ETERNAL REIGN – Forbidden Path

ETERNAL REIGN - Forbidden Path


Release Date: February 21, 2005

User Review
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With their name and song titles like ”Gate to Infinity,” “Light the Light,” and “The Final Call,” it’s easy to think that Eternal Reign is another run-of-the-mill Melodic Power Metal band. The fact that they are signed on Limb Music further strengthens that impression, as the label has gone from being at the forefront of trend-setting within the Metal genre (they discovered Rhapsody, among others) to being a label with just about too many bands that sound exactly alike – like low budget copies of their former label mates. Eternal Reign, however, makes it easier than expected to erase those prejudices.

Style-wise, the band is indeed centered much around the same style as described above – the music is melodic and quite “happy” sounding, but the band manages to create an identity for themselves by adding more progressive elements (not that they are noticeably inventive… rather, they sound similar to bands who play so-called Progressive Metal), most notably by the fact that the guitars are much more upfront and that the riffs are much more USA-sounding than what is typical in the genre. The riffing is actually one of strongest aspects of the album. Keyboards are used, too, but the guitars are typically in the center of attention.

That said, the lead guitar work is not of the highest standard. The twin-guitar harmonies are too unoriginal and the solos often lack precision. Still the overall level of musicianship is fairly decent. The band is tight, and they even have a singer with quite – but only quite – a capable voice, which indeed is seldom seen these days (sad, as the genre used to produce some of the best singers on the entire scene). His voice is actually quite reminiscent of Andy B. Franck (Brainstorm, Symphorce, Ivanhoe) in terms of power and singing style, but it lacks that final touch of finesse to make it stand out.

That sort of goes for the music too. Out of the album’s 11 tracks (9 songs plus the intro “Gate to Infinity” and the interlude “The Final Call”), none of them are poor songs, but it’s also hard to find any real killers. Some highlights can be found, though. The opening up-tempo track “Light the Light” is fairly good, although the chorus melody is not the strongest, as is “Into My Own Hands” and the ending trio of “Set the Sails,” “Nightstalker,” and the epic “Ten Seconds In,” actually a cover of the USA band Breaker.

The definite highlight, though, is the Dream Theater-ish “Edge of the World.” Again, this isn’t the most original piece of music ever created, and the opening riff have probably been used by about every Prog-Power band on the continent, but it still rocks and shows that the band clearly has the potential to come up with something really good stuff sometimes.

So, after all this was a positive listening experience. After working even further on creating something unique, as well as on the guitar solos and vocals, Eternal Reign should be able to produce some truly cool stuff in the future. Look forward to that, and giving Forbidden Path a spin in the meantime would indeed not be a catastrophe.


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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