Originally hitting the market as an independent band release, Nightmare Records main man Lance King saw fit to give Seven Kingdoms a bigger push worldwide - and I can easily understand why based on this sophomore release. The biggest change in between albums for this Florida act is in the vocal slot- as male singer Bryan Edwards from the “Brothers Of The Night” debut gives way to siren female singer Sabrina Valentine on this latest platter.
As far as style, Seven Kingdoms continue their versatile power sound with shades of dark and traditional nuances that differ from a lot of the known conventions for this sub-genre of metal. Guitarists Camden Cruz and Kevin Byrd employ a wide array of techniques from speed picking to progressive chord structures- and their solo skills also shine on tracks like “The Ones Who Breathe The Flame” and the Riot harmony heavy “Into The Darkness”. Drummer Keith Byrd has that one in a million knack for knowing how to transition between the high tempo passages and then settling into a conventional power part with class and grace- witness his brilliance through “Somewhere Far Away”.
Recording at Morrisound with the sharp Jim Morris assisting, one of the bands that does come to mind at times is Iced Earth especially in some of the heavier triplet moments - but outside of that it’s difficult for me to specifically pin down their peers in terms of their style. The deeper vocals within “Eyes To The North” give Seven Kingdoms a slight Amon Amarth presence, but I think the future superstar on the metal singing scene will be Sabrina Valentine. Her confidence, her strength, her multi-octave range- do not worry, she’s metal to the bone.
March gallantly to your nearest store, mail order or Seven Kingdoms show as this album contains what most expect out of their epic, progressive power metal.
Rating: 5 / 6
Composed by Matt Coe