Released: 2004, Limb Music Products
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Only on some very rare occasions, ´symphonic power speed metal´ has been done so tastefully as it was in the hands of this Belgian foursome, Magic Kingdom. Speaking of using different terminology when overall describing bands´ music, I´m sure some of you are easily irritated whenever monster words like this ´symphonic power speed metal´ are used to describe some bands´ music, but in Magic Kingdom´s case, that description truly describes how they sound musically on METALLIC TRAGEDY.
Magic Kingdom is basically built around a true guitar virtuoso, Dushan Petrossi (check out his solo project Iron Mask, too), who has - like so many other guitarists in this world, grown up with bands like Iron Maiden, Yngwie Malmsteen, Rainbow (Ritchie Blackmore´s influence on the whole world of guitarists cannot be ignored), etc., and learned a trick or two from the direction of those aforementioned artists. His shredding with the fretboard reaches quite unbelievable levels from time to time - check f.ex. a song called "The Iron Mask", and give me a fair nod for a sign of total agreement.
On METALLIC TRAGEDY, everything sounds like every note, every riff, very single lead, etc., has been thought and tried out at least ten times before the band has accepted the final outcome and they must have walked out from the studio with a happy grin glowing from their faces. This powerhouse´s playing is flawless and phenomenal in every possible sense; the songs tend to flow forward so effortlessly that a listener is left quite breathless as the album progresses. I know for sure that I was anyway. Of course one cannot avoid completely comparing them to a host of other similar sounding acts sharing the same playground together with Magic Kingdom, but I would still say Magic Kingdom do their things better and more elegantly than most of their counterparts are capable of doing these days. Magic Kingdom´s strength is definitely focused on the diversity of their material; from fast and typical power metal parts to more melodic and harmonious heavy rock (or metal) parts to some massive, epic sections that all keep things interesting as far as their songs are concerned. If some definite favorite songs should be underlined better than others, I would go with "Flying Pyramids" as the chorus part in that particular song in question simply screams to join a loud sing-along. Then of course "Barabas" should be mentioned, with its semi-doom metal parts, reminding me of the Swedish kings of early doom Sorcerer here and there in a nice way. Also, "Black Magic Castle", which is an instrumental tune, is worth checking out - and not only because of Dushan´s masterfully played guitar parts, but the song works out very well as a separate wholeness.
The ultimate crown of the album, however, is the breathtaking title track, "Metallic Tragedy", which every corner is loaded with the word ´epic´. It´s a 13-minute, majestically moving monster that also includes at least 5 different type of vocal performances - from classically trained female vocals to death grunts to some black metal type of shrieks and so on - building up an exciting yet pretty unusual wholeness that really catches listener´s attention right from the very chords of the song.
It´s been nearly 4 years since METALLIC TRAGEDY came out (yes, time really flies - just tell me about it!), so hopefully Magic Kingdom´s follow-up release (which they are working with at the moment as we speak) will give us some moments of joy again when it´s time for that. My fingers stay tightly crossed anyway ´til that thing is out. Namely I strongly do believe there´s gonna be more ´magical´ moments of their playing waiting for us when their new opus has been released. Just mark my very modest and sincere words for that, will ya? ;o)