The Fire is Mine
At the beginning of their career, Seven Kingdoms were much more of a pure power metal outfit ― their first record, Brothers of the Night, was keyboard-centric and heavily influenced by George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice And Fire series of novels (which also inspired their name). After a significant line-up change, Seven Kingdoms also shifted their aesthetic, taking a much thrashier approach to power metal, with melodic clean vocals supplied by Sabrina Valentine. Both their sophmore self-titled release and their new album, The Fire is Mine, adhere to this aesthetic. Valentine takes a bold approach to her vocal performance, rejecting the wistful, operatic soprano that characterizes many power metal records in favour of something more powerful and full-bodied. The tracks are up-tempo and catchy, full of galloping rhythms. The most battle-ready moments, like "In the Twisted Twilight," are more romantic that blood stirring, but still possess the swell of a triumphal march. The Fire is Mine is a more well-rounded and confident record than their previous material, and if not particularly moving, in terms of emotion or narrative, it is certainly fun. While the thrash elements make this much lighter fare than what's usually favoured by those who prefer their power metal on the extreme side of epic, The Fire is Mine has an accessibility that will appeal to many who haven't committed to the Blind Guardian lifestyle, but still keep a 20-sided die buried in their sock drawer.
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