

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