Released: 2010, Limb Records
I don’t know why it took me so long to buy and review this album. I gave the last Magic Kingdom record, METALLIC TRAGEDY from 2004, from a perfect score. SYMPHONY OF WAR came out in late 2010 and I finally snagged myself a copy of the deluxe, Limited Edition version. As I’ve said many times in the past, Limb Records is one of my favourite record labels and they did a great job on this special version. The two-disc version comes with a poster of the cover art, a sticker (also of the cover art) a video for the track ‘We Rise’, an interview, wallpapers and perhaps most importantly, two bonus tracks. The booklet itself is 26 pages long, and has lots of photos, lyrics and a full detailed story line of the continuing saga of the Metallic Tragedy. It’s about four pages long in tiny print so get out your magnifying glass so you can read along while you listen to the epic. SYMPHONY OF WAR is all housed in a slipcase: it is a gorgeous package and I love the cover art of the simultaneous impalement of a warrior human and an orc!
There has been quite a bit of a lineup change in the ranks as Magic Kingdom have a new drummer Freddy Ortscheid, and a new keyboard player in the form of Phillipe Giordana of Fairyland. Most importantly the band has recruited Olaf Hayer (Dionysus, Luca Turilli) as he replaces Max LeClerq (also ex-Fairyland). I guess the Belgians and French must get along well since they are neighbours.
Disc one, the album proper, is slightly more straight ahead in terms of composition and arrangement than Disc Two. Dushan Petrossi knows hpw to write a good catchy song. Standout tracks include ‘I’m A Lionheart’, ‘Million Sinners World’ and the lead-off single and video, ‘We Rise’. Fast, powerful and lots of guitar the album is truly a magnificent example of the form. There is lots of double-kick, thundering bass and the soaring powerful vocals of Olaf Hayer.
Obviously, the highlight is the 29 minute epic, ‘Metallic Tragedy-Chapter 2: The Holy Pentalogy’ which takes a suite of five songs and continues the story which now runs 43 minutes song if you listened to it back to back, so it basically like a fourth stand-alone MAGIC KINGDOM album. It is more orchestral and orchestrated than the main album. The story has huge epic, sound-track like qualities. Much like Part 1 there are a few vocalists as guests including Geraldine Gadaut (Benighted Soul), and Herbie Langhans who is of course best known for his own bands Seventh Avenue and Sinbreed but has in fact contributed vocals to albums by Aina, Kamelot, Luc Turilli, Mob Rules and Rhapsody. The commanding Lance King provides narration. There are epic choirs all over this thing! The five-part suite goes through a number of moods and tempos, changes and atmosphere while still being metal to the core. Because of the storyline about Egypt there are some really nice middle-eastern tones and soprano vocal work by Geraldine. The epic is symphonic, Power Metal at it’s finest!
I don’t know what is going on with the band as their official website hasn’t been updated in over two years, although Dushan is busy with Iron Mask, but even so the last Iron Mask album came out in late 2011, so I think it is time for a new Magic Kingdom album! Until then SYMPHONY OF WAR will keep you entertained.