Formed in 2007 by guitarist Camden Cruz and former vocalist Bryan Edwards, Floridian Power Metal act Seven Kingdoms are following up their 2016 crowdfunded EP In The Walls with a crowdfunded full length. After raising nearly double the amount required on Kickstarter, the band’s fourth album Decennium has now been picked up by Napalm Records, with the label signing the band, and redistributing their entire back catalogue in the process.
Taking their name from the Game of Thrones fantasy novels by George R.R. Martin, it’s not surprising to find that the vast majority of the material is based on that series of books, with the band’s inception pre-dating the popular HBO TV show by four years.
Ticking all the correct Power Metal boxes, the band derive their sound from European acts like Blind Guardian and Hammerfall, as well as being influenced by fellow Floridians, Kamelot, and on occasion, Dio. The songs here are all relatively fast, with plenty of quality riffs, some superb guitar solos and catchy choruses, the whole thing driven along by a pounding rhythm section. Vocalist Sabrina Valentine seems to improve with each release, and she continues that trend here, her voice soaring and diving through the air like one of Daenerys Targaryen‘s fire-breathing dragons.
Having crowdsourced the funds for this new album, there is a definite sense that Seven Kingdoms have tailored their music even more specifically than usual to satisfy those who gave up their hard-earned money to support its creation. Lyrically, the band do offer a little more variety though. While songs about dragons, queens, Kingslayers, and the imminent arrival of winter are still commonplace, we also get sci-fi-themed opener ‘Stargazer’ with its irritatingly catchy “woah-oh” chorus.
‘In the Walls’ which is based on an H.P. Lovecraft story that features a pet cat with a racially provocative epithet, and ‘The Tale of Deathface Ginny’ which is based on the Pretty Deadly series of comic books/graphic novels and features some seriously tasty bass work.
A steady, surprise-free, but still thoroughly enjoyable album, Decennium is pretty much guaranteed to keep those who helped fund the album happy, although it’s clear that anyone hoping for any kind of substantial progression will have to wait until their next release.