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Monday, June 5, 2017

Seven Kingdoms - Decennium

Artist: Seven Kingdoms
Release Title: Decennium
Year: 2017
Label: Nightmare Records
Genre: Power/Thrash Metal
1. Stargazer
2. Undying
3. In the Walls
4. The Tale of Deathface Ginny
5. Castles in the Snow
6. Kingslayer
7. The Faceless Hero
8. Neverending
9. Hollow
10. Awakened from Nothing

Bound to continue their hard-working style, Floridian power/thrashers Seven Kingdoms have brought along plenty of dedication which manages to infuse the traditional blend of power and thrash metal with a fine blend of professionalism and maturity. Following the previous years’ EP release and a full five-year gap from full-length albums, the groups’ Kickstarter-funded fourth full-length was released January 30, 2017 on Nightmare Records with a reissue May 5 on new-label Napalm Records.

Firing off almost immediately, it’s quite apparent from the onset that there’s a much more pronounced attack that yields some of the most impressive work of their career. This is mostly based around tight, thunderous thrash rhythms and paces while packing in sparkling melodies and a grandiose choral approach that effectively mixes their work together, fitting this one with plenty of stellar work between these sections. This one offers up the kind of fiery riffing volley at those higher tempos that there’s plenty of fireworks generated by the frantic patterns bringing these churning thrash efforts alongside the furious melodies and stellar vocal dynamics that is quite apparent throughout here. Not nearly as impressive but still wholly enjoyable, when the band slips down into steadier, more mid-tempo realms there’s a rather marked dynamic here where the album prefers going for stellar chugging and thicker grooves in their rhythms to offset the melodic firepower. That leads into some rather fun and enjoyable efforts where it keeps the fire and bombast with a slightly varied approach that renders this one incredibly enjoyable overall. However, these being the primary functions of the album, that does end up being the lone factor against this one since it runs into familiar ground rather quickly with each other, tending to come off rather similar and being filled with overly cliched moments as a result since it relies on these same two formats for the majority of the tracks. It isn’t that detrimental on the whole, but it does lower the album.

While it does come across somewhat familiar and rather one-note in a series of familiar tactics throughout here, none of that detracts from what is a rather fun and endless series of enjoyable up-tempo thrashing power metal anthems that will certainly appeal to all fans of their previous work as well as fans of power/thrash in general.

Score: 90/100

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