Released: 2005, Limb Music
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Torsten, Michael, Jörg and André started the band in their rehearsing room in 1997 under the name Perfect Crime. All of them have experience from other bands like Sweet Cheater, Exploder and Final Prophecy. Dirk and Thomas tagged along during ‘98 and they recorded their first demo that got really positive reactions from the media. The guys entered a local music contest, won it, and recorded their second demo CRIME TIME. The demo made it possible for the band to play live and do some shows on different festivals and all this resulted in TTS Media getting in touch with them and signing them to a deal. In 2002 came their debut album CRIMES OF PASSION but shortly after the release they had to change their band name due to legal reasons.
They received mostly positive judgments on their debut album and now it’s time to hear what the follow up sounds like and if I have something positive to say about that.
Apparently this album is long awaited, but for me it’s the first time I’ve heard these German boys. This is what has been said about this album “The ten powerful melodic metal songs with a touch of the US style, some progressive elements and memorable, hymn-like choruses, as well as a great cover version of the Breaker classic “Ten Seconds In” all have tons of hit potential”. It seems like the band have changed record labels on this album.
I can start of with describing Eternal Reign’s music ‘cause I’m a bit hesitant to how the bio describes it. I’d say it’s heavy metal with huge influences of power and neo-classical metal, it sounds just like ‘80’s heavy metal influenced by ‘90’s power metal. The main focus is on lead vocals together with barbed-wire guitar tunes, that’s my opinion of what kind of music this is. But contrary to what this genre is all about they have added a few up tempo ballads and some pure ballads as well. The use of keyboard has been limited to a minimum, which is a positive thing in my book. The music is very well played and technical with a lot of tempo changes and in true power metal spirit have they added some really heavy hymn like choruses in parts of the songs.
The band has, together with J.R Friede, produced FORBIDDEN PATH and the band paints an epic and magnificent sound picture. It’s Torsten, Michael and Dirk that have the biggest part in the production and sadly are Dirk the weakest link in the band. Dirk doesn’t manage to take the material to the height I think it was meant to achieve and he sure has a really weak voice with no capacity at all. I think this material demands a singer with a darker and more powerful voice something that Dirk isn’t capable of. He sounds extremely anonymous and it’s because of him the rating drops and because of him the music also gets non-saying eventhough the musicians are really skilled.
FORBIDDEN PATH contains 11 tracks and that includes an intro called “Gate to Infinity” and also a cover of a Breaker song “Ten seconds In”. As a fan of heavy metal I haven’t got anything negative to say about the music but when it comes to the vocal part it sounds dreadful as I said before.
If the guys take in a proper vocalist I think they can go real far but not as it is right now ‘cause even if the material is great it all sounds too pale with a singer with a voice that doesn’t really fit into this genre.
I can only think that the only ones that want to buy this album are the already hooked fans (the ones that remain from their debut album) but to all of you who isn’t, I’d say don’t buy this.
As you already probably found out I haven’t got any favorite tracks amongst the 11 that Eternal Reign delivers.