This review may be a little different than the reviews I usually do so bear with me. First I will ask you to go and listen/download this track using this link: https://soundcloud.com/starbringerofficial so that you can hear the song (albeit and instrumental version) of the single “Light Of The North” from Baltimore, Maryland USA’s Starbringer.
Clocking in at almost 7 minutes, this track is full of symphonic folk metal with everything that should be on a check-list of sorts: orchestral instrumentation and keys, choir vocals, double bass drums galore and well thought out guitar parts and solos, without all being progressively pretentious.
So, the track is good especially when vocals get added but why make such a big deal about this? Well, here is the catch…. this is all being done by one 15 year old named Ryan Bair (with arrangement help by Brett Kaplan). You read that right…a 15 year old. When I was 15 (insert old man joke here), I couldn’t imagine being able to come anywhere near this level of musicianship much less get it recorded. Self-recorded and mixed, this sounds on par with a lot of other symphonic folk releases and it isn’t even a fully completed song yet.
Sounding like a mix of Wintersun (obviously) and maybe a little TSO and Rhapsody Of Fire it may be a tad premature to actually review this…. OK, it is premature but when you here quality tracks like this it is worth getting people to pay attention. I hope that Ryan is getting the vocals done soon, whether he does them or someone else, to fully complete the concept. The big thing here is one word…POTENTIAL. This project could get real tired really quick without a vocalist to lead the charge (I am not against instrumental only releases…”Era One” Mortiis are some of my all-time favourite albums… I just feel that they are not listenable all the time or you need to be in the right mood) and this style is screaming for vocals for sure. Let us hope that Ryan is working on the vocals now one way or the other and an official release is coming out soon, maybe just in time for his 16th birthday. Check out some of the other tracks on Soundcloud that he has going on as well and you will hear what I mean… talent like this can only go up from here.
- Light of the North