I pressed the play button and a crazy guitar intro echoed through my ears. The usual impression I get whenever I play anything for this band. The first track in the album ‘The Game’ had a guest vocalist. Matt Heafy from Trivium who is in fact a guest vocalist in three tracks of this album. It was a brutal start to an album, fast tempo, a melodic guitar intro and some great guitar chugs and a wonderful solo. The intro of the next track ‘Tomorrow’s Kings’ was rather unusual but, once the track actually started, it had the same atmosphere of the previous track.
The highlights of this album were several; ‘Symphony of The Night’, ‘Ring of Fire’ and ‘Three Hammers’. My absolute favorite of the entire album though, was ‘The Sun Is Dead’. It is an absolutely wonderful track. It had everything.
An intro solo, a catchy chorus, a post chorus melodic solo, a bass solo followed by a double guitar solo, then a keyboard solo and finally a guitar shredding to end this epic track. I hope the band would make more tracks just like this one in particular.
The whole album was consistent and tight with the exception of ‘Extraction Zone’ because of it’s weird, but extremely good solo and the guitar work of both Herman Li and Sam Totman. They weren’t as technical as they were earlier. Nevertheless, now, the music shines brighter than the techniques. The sensational solos and marvelous melodic passages were portrayed perfectly. I have to compliment Frédéric Leclercq’s skills in regards to the bass. There was some wonderful bass lines and I haven’t heard many bass lines this awesome in a long time when it comes to melodic power metal.
Marc Hudson, the lead vocalist seems to be getting more comfortable with the band’s capabilities. I’m hearing him more now and it’s amazing. This guy is truly fit to front such a powerful band. The guy whose work will be most probably disregarded although I loved what he showed us is Vadim Pruzhanov. But it’s just way too much to have so many talented artists present in one release and hear them all! You have to listen to the album several times in order to be able to grasp every aspect of each track. Something that I find very beneficial and amusing is that this way, I can never get bored of listening to the album because every time I listen to it, I do with from a different perspective. From what I’ve gathered, Dave Mackintosh the former drummer of the band did the drums on this album. I’ve always thought that he has great stamina but so little innovation. The variation of the drum notes was sadly very poor. It felt like it was a drum machine rather than a real live drummer. I hope the band’s replacement for him; Mr. Gee Anzalone would help the band expand their range. And all the best of luck for Mr. Dave as well.