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Review: Pulver - Kings Under the Sand
Kings Under the Sand

Label: Gates of Hell Records
Year released: 2019
Duration: 36:17
Tracks: 8
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: September 2, 2019
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.2/5 (84%) (5 Votes)

Pulver is a German band reaching back to the '80s for inspiration on their debut album Kings Under the Sand. There are a couple of aspects to Pulver's songwriting approach. On the one hand, you have a distinct NWOBHM vibe on tracks like "Phantom Hawk" and "Kings Under the Sand." These songs have an upbeat tempo centered around brisk twin-guitar riffing and a pumping rhythm section. On the other hand, Pulver delivers cuts with a strong epic feel ("Qarînah", "Warrior Caste") that are characterized by a slower pace and pulsating, almost doom riffs. The vocals are going to be a hurdle for some; the vocalist can actually sing but his voice has distinctive grit that is unlike anything I can recall hearing in a long time. When he screams at the end of the chorus of "Warrior Caste" I can't help but think about Manilla Road's Mark Shelton.

I've gone back on forth with how I feel about Kings Under the Sand and I've decided that it is probably a (very) slow burn that may take some coming back to before it really sinks in. I also think this is a band to watch because they sound familiar and different at the same time and the potential for something special exists. Kings Under the Sand isn't that, but here's hoping this is the start of whatever that may be.

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