A joke parody band in their early days, Grimgotts have now morphed into a symphonic power metal band who refer to themselves as probably the best Harry Potter themed power metal band to come out of West Sussex. Sagas is the second in a series of three mini EP’s they’re planning to release in 2020, each release consisting of four tracks. Their music is rooted in fulsome and adventurous melodrama. They employ sweeping power backings to create a sonic landscape and they sing about topics such as waging war and returning heroes, as well as lots of boy’s own adventures and derring-do out there in realms and lands where nobody’s gone before.
Opening track ‘Northern Passage’ begins with some insanely fast bass drumming and it then proceeds to become quite possibly one of the best tracks Nightwish have never recorded; everything from the symphonic mellotron backing, right down to the deep guttural growling during the middle eight. Listening to this track, I was trying to decide whether Grimgotts are actually a Nightwish Tribute band or a serious musical entity, albeit heavily influenced by them. Either way, there’s Nightwish-style bombast aplenty here.
‘Rise Again’ continues in the same vein as the track before, with the same intense backing and with a plea to old magic, dark forces, rise, beasts from the sea… before ‘Plunder, Loot and Chantey’ opens like a ‘sea shanty’ and a jolly sing-a-long feel. It’s a slightly slower paced song but none the less intense, with a story about the life of a pirate following Capt. O’Malley. Title track ‘Sagas’ closes the EP and is easily the best track, with some sterling guitar work, and it’s a song singing about sagas not yet undertaken. The music is in keeping with the spirit of adventure contained in the lyrics, which are all about mystic sagas having been or about to be undertaken. There’s some epic riffing and plenty of overkill in the backing, but this is music destined to be heard by only a small number of niche fans as it has no chance of any mainstream acceptance.