Released: 2010, Nightmare Records
It was just announced (Sept 2010) that Seven Kingdoms have landed the prestigious slot on the upcoming North American tour with Blind Guardian. Not bad. I figured this was as good a time as any to discuss their new full-length studio album.
Hailing from Florida, a region not always automatically associated with True Metal, Seven Kingdoms are firmly entrenched in the true/power camp. Although it was produced at Morrisound it certainly does not have the sound normally associated with that esteemed studio.
A point of interest for some perhaps, are the vocal talents of Sabrina Valentine. Female singers in Power Metal are not really anything uncommon these days but it is always nice to hear a new voice on the scene. She does not sing in the typical soprano style but is more in the lower registers, but not gruff by any means. She has a good powerful voice. She is perhaps at her most expressive when singing on the ballad ‘A Murder Never Dead’ accompanied only by a piano. Else where there are some gruff, almost death-like male vocals such as found on crushing tracks like, ‘Eyes To The North’. The heavy male/light female is not always employed or overused so it works well. There are some gang-vocals used as back-up as well.
The standout track on the album to my ears is the uber-catchy’ Thunder Of The Hammer’. Hammerfall would be proud! The pace of the album is fast but never overwhelmed by double-kick which is used very sparingly. There is a good sense of pace on the album, always moving forward, never just blurring by.
Nice soloing, decent song-writing, good presentation and production all add to the value of this album. Very European sounding for an American Power Metal band, but avoiding some of the neo-classical, symphonic styling’s that are popular in the genre these days. This is great record and I hope to hear more from them and look forward to seeing them live on tour in December of 2010.