However, it does seem like there is a bit of a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach to their songwriting; each song excluding the intros starts out with dual-guitar leads that lead into blasting drums and growling. It's pretty formulaic.
Perhaps in the future, the band could experiment with the arrangement of the different types of vocal execution that are employed in their music; maybe they could do a song with just clean vocals. Mixing it up a bit certainly wouldn't hurt. But overall, what they have put out already is all very enjoyable. Personally, my favorite thing about this album is the guitar leads on some of the songs. For instance, the post-chorus riff on "A Gathering Of Kings" is simply amazing. In addition, the drums are very well done, and battle-themed lyrics in general are just fun to listen to.
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One of the other highlights of this album is "Maidens Call. The vocals are a good balance of low growls, high screams, and powerful clean vocals. I don't know what the singer is saying most of the time, but it sure sounds good. In addition, the partnership between the guitars and drums is impressive.
A couple of my other personal favorites from this album would have to be the long epic, "Moonlit Skies And Bloody Tides," and the epic call-to-arms, "Heroes Among Us," which are good for nearly the same reasons as the aforementioned tracks. Overall, this album is pretty damn awesome. I would say that it deserves to be among the best melodeath albums released in recent years.
If you like DragonForce, but wish they were heavier, or if you just love fast melodic death metal, then I would highly recommend this album for you. To them I say, "Keep up the good work. Crimson Shadows is a Canadian metal act who sought to combine the extremities of death metal and the eccentricities of power metal into a sound wholly theirs to call their own. While low-key for at least a good few years of their existence, winning a contract with Napalm Records last year has upped their exposure considerably. This isn't a completely original rags-to-riches story within the metal community, but for their sake one would hope that they could really capitalize on their turn of events and maintain a stretch of longevity in the years to come When it comes to their latest offering, it's certainly some stirring, blood-burning stuff indeed.
If one took a cup of 90s-era Blind Guardian and added two spoonfuls of older Children of Bodom you'll get a metallic cocktail worth its weight in speedy harmonies.
March of Victory (Intro)
The power metal-side of things is more noticeable by way of the general flow and inherent majestic melodies. Leaning more on guitar work as opposed to an overtly symphonic approach said approach is still there, used mainly as padding behind the riffs and leads , the songwriting is more straightforward, thrashy and impactful, relying on only a few different paths to follow as opposed to stretching itself too thin by incorporating too many layers and arrangement schemes.
Such a scenario isn't a bad thing in itself, only when utilized incorrectly, and CS's more truncated method really works well for them. They aren't spinning epic yarns in the woods at night, after all; these are potent and energetic war chants and hymns that demand the listeners grab their swords and follow their charge into a battle you are sure to win, by the gods!
Again sirs and madams, stirring stuff indeed Maybe a single track or so with just the clean singing?
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That would have been something. But that's a relatively minor complaint in the end, as the rest of the band feed from a seemingly bottomless well of zest with regard to their level of performance, running from song to song like their lives depending on playing as fast and tight as they could, and potential fans and listeners are truly rewarded for it. In the arms of other, far less harmonious acts this would lead to a problematic situation, yet the sheer amount of musical substance and spirited presentation is enough to prevent it all from being a hassle to go through.
In the end "Kings Among Men" was an ass-kicker I wasn't expecting. Going a step or two beyond being a simple "niche" act, I really can't wait to see what they'll bring to the table in the years to come. Congrats, you armor-clad Canucks; you've found a new ally in this war, sword at the ready. For the glory! Extreme power metal. Wait, what? After a short intro you can expect predominantly up-tempo music, with an almost constantly speed-picked sixteenth note presence running rampant throughout. Nary a moment passes without some kind of lead guitar work happening, be it atypical power metal or folk melodies which are admittedly the most enjoyable aspect here or fret-board burning DragonForce-style speed runs.
Pretty much entry level power metal played at breakneck speed.
Out for a morning run? Stick this on. Looking to get the hoovering done in short time? This is because, despite remaining up-tempo, the song meters the flailing double bass with some half time sections in the verses.
The Sword of Bedwyr
Good chorus too, and another tune which gives me Nothgard flashbacks. If there are any issues I have with Kings Among Men , first and foremost among them would be the clean vocals, which feel derived more from post-hardcore than power metal. Written for Black Wind Metal. While the band has achieved some large milestones in their work already, there is no doubt that this release will be the true stepping stone to building a career out of this music. As a long time fan, this was my most anticipated record in months.
Does it live up to the hype? Yes and no. Quite a few of their best songs to date show up on this release, but as a whole, it might be the weakest of their four offerings. This is more of a testament to how good their old material was because this album is already amongst my favourites. For those new to the band, they play an epic brand of power-infused death metal. The songs are fast, the riffs are furious, and the solos are truly remarkable.
Since that time, the band has slowly started to add clean vocals, courtesy of guitarist Greg Rounding. Really though, this is the best performance from nearly every member. Primary vocalist Jimi Maltais sounds better than ever, and his range is truly amazing. Save crimson ninja to get e-mail alerts and updates on your eBay Feed.
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