Once upon a time, in far land known as Florida, a band came along that turned the traditional scene on its head, leaving the Death Metal bands in its wake with Power Metal searing as anything being produced in the European heartlands. Seven Kingdoms have released several quality records since their formation in 2007 and their current line up includes vocalist Sabrina Valentine, guitarist Camden Cruz, guitarist Kevin Byrd, drummer Keith Byrd, and bassist Aaron Sluss.
This latest record, Decennium, has been funded via a successful Kickstarter campaign and it certainly kicks some powerful rock. The collection develops bite as the guitars duel and Sabrina sings like a lost siren crying into blazing night skies.
The music seemed just not to touch me when I first heard it. It did not get into my brain the way that other Power Metal releases have recently (I won’t mention Sonata Arctica again, promise – whoops, broke that promise quickly). However, feeling that it would be a disservice not to give it more of a chance, I have been listening to it repeatedly for the last few weeks and it does have some supreme moments, such as opener “Stargazer“, which reaches out and pleads with you to take notice.
I do like its production, which is crisp and clear and the guitars are razor sharp. The style of metal is also to my taste and gives me great enjoyment in small bites. The album flows nicely, but the big problem is that I don’t find the melodies as strong as I would have liked. It all seems to be of the highest quality, with songs such as “Hollow” being great, but the whole album all seems to be a bit one-paced and lacks a little variation that would make it more memorable. It is like a fantastic symphony, but one that has no real light and shade to it.
If you like Power Metal (and I really do), then this is a solid album. However, if you want to be a bit more challenged and emotionally involved, then this probably will not be to your taste. I am a bit disappointed that I don’t like it more, especially as the band have been super nice when fielding questions from me, but I have to call it as I see it…My advice, for what it is worth, is for some more different paced songs to be included. The big hitters from Helloween to Epica have variety on their records and this album suffers a bit from not being as diverse…Sorry!