7th Reign - Fallen empires 4/5
1. Servants of the lost
3. 7th Reign
4. Fallen empires
6. The other side
8. Requiem for the dead
I was very impressed with Canadian power metal band 7th Reign and their 's/t' debut back in 2007, and there's no doubt that I've been really looking forward to their 2nd CD 'Fallen empires'. Just like their debut, this CD is self-released, but the band has hooked up with Nightmare Records to help with distribution for both of their CDs, and since Nightmare Records is one of the classiest and well-managed labels, both of their CDs are now easily available.
For the most part, 'Fallen empires' mirrors what's heard with the debut, but there have been a few minor changes and there's one notable difference, musically. For starters, 3 of the 4 members that were part of the debut's line-up are still with the band, and they are vocalist Brian Soulard (ex-Eidolon), bassist Adrian Robichaud (currently with Eidolon) and guitarist Marios Panayiotis. However, drummer Johny Roberts has replaced Niall Mellors and the band now has an official full-time keyboardist, youngster Jared Tomlinson. This is the one musical difference from the debut, as there were very little keys with the debut (and they were listed as being contributed by a "guest"), but there are more keys on this CD. They still remain mostly in the background and there's not too many keys present, but it is the one thing that has stood out as being a difference.
That said, there are many similarities between this CD and the debut. The songs are still extremely heavy, wander between mid-paced and fast-paced, and guitarist Marios incorporates more fantastic guitar solos, present on each and every song. Man, this guy is simply amazing, and for those who love guitar solos, know that you'd be quite impressed by his performance. Thankfully, just like with the debut, the songs are catchy as hell and I can't help but get totally into them. Brian returns with his confident vocals too, and I'm reminded of how much he's improved since his days with Eidolon. All together, this is a strong band and definitely one of the best new power metal bands.
Although there are only 8 songs, they're all long and the CD is of normal running time. Plus, with there being so many fantastic guitar solos, the songs remain alive throughout and none of the songs feel too long. My favorite song is the extremely powerful track 4 "Fallen empires", in which keyboardist Jared really shines, guitarist Marios amazes with more solos, and Brian's soaring vocals emanate a lot of passion. The closer "Requiem for the dead" is absolutely killer as well, and it ends the CD in the tremendous manner that's beginning to become the band's signature.
While I wouldn't necessarily call this CD better than the debut, it's only because they're both outstanding. The truth is, this continues right where the debut left off and if you're a fan of the debut, I hope you pick this CD up immediately after getting your daily dose of Metal CD Ratings. Actually, fans of everything from Metalium to Brainstorm need to check out this band, and if you're one of the few that's heard the fairly obscure band Wolfcry, know that they're probably the best direct band comparison. So to sum up, this is awesome stuff!
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