Sunday, March 09, 2008

Metallic Triumph!

I first heard of Magic Kingdom from a Limb Music CD insert in one of my other CD's. It was just the album cover and nothing else, but I was intrigued. I'm a sucker for fantasy based heavy metal and Magic Kingdom was right up my ally. I was eager to check them out. After waiting several months for their release of "Metallic Tragedy" (and for my local record store to receive it) I gave the CD a sample listen cause I may be a sucker for this stuff, but I don't want to pay for crap.

For the most part Magic Kingdom play straight forward symphonic power metal, though done quite well. What sold me was the epic album closer "Metallic Tragedy". More on that later. The album opens with a short intro "Tazira's Magic Kingdom" whose mystical keyboards and melodic solo seamlessly transition into the blistering "Child Of The Nile". This song is straight-forward power metal with speedy riffs and renaissance style keys (much like Skylark) which I'm not huge on, but as long as there is solid guitar work, it doesn't bother me.

"Master Of Madness" and "The Fight" are similar in style with "The Fight" having a nice slow and chunky breakdown reminding me of Pagan's Mind progressive metal. "The Iron Mask" is fast and melodic and "Flying Pyramids" touching on Sci-fi topics is a pummelling riffster with an up beat chorus. "Black Magic Castle" is a fast keyboard heavy instrumental that doesn't rely on virtuoso, but instead stays focused on song structure and quality.

"Barabas" is a mid-paced cruncher, slowing things down some and is darker with little touches that remind me of Rainbow's "Stargazer". "Another Sun" is your standard power metal ballad not unlike something from Hammerfall, and has a nice melody. "Time Will Tell" is a bonus song on some releases and is my 2nd favourite. It is fast and dark with a catchy chorus and reminds me some of Drakkar.

The best song here and worth the price of the CD is the title track and album closer "Metallic Tragedy". This is a 13+ minute epic metal opera that transcends standard power metal by mixing genres and creating a Gothic sound scape bordering on theatrical. It blends black, death, clean male and female vocals into a surprisingly catchy metal opera. That's not all, the music which opens with Rhapsody (Of Fire) like chants blasts into solid power metal riffing.

The song forgoes a lot of flowery soloing and sticks to focusing on a solid song structure. That's not to say there is no soloing, but instead it it used sparingly and spread out jumping from both guitar and keyboards to further the songs momentum. The song also manages to blast into a killer black metal section. The whole song flows beautifully through its themes and rounding out with death metal vocal narrative (and eluding to a continuing story). A brilliant piece of music.

Magic Kingdom's "Metallic Tragedy" is a solid power metal album altogether, although not necessarily ground-breaking except for the grandiose title track. The other songs, however, don't feel like filler in order pad out a full length album and that's good. I'm looking forward to Magic Kingdom's future work.

Up next is Anthropia's progressive metal gem "The Ereyn Chronicles Part 1"


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