Released By: Doolittle Group
Release Date: January 18, 2013
Genre: Neo-Classical Power Metal
Christian Liljegren – Lead Vocals
Tommy ReinXeed – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Svenne Jansson – Keyboard
Alfred Fridhagen – Drums
Steven K. – Bass
1. The Temple Will Remain
2. Spirit War
3. One Voice For The Kingdom
4. Night Light
5. Golden Resurrection
6. Can’t Slow Down
7. Heavenly Metal
8. God’s Mercy
9. Born For The Strangers
10. Moore Lord
Man, that Tommy ReinXeed has to be one of the most active metal musicians right now, somehow finding the energy to work on 2-3 albums every year, it seems. I don’t know how he can manage so much, but the scary thing is, his ReinXeed albums have only been getting better with each release, plus that Charlie Shred album he recently did the drums for was pretty cool as well. But aside from his main project, he’s also been particularly busy as the guitarist for Golden Resurrection, who up to this point have delivered two very strong neo-classical power metal albums. Of course, the leader of the band is vocalist Christian Liljegren, who I also know from the always reliable Christian power metal band DivineFire, and just like Tommy, he appears to be a very busy man. Now they are ready to unleash their third full length release “One Voice For Kingdom”, which happens to be the first 2013 release I’ve had the privilege of listening to.
I’ll be honest: The first time I listened to the album I wasn’t particularly excited, as the music didn’t seem as fresh as I had hoped, and while the melodies were epic as always, they weren’t grabbing my attention as much as I was expecting them to. In fact, on first listen the whole album seemed like nothing more than a watered down version of their previous release “Man With A Mission”, but with one misguided experiment. While that last part does remain true, I have otherwise found myself enjoying the album more with each listen, and I can say there’s no doubt their existing fans will be happy with what they’ve come up with this time. However, as much I enjoy the album I do feel it’s a slight step down overall, with just a bit less of what I like about the band.
For those who have never heard a Golden Resurrection album before, you can expect some very fast-paced, epic and somewhat over the top power metal with big choruses and obviously an emphasis on melodies. Where they differ from any other band I’ve heard with Christian or Tommy, is that they also have a strong neo-classical aspect to their music, with a lot of very technical soloing going on, and the musicianship is as perfect as you’d expect for such a band. However, the songs are never very complex, and are generally more about being catchy than they are about showcasing technical prowess. That is left for the two instrumental tracks, with “Heavenly Metal” being fantastic and one of the highlights of the album, while closing track “Moore Lord” is decent but rather unremarkable and not very metal at all. I’d say this album is maybe a bit more restrained compared to the last one, but it is still rather cheesy at points, which works just fine for me anyway.
Where the band will never show any restraint is with their lyrical themes. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, Golden Resurrection are a Christian metal band, and unlike other bands such as Theocracy, who can be rather clever with their lyrics, these guys are about as subtle with their lyrics as they are with their music. So yeah, if you want nothing to do with God or his kingdom, you can try your best to ignore the lyrics, or if that isn’t possible, it’s best to stay away. For me, because of my background and my current state of being not actively religious but too unsure to call myself anything else either, the lyrics don’t bug me at all and I do prefer this over the darker, more negative lyrical themes many metal bands throw at me. Plus, unlike with some bands, with Golden Resurrection everything certainly feels genuine, which is nice.
As always, Christian himself sounds excellent and he has a very strong and powerful lower register, which helps separate him from the typical power metal vocalist. This is important considering how vocal driven many of the songs are, so it’s great to know the epic choruses are all brought to life by a very competent singer. He doesn’t have the widest range, but he can put more touch on his voice when he needs to, and everything he does sounds great, so that’s all that matters.
The actual songwriting is the weak point of this album. Which isn’t to say the songs are bad, it just feels like the band has failed to take a step forward, and instead they have taken a bit of a step back. I’ll start with the good, though. While the first three tracks are nothing special, they are all the type of epic and speedy power metal any fan would expect, so they do the job of getting the album off to a good start. As mentioned earlier, the instrumental “Heavenly Metal” is excellent and it really showcases the more technical neo-classical side of the band. Another highlight is “Can’t Slow Down”, which serves both as a suitable song name for a band involving Tommy Reinxeed, and as the fastest song here. But my personal favorite is “Born For The Strangers”, which opens with a long and nice instrumental section, before turning into something more typical, except with more intensity and more energy than any other song here.
Unfortunately, there are two downfalls. I already mentioned one, that being the disappointing “Moore Lord” which isn’t a bad instrumental, but it doesn’t feel like a good way to end the album, especially since there was already a much better instrumental just three tracks prior. Though the biggest disappointment comes with “Night Light”, which feels like a misguided attempt at making more of a hard rock song. Its main riff is slow, boring and it stays around far too long. The chorus is decent and the song does eventually pick up, but for the most part it feels out of place on this album. Everything I didn’t mention belongs to the same category as the first three songs, of being perfectly solid and enjoyable, but perhaps not quite as good as these musicians are capable of.
And overall that’s the feeling I get from this album: It serves as some very enjoyable and very epic neo-classical power metal that will definitely please existing fans as well as anyone else who enjoys this type of music, but it does feel like something is missing, and it certainly isn’t one of the best albums I’ve heard featuring either Tommy or Christian. Still, it is recommended to anyone who fits into the two groups I just mentioned, plus anyone who enjoys metal albums with inspirational lyrics, while anyone who either doesn’t like what I described or simply hates anything to do with religion, is advised to avoid this one.
Written by Travis
Ratings Travis 7/10
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