By This Sword We Rule


Compilations (usually called 'the best of') have endless reasons for exist, and sometimes, the reason […]
By "Metal Mark"Garcia
June 14, 2023
Claymorean - By This Sword We Rule album cover

Compilations (usually called 'the best of') have endless reasons for exist, and sometimes, the reason is a celebration. On these moments, a simple 'the best of' can be a delightful release, surprising the fans and other casual hearers (and writer as well). And this is precisely the case of "By This Sword We Rule", the latest release of CLAYMOREAN, a quintet that hails from Belgrade (Serbia). The band focus its creative energies on a hybrid form between traditional Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Doom Metal, and even some different influences (as some Thrash Metal traces heard on the guitars and harmonies of "Arioch, Knight of the Swords"), with an Old School Heavy Metal elements on the mix as well (pay attention to the outfit of "Hymn of Vengeance" to catch this idea). Obviously other bands tried this way before, but the quintet uses wisely its own personality to create songs that are really tasteful. And after hearing to this compilation, if one doesn't know their work, for sure one will look for their past releases (and stay tuned for the future ones to come).

As a compilation, one will fine material coming from different sources, so focusing on the re-recorded versions, the band hired Boris Šurlan for working on the recording, mixing and mastering. And the sonority works in a way that balances aggressiveness, weight and clarity, allowing the hearers to understand what's being played and expressed by the band (and what great instrumental tunes were chosen, natural and organic, but with a defined outfit). On the other songs, there are Demo songs and live songs, so the differences written above come from this fact. And the band has some guests on the album: Alexandra Lioness Alexandra Lioness (of CHAOS RISING, JENNER and SIGMA EPSILON) on the vocals and 1st guitar solo on "Cimmeria"; Cederick "Ced" Forsberg (of BLAZON STONE and others) playing all the instruments on "Blood of the Dragon", and Uroš "Uki" Kovačević (the former guitar player of the band) on the guitars on the live shots of  "Spirit of Merciless Time" and "We Fight Like Lions" (and doing the led guitars on the Demo song "Blood-Red Shield"). The band delivers on "By This Sword We Rule" an excellent gift for the fans in a moment that it'll be 30 next year.

The new recordings for "Arioch, Knight of the Swords" (some Thrash Metal-like guitar riffs and arrangements can be heard, what means that the guitars are really working hard, but always without damaging the melodic side of its music), "Hymn of Vengeance" (the weight created by bass guitar and drums is really amazing, but with a very good technical appeal, and the melodies brings some elements of Hard Rock and Power Metal into the band's music, and what great chorus), "The Triumph" (something similar to Heavy/Power Metal traits can be heard on this one, with fast double bass parts on the drums, and the vocals are really amazing), "Cimmeria" (another moment with similarities with early North American Power Metal acts mixed with traits of NWOBHM and German Heavy Metal, always with excellent vocals and guitars) and "Blood of the Dragon" (great backing vocals, choirs and gothic vocals, indeed) will bring to the fans the need for listening (and buying) the compilation.

The Demo versions for "Dreamer on a Path of Light", "Night Eternal", "Prince of Immortals", "Old Mountain", "The Final Journey", "Blood-Red Shield", "Blackest Void", and "Battle in the Sky" can sound a bit rawer, but no one will have a hard time trying to understand things (in reality, the sonority is really very good, indeed), but they can depict a 'stripped off' way of the band to work.  And the live versions for "Spirit of Merciless Time" and "We Fight Like Lions" shows how the band is perfectly what one hear on the album, without exaggerations and delivering and amazing and hooking energy constantly.

Well, the quintet deserves applause for releasing "By This Sword We Rule", a gift for older fans and a clear invitation for new ones. Fight on, CLAYMOREAN!

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








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"By This Sword We Rule" Track-listing:

1. Arioch, Knight of the Swords (2023 re-recording)
2. Hymn of Vengeance (2023 re-recording)
3. The Triumph (2023 re-recording)
4. Cimmeria (2023 re-recording)
5. Blood of the Dragon (2023 re-recording)
6. Dreamer on a Path of Light (Demo 2014)
7. Night Eternal (Demo 2014)
8. Prince of Immortals (Demo 2014)
9. Old Mountain (Demo 2016)
10. The Final Journey (Demo 2016)
11. Blood-Red Shield (Demo 2016)
12. Blackest Void (Demo 2016)
13. Battle in the Sky (Demo 2020)
14. Spirit of Merciless Time (Live 2021)
15. We Fight Like Lions (Live 2021)

Claymorean Lineup:

Dejana Betsa Garčević - Vocals
Vladimir Novaković - Guitars
Vlad Invictus - Guitars, Vocals, Lead Vocals on "Night Eternal", Bass
Goran Garčević - Bass
Marko Novaković - Drums

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