|Review: Seven Kingdoms - Seven Kingdoms|
Label: Nightmare Records
Year released: 2010
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: February 3, 2011
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
A band that have stirred the waters in the female-fronted metal scene, Florida's Seven Kingdoms are back with their storming sophomore effort, a full-speed ahead release of aggressive Power Metal that toes the line between Iced Earth and Blind Guardian in the riff department, but with the voice of frontwoman Sabrina Valentine plants a foot in the Within Temptation and even Evanescence pools, as well. The production on this self-titled release has a mighty crunch, with the guitars sounding fat and epic and the drums battering like cannons of war. Sabrina's vocals make this a distinctive collection of songs, and Seven Kingdoms actually sound original compared to bands like Holyhell and Dark Moor. There's a lot of depth in tracks such as "Somewhere Far Away" and "The Ones Who Breathe The Flame", with Sabrina's vocal lines carrying a melancholic tone that detracts from the fantasy-feathered stylings of Zandelle or Wizards, who Seven Kingdoms do have a passing resemblance to.
The songs range from double-kickers to dirge-like stompers, but there's not a lot wrong with this release, except that things are a touch too similar throughout, especially in atmosphere and tone. But true metallers won't deny tracks like the head-banging "Thunder Of The Hammer" (which has a strong Crystal Viper feel) and "Into The Darkness", which could have been the highlight from the last Savage Circus record. Really, if you're looking for a thrilling Power Metal record with a feminine twist, you could do a lot worse than this.
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