Released: 2008, Battlegod Productions
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
This came out straight from the woods. This heavy/thrash metal group from down under, Black Reign, was formed in August of 1993 by vocalist and guitarist Michael Demov – and since then the band has put out 2 albums off which Black Reign´s 2nd and so far the latest album, SOVEREIGN, just went under my magnifying glass.
The 10 (or 11, depending on what version of the CD you have) songs that Black Reign have recorded and got on offer for SOVEREIGN, could be described as a mix of heavy metal and thrash with a progressive touch, the main emphasis being on the words heavy metal though. Black Reign keep things on a minimalist and simple level as far as their song structures are concerned. Facing the hard facts, the thing is that this stuff tends to sound kind of sloppy and lifeless – and there´s really not much on the album that could grab my attention and make me go back to it again. It does not help much when Michael´s vocal parts seem to be out of tune and somehow forced from time to time, ending up sounding simply terrible. His occasionally Araya type of singing/screams sound pretty tolerable here and there but that´s really all, I´m afraid to say. They should consider hiring a new singer for the band, seriously I mean. Next thing that they should do, is to bring something into their stuff to wake it up from the dead. Black Reign seems to be stuck to some uninspired, soulless trap that does not serve anyone´s purposes at all really. In fact, it´s really hard to find anything positive to say about their material on SOVEREIGN (even the album cover could be a good contender to win ´The Cheesiest Album Cover Art Of The Year´ award).
To sum everything up what was stated in those few lines above, SOVEREIGN is a basically kinda failed attempt to impress people in both ends of heavy and thrash metal. So if you can avoid touching this release somehow, then please do so and simply invest your money somewhere else. Now I think I need a cup of strong coffee to keep myself awake.