SEVEN KINGDOMS – Seven Kingdoms

SEVEN KINGDOMS - Seven Kingdoms
  • 8/10
    SEVEN KINGDOMS - Seven Kingdoms - 8/10


Nightmare Records
Release date: July 13, 2010

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Female fronted Metal bands haven’t really had their fair share of success over the years. A select few have found commercial success, but most are still found in the underground today. Seven Kingdoms is one of those bands. This five piece Power Metal outfit is fronted by Sabrina Valentine, a highly capable vocalist with some very outstanding talent.

Their latest self titled release is their second album. It is also the first with Valentine on vocals. The album’s sound is reminiscent of some of the early Iced Earth material; full of fast power chords, strong melodies, and a plethora of “machine gun” double bass drums. The Iced Earth similarities do not stop there however, along with being from Florida, the album was produced and recorded by Jim Morris. Morris has produced and recorded several Iced Earth albums. Valentine’s broad range is also very similar to that of legendary IE vocalist Matt Barlow.

Seven Kingdoms’ very intense sound hits you hard from the very first track. The album begins with a short instrumental prelude which turns into a powerful opening song, “Somewhere Far Away”. From there the album continues its high energy and fist pounding sound over the next few tracks. The song “Wolf In Sheep’s Clothes” is a riff driven track, and is the album’s only “radio friendly” offering. It could easily be a successful single on its own.

From there the album takes a softer, acoustic turn in “A Murder Never Dead”. This is a soft ballad which only features Valentine’s voice and piano. Other than the fact it sounds very similar to “My Immortal” by Evanescence, it is arguably the highlight of the album. This song also exposes the true range and talent of Valentine’s voice. The album does recover quickly back to its Power Metal journey over the next couple of tracks. The final track on the album, titled “Seven Kingdoms”, is a nearly nine minute epic song which encompasses every theme which the band has offered thus far. The track is climaxed by a guest appearance from Crimson Glory vocalist, and fellow Floridian, Wade Black.

The downside of Seven Kingdoms, which made it lose at least one full rating point, is the overuse of Death Metal vocals and harmonies. They are not featured on every track, but it is enough to be an annoyance. The vocals generally include “singing” an entire verse or as a bridge to a chorus. It sounds as if someone is trying to perform a very bad impersonation of Nathan Explosion. They are out of place, and take away from the quality of Valentine’s vocal performance.

Overall, Seven Kingdoms is really a breath of fresh air as far as reviving the Power Metal sound of the late 90s. There is a ton of talent with all the musicians on this album, and Valentine is fully capable of holding her own among this male dominated genre. There are a few weak spots on this album, but the quality of Jim Morris’ production work really makes this album shine. Any person that calls themselves a fan of Power Metal should definitely check this one out.


  • Sean Meloy

    Sean Meloy was a reviewer, interviewer and DJ here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Iowa , USA. By day he is a straight laced, buttoned up, number crunching accountant; armed with his portable calculator. All other times he is a hard rocking Metal head! He spent many hours listening to records and 8-tracks with his father. Classic bands such as Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Kansas, Led Zeppelin, and Eric Clapton just to name a few. His father bought him his first record, Kiss Alive II, at age 6. By the time he reached his teens he was discovering all the Classic Metal of the 1980’s; Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, etc. He became a huge fan of the Thrash Metal of the time as well; Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Exodus, and Overkill. During the 1990’s he experimented with the Grunge and Hard Rock. However, by the time the millennium came he found himself going back to his roots and rebuilt the music collection he started in his teens.

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