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Court Of The Tyrant King

Review by Gary Hill

This act is a metal band from Sweden. I have seen them billed as melodic metal, but I tend to think of that style as more AOR mainstream stuff. I'd see this band as closer to a combination of speed, epic, symphonic and technical metal styles. They definitely incorporate all of those. This is the kind of music that seems to want to be taken very seriously. They have the talent to pull it off. Comparisons for me at various points include Helloween, Manowar and Iron Maiden. However you label this, it's a potent set that really rocks.

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Track by Track Review
Hero's Journey
An introductory instrumental piece, this is dramatic, symphonic and rather like soundtrack music. This is the kind of thing that would be at home on a Manowar album.
Call Of The Wild
Coming out of the previous number, this fires in with a frantic yet epic metal styled sound. I'm reminded of Helloween to a large degree. This is a powerhouse rocker with plenty of meat and magic. It also has some of that Manowar thing at play. The instrumental break gets quite technical and really screams.
Rising Tide
Coming in every bit as powerful, but less frantic, this has some killer epic metal edges to it as it gets underway. While this is nothing close to slow, it feels that way compared to the previous number. The keyboard parts bring something special to the track, and the whole thing really rocks like crazy. Iron Maiden is perhaps a reference point here to some degree, but this more majestic and technical than that suggests.
Court Of The Tyrant King
As organ starts this, it feels like you might be in church. The cut fires out from there to more frantic, technical metal. There are a couple dropped back sections, one that includes female vocals, the other a guitar solo. It has a very classic rock feeling to it. The bulk of the piece, though, fits into that fast-paced, epic, technical style.
Northern Cross
Another fierce and furious metal screamer, this feels meaner than some the rest. It still has some majestic epic elements at play, though. There is some killer guitar work on this, too. The driving instrumental section later features both mean guitar soloing and more technical. Then it gets more melodic while still rocking like crazy.
See No Evil
Piano brings this number in, and the vocals come over the top of that with a more balladic approach. After the first vocal movement, epic metal sounds emerge as punctuation and hold it for a time. That eventually gives way to a faster paced and meaty jam. It gets quite technical in an instrumental movement later, and the cut keeps reinventing itself. The comparisons to Helloween are valid here.
My Last Command
This starts slow and dramatic. There is a forlorn feeling to it as atmospherics provide a background for evocative guitar soloing. The track launches out into more driving epic metal from there. This gets majestic and yet insistent as it drives onward. There is a neo-classical, guitar solo based break later in the tune. The later closing return to vocal based music is particularly effective and powerful.
By Death Reborn
Driving in hard-edged and epic, this works through the introduction and then turns toward meaty thrash. This works to some of the most potent power metal of the disc. This is another track that makes me think of Iron Maiden. In fact, I can hear that a lot here. This is a somewhat different sound for the band, yet it still has the familiar trademarks. It might be my favorite track here, making it a great choice for album closer.

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