When it comes to power metal, it is all too common to see concept albums following themes of warriors, fantasy and days of yore. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with following these themes, and sometimes it’s what makes these albums so much fun. I do like my power metal with a great slathering of cheese at the best of times, after all. But the interesting thing about structuring albums in this way is that it opens opportunities for forms of world building, not unlike what one would come across in books and video games. Eunomia takes this idea of worldbuilding, and has done something somewhat unique with it: they have structured their album; The Chronicles of Eunomia Part I, from the perspective of a fictional nation, and the events throughout the story affect the events that happen in the release of a separate band, from the perspective of their own nature in their narrative’s universe. It’s a compelling and ambitious idea, and Eunomia has certainly executed this idea in flying colours.
Eunomia, forming in Molde, Norway in 2011, is a largely collaborative project between Peter and Marius Danielson, and features a number of guest musicians from a wide array of bands. The story of The Chronicles of Eunomia Part I in large is somewhat of a spinoff to Marius’s personal project Legend of Valley Doom, and ties into the overall story of the universe in which the story takes place. With themes surrounding magic swords, dark and powerful lords and bravely defending the nation from evil, the premise is fun and engaging, and of course slathered in that aforementioned generous helping of cheese. But at its core, there are some great songwriting skills on display, as well as fantastic musicianship from both the band members themselves and the many, many guests throughout the album.
The instrumental and vocal work is what you’d expect to see from a group of great metal musicians: skillfully performed, blistering lead guitars, a strong and solid but equally as skillful rhythm section, and fantastically hair raising vocals. All the musicians involved in the making of this album did their part, and did it exceptionally. The only real criticism is that the synths seemed a little far back in the mix, and aren’t as present as they could be, but this is extremely minor. The actual timbre of the lead singing style is strong, confident, tastefully adding a bit of grit to certain lines to add some great tonal variation.
When it comes to composition, the overall mood and feel is very triumphant and positive, with some very catchy and enjoyable melodies from the instrumentals and vocals in each respect. There isn’t a dull or unsatisfying chorus at all throughout the album, and overall is just great fun to listen to. However, a significant criticism in this department is that there is relatively little variation in song structure. Many songs sound rather similar and seem like they stick to a formula, and whilst there are certainly songs with different tempos throughout the album, it often sounds like there’s at most three different “types” of song on the album. Whilst this is something that needs to be noted, it’s far from what could be considered a deal breaker.
Overall, this album is an excellent debut, and great fun to listen to. The musical performances were on point, the melodies and choruses where catchy and compelling, with a cool story to go along with it. It has everything one could ask for when it comes to power metal, and it could safely be said that Eunomia’s The Chronicles of Enomia Part I has made it, despite its slightly limited and structural song direction.