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Review: Solemnity - King of Dreams
King of Dreams

Label: Remedy Records
Year released: 2003
Duration: 66:08
Tracks: 66
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3/5

Review online: December 7, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
King of Dreams

Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (6 Votes)

I was all ready to love this. Solemnity are a more traditional metal band who swim against the saccharine metal tide and pride themselves on being old-school, plus they do a Manilla Road cover, and any band who does that can't be all bad. This is the second album from these German metal meisters, and while I like some things about it, some of it…

I had heard this band was a lot like classic metal acts like Manilla Road or Omen, but that isn't really true. It is true that Solemnity are doomier than most German metal bands, and they almost completely eschew keyboards and double-bass drumming, but their sound is nowhere near as retro as all that. This is generally slow or midpaced metal with a generally Germanic, doomy style that I have to say is pretty far removed from the usual eurometal mold. The problem here is that the songs are not that great. If you're going to play old-fashioned metal without gimmicks, then you have to actually write good songs with good riffs, and Solemnity really don't seem able to do that. The first two songs are the worst ones (never the way to go) with the inane "Fire In Mainstreamland" ranting about crappy pop music. Yawn. Then "Kill The Majesty" gets going with a riff ripped off from Priest. It's the albums most memorable song, and also the most annoying. The rest of the CD is generally enjoyable. "Ninth Gate" has some cool riffs, and the 10-minute epic "Vampire's Dance" is pretty good, as is the closer "Heart Of A Raven". These guys have the good taste to cover Manilla Road's "Spirits Of The Dead", but they don't really do much with it. They don't butcher it, but it's just blah. Vocalist Sven has a pretty good voice, but he needs to take some lessons as he can't stay on key half the time. The fact that he's mixed too loud doesn't help either, and the vocal melodies are generally pretty bland.

The digipack this comes in is actually the best part about this CD. It has cool cover art by Ken Kelly, and cool interior design (by frontman Sven The axe). The band pics are so over the top they become funny, and the lyrics are generally OK. At the end of track 8 we begin a 57-track odyssey through silence to get to a 'hidden' bonus lounge version of the already stupid "Fire In Mainstreamland" I defy you to listen to this song all the way through without ripping the CD from your player in disgust.

So this is OK, a little different from the usual, but without anything to really make it stand out. There are no really good songs on here, but only two really bad ones. Once you get to track 3 this CD is pretty cool, but very little of it will stay with you. (except that fucking chorus on "Kill The Majesty") Solemnity have the right idea, and quite a lot of potential to be a cool band, they just need more work.

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