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Album Review: Master Sword - The Final Door

This has been such a ride. I have enjoyed the music of Master Sword for quite some time. I loved their debut record, Shadow and Steel when it dropped in early 2018. I like the idea of taking something so ingrained into the popular culture like The Legend of Zelda franchise and adapting it into heavy metal music. There is so much potential to harvested for such a series that has lasted over 30 years. In the summer of 2019, the band returned to their fanbase and opened a Kickstarter asking for funding to make a second record, to be titled The Final Door. The Kickstarter goal was met on the tenth of August and the band began the production process and started the creating of the Kickstarter goals, such as t-shirts, physical copies of the album and other, more unique items that had been purchased. I, of course, put money down as soon as I could, as I feel this is a band that has particularly earned the business. I have to say the communication between the band and their fanbase has been awesome, with them sharing any updates as soon as they had them. 

I have now had the chance to listen to the new album a little earlier and I must say, this is an astonishingly good record. The Final Door draws inspiration from a few different games in the series such as Breath of the Wild, Ocarina of Time and other big titles. However, what I love about this is that you don't need to be well-acquainted with the games to enjoy the songs as they are relatively epic in of themselves. They only use the games as a foundation from which they create some really interesting concepts. Their use of poetic language makes this record an excellent experience. Especially when relistening to the album on repeat. You can definitely hear the influence of the game's lore on the lyrics and the way the band uses language to convey that lore and the emotion of the characters in the songs. 

From a production standpoint, this album sounds excellent. I mean better than the first album. I don't know what was different in the studio (if anything at all) but this album feels way more cohesive and consistent then the band has done in the past. The guitars are excellent with winding and twisted riffs melting into complex melodies. The bombast of the drums crashing and framing each song in a great rhythm. All the while the bass is the keeps the rest of the band ticking over, whenever things get too wild or, for lack of a better term, too "prog" the bass brings the track back down to earth.  The band really sounds awesome and that's before you hear the vocals. I have to say the vocals sound absolutely incredible here. Particularly on the songs, "Enchantress" and "Forgotten In Stone" where the vocal abilities are dialled up to eleven.

This is honestly a brilliant record. Maybe, I'm a little bit more flattering to it, as I was a Kickstarter backer and I just want it to sound this good. However, I feel any fan of progressive metal, power metal or maybe even symphonic metal, should get a kick out of this. It's an epic sounding album that accompanies a rather epic gaming series really well. It's not mandatory to enjoy the games to like the band, but it might give you some more context to the themes and ideas the band are trying to present. As a fan of metal and The Legend of Zelda, this kicks ass!

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