Following the release of the In The Walls EP last year, SEVEN KINGDOMS have returned to the studio to produce their fourth studio album, Decennium. The American power metal group have teamed up with Napalm Records for the new album which will celebrate their 10 year anniversary, and what a way to mark it.
The new record begins with Stargazer, which starts off with a long but fast intro to the track, with Camden Cruz and Kevin Byrd combining together on guitar, quickly followed by the drums of Keith Byrd to really kick the song into action. Sabrina Valentine’s vocals come next a minute into the track, and as soon as she begins singing you can tell instantly that this is a power metal album and a power metal band – the sound is very similar to NIGHTWISH or BATTLE BEAST.
This is quickly followed by Undying, which takes a different twist to the opening track. The riffs are much faster compared to those from Stargazer, and there appear to be more heavy metal elements in the intro. At the speed of some of the riffs, it could almost be mistaken a death metal track. After a blazing intro the track does simmer down to a more ‘gentle’ pace – or certainly a similar pace to what you become accustomed to with the band.
One aspect that makes SEVEN KINGDOMS stand out in the power metal world is their Game of Thrones influence, which can really be heard in this track, with the line “mother of dragons” at the start of the second verse. This influence can also be heard later on in the album, with a track entitled Kingslayer. The title itself is a pretty big giveaway that the band have taken influences from Game of Thrones – anyone who has watched the show or read the books will know this is the alternative name of Jaime Lannister. The song itself also references the Mad King, the character killed by Jaime prior to the first book and how he ultimately earned his nickname.
Each track on Decennium is unique in its own right; the sound is pretty much the same or similar throughout and it doesn’t lose the power metal edge, but whether it’s down to the tempo, how the song begins or a heavier emphasis on a particular instrument, every song is different. Having said that, despite the subtle differences showcasing that the band are adaptable and can change the sound if and when they need to, there aren’t actually that many tracks other than the ones mentioned above that truly grab your attention. The quality of the music and the way the whole album sounds is excellent, so it’s not taking anything away from that, but there isn’t really anything ground breaking; at the end of the day it is a power metal album by a power metal band, and that’s all you can really say about it.
If you’re into bands such as NIGHTWISH or BATTLE BEAST, then this is right up your alley. The album is also a good way to be introduced to power metal and what the genre is all about, especially when you consider the Game of Thrones references utilised by SEVEN KINGDOMS. There’s plenty of good tracks on Decennium, which overall makes for a solid record, and the whole listening experience is very enjoyable, which is the key focus for many power metal albums.
Decennium is set for release on May 5th via Napalm Records.
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