Album Reviews

Seven Kingdoms – In The Walls EP

I first became aware of DeLand, Florida’s Seven Kingdoms in 2011 when they performed in New York City on the Uniting The Powers Of Metal tour featuring Artizan, Widow, and Creation’s End. Little did I know that the energetic power metal band were already 5 years into their career.

The band was formed in DeLand in 2007 by guitarist Camden Cruz and vocalist Bryan Edwards, after they parted with their previous band, This Solemn Vow. The band has shifted lineups a few times, and currently includes vocalist Sabrina Valentine Cruz, guitarist Camden Cruz, guitarist Kevin Byrd, drummer Keith Byrd, and bassist Aaron Sluss.

The band, in an early lineup, recorded their independent debut album, Brothers of the Night, in late 2007. The album was heavily inspired by the writings of fantasy novelist George R. R. Martin. Their second album, Seven Kingdoms, featuring the current lineup, was released by Nightmare Recordings in July 2010.

The new EP In The Walls features two brand new tracks from the bands forthcoming full length album due in 2017 and two re-recorded tracks originally released on Brothers Of The Night.

The title track kicks things off in fast and furious fashion with the bands energetic brand of Euro-power metal. Keith Byrd’s machine gun double bass drumming and the twin guitar chugging and glorious melodic harmony leads of Cruz and Kevin Byrd leading the way as Sabrina shows off her powerful and strong melodic vocal style.

Undying has some incredibly intricate drum work as well as some intense riffage and a mid-tempo, softer vocal approach by Sabrina with some soaring harmony vocals. This song is chock full of melody and a grandiose chorus that will be fun to hear in a live setting. The lead guitar work is stellar, with some shredding as well as Maiden-esque harmony leads.

This Bloody Meadow is a re-recorded song that spotlights just how good vocalist Sabrina Cruz really is. Her vocal prowess, melodic sensibilities, and operatic technique really bring this song to another level. The music is powerful and anthemic with chugging guitars and intense guitar solos, highlighted by a full choir and a soaring chorus.

Original Seven Kingdoms vocalist Bryan Edwards returns to do guest growls on the re-recording of Stormborn. The combination of Sabrina’s powerful yet softer melodic singing with Edwards guttural growling are a perfect combination for this thrashing metal anthem.

For anyone unfamiliar with Seven Kingdoms, this is a perfect time to jump on board and witness one of the finest U.S. power metal bands out there. The band is scheduled to support Swedish prog/power veterans Evergrey on their U.S. tour in Spring of 2017 so catch them live when you have the opportunity!

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