Canada's Blackguard are the latest darlings of the Pagan/folk/viking/black metal genre, an act that is sure to please fans of Fintroll, Ensiferum, Bal-Sagoth, and Children of Bodom. Complete with raging guitar riffs (and plenty of solos!), ragged vocals, frantic drum work, and tons of symphonic keyboards, Profugis Mortis is an entertaining speedfest that shows a band that has all the tools to succeed in a crowded extreme metal market.
Imagine if Dragonforce got serious and took on an extreme style, and that's kind of how heavy hitters like "Scarlet to Snow" and "This Round's On Me" come at you, with plenty of lightning guitar leads and waves of synths. Paul Ablaze's lethal growls, screams, bellows, and snarls really hit the mark on "Allegiance" and the lethal death metal march of "I Demon", but it's on the more symphonic & speedy Viking metal numbers like "In Time", "Cinder", and the epic sounding "The Last We Wage", where his savage vocal delivery seeming does battle with bombastic guitar riffs, orchestral keys, and frantic rhythms, that this band really shows their dynamic range.
With a heavy touring schedule that has seen the band on many star studded metal bills in recent months, Blackguard are putting themselves in a position to really make a name for themselves in the world of extreme metal. Seeing as how pagan/viking metal is hot right now, it should be interesting to see what this band does next. In the meantime, enjoy yourself a slice of Profugis Mortis.
1. Scarlet To Snow
2. This Round's On Me
4. I Demon
5. The Sword
6. In Time
9. The Last We Wage