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The best power metal album you've never heard. - 95%

Stormrider2112, February 6th, 2012

The best way to describe this album is Iced Earth circa 1992 going full-on power metal with female vocals. Take a second to picture Jon Schaffer's GOOD riff ideas set to Imaginations From The Other Side (Blind Guardian) or Power Plant (Gamma Ray). It sounds crazy, but here, it just WORKS. Riffs gallop at a frenetic pace, tastefully done drums (this is more American power metal than Finnish...there's not a lot of gratuitous double bass for the sake of double bass here), and vocalist Sabrina Valentine has an amazing power metal voice. Not the Tarja Turunen or Simone Simons mezzo-soprano style, but more like a female version of Mathias Blad of Falconer...more focus on the lower to mid range, but she can still soar (chorus of Somewhere Far Away, for example). There are keyboards in the mix, but much like Iron Maiden's Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son, they serve to be ambiance and fill space in the background, never the focal point.

There isn't a weak moment on this album. Wolf In Sheep's Clothes is a bit more "radio friendly," but is still a killer track. A Murder Never Dead is the obligatory piano ballad, and it works quite well, although its place in the track listing slows down the album (it should be before the epic Seven Kingdoms). And yes, Go Go Power Rangers...err...Thunder Of The Hammer is cheesy as hell, but it's still a fun track in the vein of Breaking The Law or Toxic Waltz.

The rest of the album is one big highlight; mid to up tempo power metal. Somewhere Far Away and Seven Kingdoms bookend the album, and are the best of the best. This is epic metal at its finest.