Album Reviews
Band: Crimson Shadows

Title: Kings Among Men

Label: Napalm Records

  

What do you get when you mix the music of Dragonforce with Insomnium style vocals and a dash of Three Inches of Blood? The answer is Crimson Shadows! Returning with their second album Kings Among Men, this mash up of power metal meets melo-death is yet another reinvention of a tired and exhausted subgenre.

Usually, when I review anything power metal related I generally moan about the lack of creativity and how it sounds the same as a million other albums representative of this genre. With Kings Among Men, it carries all the same musical traits as its predecessors but made slightly more interesting with brutal death metal style vocals and some half decent music. I have to admit; there were one or two good bits on this record that I enjoyed. ‘Heroes Among Us’ has a pretty hefty chorus with a cool Iron Maidenesque interlude and a stonking lead section. It sounds like Dragonforce have been a predominant influence on the music, but at least the Canadians have had the sense to make their music slower and slightly more bearable! That does not stop some of the songs sounding beyond cringe worthy as highlighted in ‘A Gathering of Kings’, which should be served with a giant block of cheese. 

What largely lets this album down are the recycled Dragonforce riffs (sorry had to say it) and the clean singing which if they slacked off, would result in the songs sounding ten times better. The highlight comes from the 10 minute closer ‘Moonlit Skies and Bloody Tides’, which has some pretty cool riffs, progressive breakdowns and searing solos. Beyond the glaring issues that Kings Among Men has, it is not as terrible as so many other albums that I have previously reviewed. I am more than sure fans of power metal will find this release worthy of the genre. 

Review by: Rob Herald

 

Tracklisting:

1. March Of Victory
2. Rise To Power
3. Heroes Among Us
4. A Gathering Of Kings
5. Maiden's Call
6. Braving The Storm
7. On The Eve Of Battle (Intro)
8. Freedom And Salvation
9. Dawn Of Vengeance
10. Moonlit Skies And Bloody Tides 

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