Isle of Avalon – Of Tulgey Wood and the Table Rounde (Review)

Isle of AvalonIsle of Avalon are a UK power/symphonic metal band and this is their second album.

This is power metal influenced by Arthurian legend, and the band certainly do this side of their sound justice by incorporating many medieval themes, sounds, and melodies into their songs. They’ve clearly immersed themselves in this aspect of their music, rather than playing token lip service to it.

Yes, the medieval folk influences are a strong part of Isle of Avalon’s sound, although it should be noted that there’s still plenty of metal content here too. These two aspects of the band’s delivery are usually mixed in together, of course, and usually enhanced by symphonic elements too.

With songs that are mainly well-written and show thoughtful structuring, the music on this album is enjoyable and quite catchy in places. It’s not a riff-centred album, and mostly favours building and crafting epic atmospheres and metallic medieval moods, which works in its favour.

The vocals consist of both male and female cleans, with the male cleans frequently taking the lead, while the female singer adds extra layers on top in the background. Well-performed and with decent personality and charisma, there’s no real issues in this department.

The band’s production values don’t quite reach the heights of what you would expect from other large, label-backed releases of this nature. On one hand it’s a shame, as I think a Blind Guardian-esque production would really bring out the band’s strengths, but on the other hand it doesn’t unduly hold them back, and everyone has to start somewhere.

Overall Of Tulgey Wood and the Table Rounde is a strong release. Although not without its flaws, sonic and otherwise, it’s still an enjoyable and personable romp back in time.

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