Blackguard - Profugus Mortis
(2 reader votes, average 4.00 out of 5)

by Ben Perry


Band Name: Blackguard
Album Name: Profugus Mortis
Release Date: April 28, 2009

Band on the Record:

Paul Ablaze: Vocals
Terry Deschenes: Rhythm Guitar
Jonathan Lefrancois-Leduc: Keyboards
Justine Ethier: Drums
Etienne Mailloux: Bass
Kim Gosselin: Lead Guitar

Track 1: “Scarlet to Snow”
This is one great symphonic start to the album before crushing you with the twin guitar assault from Terry and Kim. The keyboards are perfectly placed to provide the melody during the crushing riffs and harsh vocals while letting the guitar solos take the front and shine through when it’s their time. Those solos are finger-blazing and sound phenomenal too! The only downside is some of the vocals parts are not quite my favorite, while others are pretty good.
Song Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Track 2: “This Round’s On Me”
One of my favorite songs on the album, with keyboards that lay down a perfect melody and guitars that straight up thrash you around the room. The perfect song for the live setting as well as the crowd can easily sing the chorus as the band showed when I saw them live a few weeks ago. There is no real guitar solo, but the riffs as well as the brief melody they supply make up for that lacking aspect; not that there needs to be a solo with the way the keyboards play within the song.
Song Rating: 10 out of 10

Track 3: “Allegiance”
Another keyboard driven track, and let me make sure I clarify that. By keyboards I am not talking about Europe’s “The Final Countdown” but using many different sounds such as almost flute sounding fills with the typical keyboard sound, except so much better. The guitars continue to hold their own on this tune but the keyboards truly are the shining aspect of the music even with the brief solo the keyboards are able to steal the musical line.
Song Rating: 10 out of 10

Track 4: “I Demon”
This track has far fewer keyboards driven moments with more death metal feels in the vocals and in the crushing guitars. The vocals are probably my least favorite on the album as well, if not the entire song in general.
Song Rating: 6 out of 10

Track 5: “The Sword”
“The Sword” is either my favorite song from the album, in addition to “This Round’s On Me,” or seconds depending on which mood I am. The drumming is phenomenal on here, especially considering a girl is at the helm, and the keyboard work perfectly with the guitars to give melody as well as back-up the guitar melody. Blackguard has the perfect song to show off all their musical talents, right here.
Song Rating: 10 out of 10

Track 6: “In Time”
Very anthemic in the delivery from the beginning keyboards to the urgent feel in the guitar riffs and into the musical interludes that sound as if you are drinking at a pub back in the days of pirates. The music is once again the strongest part of the song; superb solos from the guitars only enhance the great showing by every instrument in the longer than usual for the album musical breakdowns.
Song Rating: 9 out of 10

Track 7: “Cinder”
My favorite part of this tune would have to be when the guitars take the lead and just riff through everything as keyboards periodically add their two-cents. Then, when the keyboards play off the guitar solos things only get better. I just wish the vocals were a little cleaner.
Song Rating: 9 out of 10

Track 8: “Vain”
This sounds like a power metal song on steroids, as everything is bigger and louder while having that typical power metal keyboard tingles, not to mention the difference in vocals from the typical power metal song. The music is once again the saving factor to the song, though some vocal moments stand out for me as pretty decent.
Song Rating: 9 out of 10

Track 9: “The Last We Wage”
Ending the album on a very high note, this track displays some more of the power metal aspect to Blackguard’s music, I’m thinking Iced Earth. There is some great drumming on here as well, machine gun quick as the guitars and keyboards keep up the consistent greatness that they have throughout this record.
Song Rating: 9 out of 10

Overall Review:
Blackguard’s debut album is a fine tuned piece of metal that crosses many boundaries; power metal, folk metal, black/death metal. It takes all of these genres and makes them into their own style of music that simply thrashes and rocks the ears of those who hear. This album took a listen or two to grow on me, but it did and then when I saw these guys live the music took on a whole new form and level of respect for me. The songs range from the remembrance of the good times (“This Round’s On Me”) to some very deep thinking material in tracks like “In Time”, “I Demon”, and “The Sword”. Sadly, you will probably have to look up the lyrics to understand most of what is being said/sung/growled but looking beyond the vocals and the dimension they add to the music everything else makes this disc worth buying. Soaring keyboard interludes and lead sections play directly with the twin guitar assault both in rhythm as well as in solos. Not to mention one great drumming job, by a girl no less. I am not being sexist, but praising the advent of women into that position, something not very common or done always as well as presented on this record. Blackguard is a band just arriving on the scene in terms of releases, but they are sure to be around a long time and this is the album that will have started it all (not counting So It Begins of course :P).
Overall Album Rating: 9 out of 10




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