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Thousand Year War
Kingdom Of America
Released: 2013, Independent
The California via Alaska dwelling Thousand Year War made quite a good impression on me with their 2011 debut effort, TYRANTS AND MEN. The “band” is essentially the solo project of Hiram Lohr (now going by the enigmatic name, Myth), the album was a vicious slice of Amon Amarth-styled melodic death metal. I’m happy to see that Myth has kept the band active, releasing this new EP to (hopefully) tide us over until the next full-length effort.
After being flooded with comparisons to Amon Amarth in many reviews last time out, it’s refreshing to see that Myth has taken steps to give Thousand Year War an identity of its own. Encased in black & white cover art, KINGDOM OF AMERICA’s sound still rests on a bed of melodic death, but has been overhauled with traces of both punk and traditional metal. Indeed, it only takes one listen to the title track to pick out both of these influences. The band even goes so far as to include a cracking cover of old Misfits chestnut “London Dungeon”. Fans of the band’s previous work will find much to love about “Weep As We Die” and the enjoyable instrumental “Doom Rides These Mountains”. Unfortunately the songs are somewhat let down by a cheap-sounding production that does the music no favours. Also, to my ears Myth’s vocals are not as powerful as they were on the debut album, further stripping some of the power from the songs. Even so, the EP ends strongly with the more familiar “Vulture Eyes” and “Gather the Wolves”.
Still, KINGDOM OF AMERICA is another solid release from Thousand Year War, showing that Myth is willing to experiment and progress with his music. I’ll be looking forward to hearing what comes next.
1) Kingdom of America
2) Weep As We Die
3) London Dungeon (Misfits cover)
4) Doom Rides These Mountains
5) Vulture Eyes
6) Gather the Wolves
Myth: Vocals, Bass, Guitar
Fredrik Widigs: Drums
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