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King Of Persia
Released: 2016, Limb Records
I was very pleased to see Symphonity release a second album. After eight years between albums I thought they had fallen victim of something I’m starting to call the ‘Limb Curse’. You see many bands on Limb Music never get past their debut album, despite a very promising start. I am thinking of great bands like Ascension, Lost Kingdom, Juvaliant, Lucid Dreaming, Fogalord, all young bands with amazing potential that just seem to have disappeared. I am NOT blaming the label in anyway it just seems like a strange co-incidence. I just assumed Symphonity was done…but thankfully I am wrong! Despite a negative review of their debut, VOICE FROM THE SILENCE, by one of our reviewers on this site, I really enjoyed it and was saddened when they didn’t follow up right away. However it was worth the wait to hear the new album KING OF PERSIA.
The CD meets Limb’s usual high standards, great production courtesy of Sacha Paeth, and great cover art by Andreas Marschall, which is nice to see him still active, because he hasn’t been as prolific as he was in the 90’s. There are various other guests from the eastern European Metal friends from Signum Regis and more help out. This is quite the all-star production. Vocal titan Olaf Hayer (Dionysus, Magic Kingdom, Luca Turilli) is still at the helm but he is now sharing vocal duties with no other than Herbie Langhans of Sinbreed. It seems they split the vocal tracks pretty evenly as well as filling in on back-up vocals. Bothe are superb Metal singers and it is always a delight to hear them!
The opening track, is a brave and bold choice to launch the album, the nine+ long title track, ‘King Of Persia’. After an extended, swirling and eastern-tinged opening sequence the song takes us an epic adventure of many moods and tempos. ‘The Choice’ is a good ‘choice’ for a song, as it is a heavy, fast Euro-flavoured Power Metal tune as are the next several cuts. The whole album is laced with lots of little audio components to keep the listener engaged, some backing soprano vocals, some acoustic guitar, cool keyboards flourishes and more. There is a nice, short orchestral ballad piece called ‘Siren’s Call’ which gives us a breather after several faster cuts and divides the album nicely. The full-on speedster called ‘The Unwelcome’ is one of my favourite tracks, followed by an characteristic instrumental piece called ‘Out Of This World’ which really sounds like something from a Joe Satriani album. It’s a very sweet song with some wonderful and understated soloing, but it just seems out or place. Fortunately at under three minutes it is just a little outro piece.
I have no doubt that Symphonity is the Czech Republic’s best Power Metal band and KING OF PERSIA cements that fact in my mind. It’s great to see these guys back, another solid, commendable effort, well worth adding to your collection.
1. King of Persia
2. The Choice
3. In the Name of God
5. A Farewell That Wasn't Meant to Be
6. Children of the Light
7. Siren Call
8. Live to Tell the Tale
10. Out of This World
Olaf Hayer Vocals (tracks 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 13)
Herbie Longhand Vocals (tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13)
Libor Křivák Guitar
Ivo Hofmann Keyboards, Ronnie König Bass
Martin Škaroupka Drums