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The Druid King
August 2017
Released: 2017, Indie
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

This band seemed to come out of the blue but has already developed quite a little buzz in the underground and the album is not even out yet! (as of time of writing)

Norman Skinner of Hellscream and ex-Imagika and some local Metal heroes banded together to crank out some real kick-ass true Metal and that is exactly what they did! The new forthcoming (as of time of writing) debut album is called THE DRUID KING and already based on bits and pieces posted on-line the band has had several offers from record labels to sign them.

I want to say something about the cover art. To me album art is still important. At once glance it can set a tone or feeling for the overall record. Despite attempts to resist being influenced, a fan can have their perspective altered just by how awesome, or conversely how poor, an album cover is. I’m here to tell you, the album art for THE DRUID KING is probably among the best I’ve seen in 2017 and for among some of the top album art in the last few years. Created by Dusan Markovich (Death Dealer, Dragonheart, Jag Panzer) it has visual elements of Guillermo Del Toro and his film Pan’s Labyrinth and a cool/evil character not unlike Iron Maiden’s Eddie in his ‘Fear Of The Dark’ incarnation…but eviler and cooler.

Fans of the True Metal underground already know that skinner has one hell of a set of pipes and they are on fine display here. His dynamic range in on display and it is not always full-speed. I was pleasantly surprised at his performance on the power ballad ‘Elegy’. USPM is the name of the game on THE DRUID KING as the band rip it up and tear it out and burn it down for an hour. Skinner belts out epic tales of druids, samurai, gladiators, vikings and all sorts of warrior-type characters which is a bit of an overarching lyrical theme of the record. The guitar tone is crunchy and thick and sits nicely in the pocket, letting the songs breathe and not overfilling every inch of space with noise. The solos are elegant and even under-stated but are eminently listenable. The rhythm section is rock solid knowing when to let it fly and when to ease off the gas. The production is warm and solid, there are a few little keyboard flourishes for that extra sophistication.

Niviane will appeal to fans of Metal Church, Jag Panzer, Vicious Rumours, all of those classic bands are certainly a part of the contemporary sound of this new band. I use the term ‘classic’ very often in my reviews and THE DRUID KING easily fits that description. Every day I’m glad that awesome bands like Niviane are keeping the ‘classic’ sound alive’.
Track Listing

01. The Berserker
02. Adrestia
03. Watch the Banners Fall
04. Into Twilight
05. Gladiator
06. Arise Samurai
07. Elegy
08. March of the Jötunn
09. War of Immortals
10. Heaven Overflow
11. The Druid King


Vocals - Norman Skinner
Guitars - Gary Tarplee
Guitars - Mark Miner
Bass - Rick Stallkamp
Drums - Noe Luna



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» The Druid King
by JP

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