|Review: Orion's Reign - Nuclear Winter|
Label: IceWarrior Records
Year released: 2008
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: September 11, 2010
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 4/5 (80%) (6 Votes)
Well here's a debut that has a lot of things going for it, and some other flaws that keep it from being out-and-out enjoyable. Orion's Reign are a Greek band who play a very upbeat style of straight Trad Metal, obviously influenced by Gamma Ray, Helloween, etc. The musicianship is solid, some of the leadwork is really great, and the riffs are derivative but fun. This should have been a fun workout in Heavy/Power Metal entertainment. The reason it isn't is not because their vocalist is bad – I think he's okay, if not great – no the reason is that whoever mixed the vocals is tone-deaf and should be shot. The lead vocals are mixed way too loud, and so the lackluster vocal melodies often occlude the strong music on display. Even more annoying, the backing vocals are not only bad, they are often not in tune with the lead singer, so that they create an unlistenable wall of dissonance. In places the band also adds in some harsh vocals, which was a terrible idea to begin with and is not done very well. In other words, there is no songwriting reason to have growling in there, it is just done because that's the trendy thing to do these days. So the music here definitely shows a promising band at work, and Giannis Kompatsiarsis is not a bad singer, but between inept mixing and so-so vocal melodies he is not showing us his best here.
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