Fellowship – “The Saberlight Chronicles”


Here we have a power metal band from Harwich, England formed in 2019 who wear silly hobbit costumes that fortunately can make up that deficit by actually being able to deliver on their musical skills. These guys got the thumbs up from Dragonforce’s Herman Li If that’s any indication of what you will be stepping into on this album. There is a sense right from the start this is in a way a concept album. Its fantasy narrative entwined with musical heart. I will be honest in that I myself are not a huge concept album fan nor a fantasy metal fan but I love good solid music that can hold ones attention and that sticks in your head long after the music has finished. You need to know that “The Saberlight Chronicles ” is a release that unfolds in a mythical story form of self-worth, self-discovery and the quest for courage, The Songs are dramatic and catchy.

So the music and lyrics of such an album hold equal importance, as a concept type album (my opinion) there is a fine balance between the music and lyrics and how they are delivered to serve equal impact yet the vocals require absolute clarity in order for the listener to absorb the full treatment of what’s been delivered. Something easily remembered is clearly delivered.

So let’s get in to the album and see if it meets those criteria as per my standards. “UNTIL THE FIRE DIES” starts off with an enchanted introduction that leads to something that reminded me watching Gummi Bears as a kid. Very catchy vocally and musically with sing a long chorus,

“Hold your hearts up and lift them high,
Live your life with a battlecry!
Sing with us ‘til the fires die,
Fellowship foretold.
Hold your hearts up and lift them high,
Live your life with a battlecry!
Sing with us ‘til the fires die, and the
Fellowship will grow..”

Some amazing lead guitar work and drumming. This is melodic power metal that delves deep into the enchanted universe like out a Disney picture. “ATLAS” follows through with a lovely march introduction. The vocals are lovely controlled and clear and the track fits nicely as the second song. Again they follow with sing along Choruses that deliver with impact. From an entertainment perspective this should be a band that sounds better live than on a record. If one just takes it from a technical aspect I think in an arena or on stage this is where one would truly appreciate their musical prowess more. “GLORY DAYS” Offer a cinematic intro that is carried in by a very flowing lead guitar riff. Sounds Arabian in some aspects again carrying on the theme of sing a long chorus and adventure infused metal that leans in the world of fantasy. “OAK AND ASH” almost comes in with a technical speed metal influence power metal drive like a Dragon Force influenced gut shot.

“Here I stand, amidst the call,
The courage I’ve been waiting for.
The only thing I cannot do
Is nothing at all.”

Again the musical landscape of Fellowship is set to encourage, infuse and lead and is a light in the power metal landscape. “HEART UPON THE HILL” feels like a song for the middle of an album, and allows a little reprieve in the tornado that lay the ground work of the first part of the album. Not my favorite song and I personally feel besides for the evidently great guitar work, bass and drums, it stunted the progression of the album a little. It’s not a bad song on its own just feels out of place here a little for me.

“SCARS AND SHRAPNEL WOUNDS” sets the band back on track in their fantasy driven power metal perfection. Some lovely breakdowns and great vocally, and at 2m.12s it really comes into its own, and offers a dramatic tidal wave of musical brilliance. “THE HOURS OF WINTERTIME” had me a little confused at first with its intro for as beautiful it is, I felt it slowed the momentum like a car hitting a wall and if am honest with myself it did not fit in with the rest of the song in my opinion. That aside the song is brilliant with again some amazing technical and lyrical prowess.

“Take my arms and my shield
And instead this life will I wield.
Now I’ll gild my battles with chrome,
All the glory best earned alone.”

offers a military type progression, like a battle cry. “SAINT BEYOND THE RIVER” carries forth with the drive, I love the use of the strings in this song, and this sounds like an old time worship song backed by metal. The piano work is delicate and complimentary to the vocal delivery. That lead guitar towards the end is stellar. This is probably my favorite song of the album by far. In a way it reminds me of the worship song, “AS THE DEER”.

“SILLOHETTE” Opens with a beautifully laid piano and is a very delicately executed song, delivered with love and tenderness. Matthew Corry has great vocal control and delivery, and able to surf the musical delivery with fluid passion. Callum Tuffen is a great drummer that knows how to keep a song driving and accenting the vocal delivery of Mathew. “STILL ENOUGH” brings us in for a landing and does that with great execution. “AVALON” is the perfect last album song, it’s big, powerful and show cases the bands technical talent in a measure that feels like a salute. Its 9 minutes of quality driven epicness. This would be a great song to end a live show with.

“Oh, I am not afraid,
And I am not alone!
For I’ve still got my heart,
And an arm to fight my foes!
Oh I am not afraid,
And I am not alone,
For all I that need is right here.
Oh, all that I need is right here, Avalon”

AVALON concludes the album with a perfect 10 in terms of the technical aspects of its composition.
In conclusion if you are in to epic power metal with a fantasy driven ethos then this band should not miss your ears, it torpedoes expectations, as this dynamic band mind meld you with their musical genius. The core aspect of the album deals with mental health, so if you struggling with mental health issues or know someone whom struggles with it, I would recommend this album to you. There are some songs you just need to close your eyes too and allow the lyrics to wash over you. They have clearly displayed that high quality power metal is alive and well, and if the “Saberlight Chronicles” are any indication of Fellowship’s future then we can rest confidently the future holds even greater expectations of the band and that metal still has some good music life in it. In short it delivers superior guitar playing with punchy drums, wonderfully written lyrics that are carried well by the talented vocal delivery of Mathew Corry. With that said this could be your favorite power metal album for 2022 as they draw aspects of influence from some of the greats and make it their own. They actually strike a very good balance in not over powering the listener with their greatness, but still harnessing that talent of greatness into some good solid entertainment. The album resonates with artistic perfection in a way that could make it a classic in the power metal genre.

Rating: 9.5/10

Written by Donovan de Necker

Track list:

  1. Until The Fires Die 05:14
  2. Atlas 04:54
  3. Glory Days 04:53
  4. Oak And Ash 04:52
  5. Hearts Upon The Hill 04:25
  6. Scars And Shrapnel Wounds 03:55
  7. The Hours Of Wintertime 05:44
  8. Glint 05:10
  9. The Saint Beyond The River 04:06
  10. Silhouette 04:25
  11. Still Enough 05:39
  12. Avalon 09:08

Callum Tuffen: Drums
Sam Browne: Guitars
Brad Wosko: Guitars
Matthew Corry: Vocals
Daniel Ackerman: Bass

Release Date: July 15th. 2022

Record Label: Scarlet Records / Victor Intertainment (Japan)

2020: “Selft-titled” EP
2022: “Sabertooth Chronicles”

Social Media: Facebook Instagram / Spotify

Video for ‘Until the Fires Die’

Video for ‘Oak and Ash’

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