Country: Bulgaria
Title: First of the Heroes
Label: Psychosounds Music
Year: 2020
Style: Symphonic Power Metal

Swords, dragons, princesses, old knights - but also references to the epic "Gilgamesh", to vampire characters and other characters appearing in (not only) Slavic mythology, that is new album of Bendida. In a word, a whole galaxy of what can be found in the widely understood fantasy and mythologies from around the globe - It's in the lyric themes. The Bulgarian Bendida is musically the equivalent of such formations as Within 'Temptation, Nightwish, Ensiferum, Earendil (mainly because of the operatic voice of Cremena Dimitrova) or even Therion. Symphonic power / gothic metal is not represented in large numbers in Bulgaria, but the band Bendida tried to perfect it as much as possible. And they have nothing to be ashamed of - this is how opera-metallized stories about heroes are played in the world, and more. A nice touch on the album "First of The Heroes" (the band's second album) is the symphonic sound of viola de gamba (in the hands of Viara Grancherova) next to the standard cello (here it is played by Biser Dimitrov) and French horn (Plamen Dimitrov). And there is a lot of it (songs "Legend of Gilgamesh", "Hunt the Hunter", "Vampire's Ball"). It's not melodic heavy with gothic vocals - it's actually symphonic playing. And the powermetar itself with a bit of growl in a good performance and operatic mezzo-sopranos are not lacking, as are Velin Atanasow's polished guitar solos (in tracks "Beast and Man", "Desolated Sea", "Music of the Spheres") ... In total, there are fifteen epic tracks and almost an hour of technically refined notes, reaching far beyond powermetal. Certainly Bendida is one of the most interesting metal bands currently not only from Sofia but from all of Bulgaria. They also got a lot musically up from the previous album. "First of The Heroes" is a monolith, refined, thoughtful and combines the world of opera, powermetal, fantasy and mythology into a whole.
Reviewed by Vilcin
Rating: 8/10