Album Reviews

WarKings – Revenge Review

Released By: Napalm Records

Release Date: July 31st, 2020

Genre: Heavy/Power Metal

Links: https://www.facebook.com/warkingsmetal/

 

Line Up:

The Tribune – Vocals

The Crusader – Guitars

The Viking – Bass

The Spartan – Drums

 

Tracklist:

1. Freedom

2. Maximus

3. Warriors

4. Fight in the Shade

5. Odin’s Sons feat. The Queen of the Damned

6. Banners High

7. Mirror, Mirror

8. Azrael

9. Battle of Marathon

10. Warking

 

Supergroups tend to be rather hit and miss, by my experience, often either ending up playing it and safe and not creating anything memorable or simply failing to meet expectations. One such band that managed to avoid disappointing me when they made their debut back in November 2018 (less than 2 full years ago, yet it seems like an eternity, with how much things have changed since then) was international heavy/power metal group WarKings. We don’t know the band’s full lineup, due to the fact they’ve chosen to name and dress themselves up after historical titles, but it’s pretty easy to tell this is a band whose members have a lot of experience. Unlike less successful supergroups, though, their debut, Reborn, struck a nice balance between sounding familiar enough to please fans of the genre, while also having enough of a distinct sound to stand out. Now the band has unleashed their sophomore release, Revenge, which takes everything that worked before and pushes it an extra step further, to help make it an even better follow up!

Anyone who’s heard the band’s debut should have a good idea of what to expect, as not much has changed. New listeners can expect a very melodic, high energy and at times somewhat aggressive and thrashy blend of heavy metal and Euro power metal, along the lines of bands like Hammerfall and Mystic Prophecy. There are some very heavy riffs, sometimes venturing slightly into thrash territory, while the choruses are very melodic, catchy, and have amazing soaring vocals, just like on the debut. Speaking of which, performances are excellent across the board, with the guitar work being especially excellent, and while I have a slight idea as to who the guitarist could be, and no clue at all on the bassist or drummer, guessing the singer is a much easier task: I’m almost 100% sure The Tribune’s real identity is Serenity vocalist Georg Neuhauser, as his voice is identical, complete with the same warm tone and way of pronouncing and emphasizing certain words, and at this point, I’ve heard him sing so many times, I’d recognize his voice anywhere. That being said, he does at times get a bit more intense with his delivery, on both WarKings albums, and he’s a perfect fit for the band, sounding as fantastic as always. While Tribune’s vocals and the guitar work are my favorite aspects of the band, the bass work and drumming is also excellent, and the production is top-notch, as well.

One area where I felt the band could improve from their debut was the songwriting. This time around, they have taken a nice step forward, offering the same mix of speedy power metal, and slower to mid-paced heavy metal, but this time around even the slower tracks have an extra intensity to them, and every track has a fantastic chorus, as well as some memorable instrumental moments. It’s a very straight-forward, no-nonsense kind of album, so expect no lengthy tracks, experiments or ballads, just 10 full tracks of nothing but pure, hard-hitting metal from start to finish.
Starting off the album is “Freedom”, which starts with some marching drums and epic orchestral arrangements, before quickly turning into full speed, intense power metal track, with a slight thrash edge to the riffs. The verses move along at a nice pace, with heavy riffs and powerful vocals, and then the chorus opens up and becomes very melodic and anthem-like, as expected from the band, with Tribune’s vocal being fantastic. The solo section is also quite nice, striking a nice balance between heavy and melodic. Next is “Maximus”, a slower-paced track, with an excellent main riff, fun verses, and an extremely catchy, sing-along type chorus, with some pretty cool backing vocals. It’s a very fun track, striking a nice balance between heavy and melodic passages, and is super addictive,

The lead single, “Warriors”, is another very fast-paced, somewhat thrashy power metal track, with a very complex, yet awesome sounding main riff, as well more high energy verses, a fun solo section, and of course a very catchy, melodic and fun chorus. It’s a perfect example of what to expect from the album, as stylistically it’s pretty much identical to many tracks from the debut, yet it has an extra level of energy and intensity, to help it reach that next level. One of the heaviest tracks on the album is “Fight in the Shade”, a mid-paced track with a very crushing main riff. The track softens up a bit during the verses, going for a more atmospheric approach, with some very light vocals, but the chorus is quite intense, bringing back the main riff and offering up some intense backing vocals, while Tribune delivers some of his most powerful vocals on the entire album.

In case that track wasn’t epic or heavy enough, second single “Odin’s Sons” takes things even further, going for a very modern melodeath style approach during its verses, as well as having some excellent harsh vocals performed by guest vocalist Queen of the Damned. The verses are quite aggressive, and feature the harsh vocals, while the chorus is equal parts melodic and heavy, alternating between harsh vocals and Tribune’s epic clean vocals. It’s yet another very fun, very energetic track, and is one of the highlights. I wouldn’t say any track here is less than great, but “Banners High” is probably the one that hits me the least. It’s a slower-paced, very melodic track, with a great chorus, and some nice instrumental work, and it’s a very solid track in its own right, but I find it doesn’t quite have the same impact as any of the other tracks here.

As great as the first six tracks are, the album goes all out towards the end, starting with “Mirror, Mirror”. This is probably the fastest track on the album, with frantic drumming and guitar work during the verses, and while the chorus is slower, it’s very catchy and memorable, and the track does an excellent job of alternating between slow and speedy passages, making it one of my favorites. One of the slowest tracks on the album is “Azrael”, which alternates nicely between very heavy, yet epic verses, and an extremely melodic and catchy chorus, which stands as one of the best on the album. I generally tend to prefer faster-paced tracks on this kind of album, but this track is so well done, it ranks as one of my personal favorites, so much so that while the sped up section towards the end is awesome, it wasn’t needed to make the track one of my favorites\, so it instead just feels like a nice bonus. My absolute favorite track, though, is “Battle of Marathon”, yet another very fast-paced, somewhat thrash infused track, with a killer main riff, very intense and fun verses, a great instrumental section, and a stupidly catchy chorus, with constant chants of “Run, Run, Run, Marathon!”, which is just incredibly epic! Closing out the album is “Warking”, a sort of self-titled track. It’s another slow-paced, very hard-hitting track, with a crushing main riff, but unlike most other tracks, it stays aggressive during its chorus, which is still super catchy but has an extra edge to it, to help make it yet another one of my personal favorites, and it’s certainly one of the most epic and anthem-like tracks on the album: “I am, I am a Warking!” Brilliant stuff!

When I first heard Reborn, I thought it was a fun album, but that WarKings had the potential to step up their game a bit further, and create a more memorable album. With Revenge, that’s exactly what’s happened, as while it’s stylistically a very similar album to the band’s debut, the performances and songwriting seem to be just a cut better, with an extra layer of energy and intensity. Fans of the band’s debut should love this, and anyone looking for a fun heavy/power metal album with a mix of intense riffs, great melodies, awesome vocals, and catchy choruses, would be highly recommended to give this a listen.

 

Ratings: 9/10

Written by: Travis Green

My Global Mind – Staff Writer

Travis Green is a Canadian based writer for My Global Mind, with a particular passion for power metal, as well as an interest metal in all its forms.

 

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