-Review by Charlotte
FROM ASHES is two minutes of ornate synthesizer instrumentation which pave the way for what is to be an epic saga of metal and folklore. Personally, I appreciate it when an album is crafted and designed as an experience. Losing yourself in another world, this time one of battles and sacrifice is rare to come across these days. Nothing has been spared in the production and arrangement of KINGSBANE, all members have clearly poured their heart and soul into every track.
Dominating and mighty kick drums from COBB lay the foundation for an outbreak of fantasy, storytelling metal. "Father this burden you left is too much, I fear it will cost me my life." REED sings, suggesting an inherited struggle which is mirrored and wrapped up around the outstanding solo, guitar work of STALMACH and HARLEY and brilliantly timed arrangement changes.
Switching the pace RAZORS WIND adopts a less brazen speed and tells of the fighters approaching battle. I love the acoustic guitars which play subtly underneath a beautiful string arrangement. There's a real and unnerving sense of approaching doom merged with staunch defiance. A keen switch around the five minute mark gifts thrashing drums and lightning guitar playing that surges through the track and straight into the heart of the listener followed by the war like calling of men calling for war which carved images of battle ships crossing the seas firmly in my mind.
VIPER QUEEN is heavy metal heaven. The primary riff is far from generic and showcases the infallible talents of STALMACH AND HARLEY. Impossible to stay still to. Perched on my couch in a Glasgow tenement and head banging like a ferral creature, this track had me ready to slay enemies and rescue the folks of the town. The track doesn't let up at any point and maintains a strong presence the whole way through.
GRIEFMAKER is a hellraising anthem. The spooky bass work of CORBETT and haunting vocals of REED is bloody rare and maintains the spirit of will and valor. It's impossible to stay still or unattached when listening to REED sing "these sins are mine alone to bare " before a crazy assault of biblical drums and guitar solo just blow you the fuck away.
Hypnotic, medevil sounding acoustics open up KINGSBANE. 30 seconds in a magnificent swell of commanding metal rips up, continuing the full length of the track.
EMPIRE OF DUST is an onslaught of melodic metal. The pace is aggressive and key changes provide an underlying feeling of approaching victory. It kind of encouraged the aggressive part of me to rise to the surface and break things in a flurry of madness.
Rounding off the saga is finale track KINGMAKER. Gentle piano keys dance under a wave of steady riff and bass. The production is superb , at no point is any one component overpowering or spoiling the collective. In unison, steady drums, legendary vocals and brave guitars make this album and absolute belter