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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Kingdom Come

Rendered Waters

Review by Gary Hill

When Kingdom Come first emerged way back when, I remember being drawn to them because of the Led Zeppelin-like sound. After buying the album and listening for a while, though, that Zep-clone sound really grated on me. It seemed like the group was too gimmicky and it wore thin very quickly. So, I stopped following Kingdom Come and sold the album. Hearing this set, I think that was a mistake.

Here they’ve put together a set with new recordings of a number of old tunes and some brand new music. The sound is fresh and original. Sure, you’ll probably still make out traces of Zeppelin at times, but that’s just one of many musical references. It doesn’t define Kingdom Come. While at times Lenny Wolf still sounds like Robert Plant (or David Coverdale doing his best Robert Plant) he’s not restricted to that sound. If you were a big fan of that Zeppelinesque period of Kingdom Come, this album might throw you off and disappoint. The truth is, though, this set shows a band that has matured and grown and is all the better for it.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Can't Deny

This pounds in with an almost modern progressive rock element. It turns much heavier before the introduction is over, but that metallic prog texture still remains. Then as the main guitar riff enters we get a real heavy metal texture. The vocals call to mind The Scorpions quite a bit. It’s really quite an original blend of sounds and a very potent and catchy tune.  It’s a great way to start things off in style.

The Wind
The riff that opens this is extremely tasty. Again the vocals call to mind The Scorpions, but musically this is like a less complicated version of the previous tune. The vocals at times near the Robert Plant like heights for which Wolf is best-known.
Blue Trees
Percussion leads off, and then a cool riff enters to drive the track in new directions. This really seems to combine a modern rock sound with something akin to 1980s rock. There’s even a bit of a grunge vibe here.
Should I
This pounds in with the most metallic sounds to this point. There’s a more modern element to it, but in many ways it calls to mind the metal of the 1980s. The vocals here are among the best of the disc and the riff that drives this is killer. This chorus is one of the catchiest on the album, too. There’s a smoking hot instrumental section later in the piece, too.
I've Been Trying
A bit of that grunge sound exists here, too, but in many ways this is closer to the alternative rock end of the spectrum. It’s a mellower tune, but still rocks out. The vocals are among the most creative and “different” of the set. This feels like it could have been all over the radio in the 1990s. There is a smoking hot, heavier movement mid-track that’s more typical of Kingdom Come.
Pushing Hard
This track is best described as a combination of the old Kingdom Come sound with The Scorpions and a little modern rock. The vocals are among the most Plant-like. It’s a killer rocker that works quite well. The guitar solo section is particularly tasty.
Seventeen
The main riff that drives this is among the heaviest of the set. This is most “typical” Kingdom Come track. While on a whole album of this kind of music that track would seem a bit tiresome, the group provide enough variety to make this work. In fact, it’s a great change of pace. There’s a smoking hot Black Sabbath like guitar bit that shows up at various points in the tune.
Is It Fair Enough
The main sections of this cut are the most unusual of the whole disc. I’d have to say it sounds a lot like Blind Melon or another 90s band. They take it to a heavier chorus section and perhaps the closest comparison would be The Foo Fighters. While I like this, it’s probably the weakest piece on show.
Living Out Of Touch
While in many ways this is close to the old Kingdom Come sound, there are more modern elements on show, as well. Of course, this is one of their better known songs from that early period, so it shouldn’t be a big surprise that it calls to mind that era. Perhaps the more impressive thing is the fact that it’s changed enough to make it fresh.
Don't Remember
Alternating between a balladic movement and a harder rocking one, this is another that’s closer to the Kingdom Come of old. It’s a good tune, but not one of the standouts.

Break Down The Wall
A new version of one of the biggest tunes from the original era of Kingdom Come, the chorus is still catchy and this cut is still very effective. In fact, perhaps because of the familiarity with the hook, it’s my favorite on show here. It definitely has an 80s metal sound to it, but it really rocks.
 
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