|Review: Reinforcer - Prince of the Tribes|
|Prince of the Tribes|
Label: Scarlet Records
Year released: 2021
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: July 13, 2021
Reviewed by: Micah.Ram
for:Prince of the Tribes
Rated 4/5 (80%) (5 Votes)
Although there is also an EP released back in 2018 from Germany's Reinforcer, this album here, Prince of the Tribes, is my introduction to the band's work, and is their first full-length album. The band formed in 2015 and seem to have had a very stable lineup with no changes obvious to me through some searching. The new album leaped out and grabbed my attention instantly with its awesome cover art. Does the music match the cover?
Here we have nine tracks which are all quite strong, with not a single one being identifiable as weak or filler. I really appreciate that the only form of an intro that exists on the album occupies just a few seconds of the beginning of the first track, the title track of the album. The intro for the track is very suitable and feels supportive of the theme and feel of the music that follows. On first listen, I felt that the first half of the album was slightly lacking in energy while the second half ramped things up, making the first half feel forgettable. However, repeated listens changed that quickly, and I found my opinion of the album changed dramatically after the third or fourth listen. The second half does have more of the quicker drum work and riffing which aided my initial feeling of the album, but getting to know the first half better will change that feeling for a dedicated listener.
Vocalist Logan Lexi sounds much improved on this album when compared with the 2018 EP, The Wanderer. His delivery is stronger here and more impassioned, especially when looking at the closer track, "Z32," one of my favorites here. His vocals and lyrical delivery are performed with a sense of purpose and drive. On some of the earlier tracks, there are some less interesting vocal melodies, but he did a great job on this album. Perhaps a funny point to make here is that I could not help but think of the famous folk singer Harry Chapin (RIP) a little when listening to his voice. I think he sounds like a metalized Harry Chapin in some way. Also, in trying to find another vocalist comparison, I somewhat thought of Michael Jackson, the one who sang on Satan's Suspended Sentence, but with less range and wild stylings than Jackson. The guitar work on the album as a whole is really, really good. I really appreciate a guitar team that knows how to deliver the goods but also take moments to let the music breathe and soak in the space. The solos are all very well performed and fun to listen to, and the riffs are plenty diverse and exciting.
Lyrically, the album is all tied together very nicely to the themes of bravery, battle, and loyalty. Coming back to the closer track again, the psychology of conflict is projected through the very memorable and powerful delivery by Logan Lexi: "So you think that I am a heathen. All I crave is the sweet taste of freedom. It's not the flesh, not the thrill, nor desire to kill. It's my attempt to ascend. Can't you see I'm not ill, not abuse nor a ruse, nor just to be amused? Hunt me down if you can, I dare you to." I must have replayed that spot a dozen times today just listening to the album again.
This is an excellent follow-up from the 2018 EP, which was great, but suffered from some directionless riffing moments and a less polished vocal and sound delivery. None of those issues exist here. This is ascending my ladder of favorite albums in 2021, so please go do yourselves a favor and give this one a listen.
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