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SEVEN KINGDOMS - The Fire is Mine

 

Tracklist:

1. Beyond the Wall
2. After the Fall
3. Forever Brave
4. Flame of Olympus
5. Symphony of Stars
6. The Fire Is Mine
7. Kardia
8. Fragile Minds Collapse
9. In the Twisted Twilight
10. A Debt Paid in Steel
11. The King in the North

Release Date: 09 October 2012 – Nightmare Records

„The Fire is Mine“ is the 3rd full album of american melodic power band Seven Kingdoms. It’s their second album that was produced in the legendary Morrisound studios in Tampa and the second one under the flag of Nightmare Records.
The band was formed in 2007 and after several line up changes and tours with Blind Guardian in the states they are starting now with female Sabrina Valentine as lead singer.

If the fire is them or if the band is playing with fire…that’s what we will find out now….

After a short burning intro with sounds of fire, wind and crows called „Beyond the Wall“ we are heading to „After the Fall“. Speedful start and it sounds like Blind Guardian with female vocals. Here the tour with this german melodic power legends seems to have stamped the band effective.
Sabrina’s vocals appear warm and clean. Solid guitar work, with lots of solo parts. And yes…believe me…Sabrina definetely sounds as a female Hansi Kürsch. Good food for fans of those orientated bands.

„Forever Brave“ also starts speedful with a high amount of harmonies and melodic guitars. Seven Kingdoms are leaving the Guardian path for more unique sound. The song is vocal orientated. Sabrina is singing nearly during the whole song. Only interrupted by a guitar solo of high quality.
Both guitarists, Kevin Byrd and Camden Cruz, are working perfect together.

Hard guitar riff to open „Flame of Olympus“. The song points with great arrangements. Some breaks and solos makes it interesting to listen and wipes it away from boring melodic metal. The vocal performance for me is not as good as in the first songs but the guitars are saving it.

Galloping rhythm with a high melodic guitar theme starts „Symphony of Stars“. The twin vocals and choirs brings it again close to Blind Guardian. Also the change of midtempo and speed parts.
The guitars offer a lot of power and so the song is not becoming a happy children sing-a-long.

After this the title track appears a little slower. Slower parts mixed with uptempo rhythms. In the middle the song breaks in a slow elves sound before another guitar solo follows, furious and melodic. Sometimes vocal and instruments sound a little weird together. Not half…not full.

Acoustical moments now in „Kardia“. Elegian and sad ballad. Acoustic guitar meets an angel’s voice. In the last minutes the song moves to electric. A touch of an epic, for the hearts.

High speed is coming up with „Fragile Minds Collapse“. Hard stuff, only the voice of Sabrina keeps it in melodic style. The refrain comes a little thin. More power behind the vocals would let the song become a real smasher. Some cool guitar and bass breaks highlights it in the end.

Virtuosic guitars are crossing „In the twisted twilight“ during the whole song. Sabrina tries to perform a bit more aggressive between her angelic voice. Power metal stuff like we know it from bands like Stratovarius or even Gamma Ray.

Horses and a storyteller builts an intro called „A debt paid in steel“ that leads to the last song „The king in the north“. The guitars remember me to Iced Earth in symphonic style. The band packs their whole knowledge into this 8 minute epic. Faster parts meet slower ones. Nice arrangements, good to listen.

If you listen to this album you will notice the bands experience. The musical fraction learned their lessons and so there is no reason to criticize the music of Seven Kingdoms. The vocals will split the listeners. Fans of female vocals in metal can cotton up to Sabrina’s voice, others will damn it. But that is like it is ever in that kind of music.
Yes…sometimes I would like to hear more power behind the vocals to lean the songs more punch. But in summary we have a good quality powermetal (partly symphonic) album with outstanding guitar work.

Is the fire with them ? Not at all…but it’s burning.

 

Points 7,5 / 10

Review by Kerbinator

 

 

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