Kings of Mercia – Kings of Mercia Review

You ever just start listening to an album and just know? I mean, from the first notes that what you are listening to is something special? I don’t mean...

Released by: Metal Blade Records

Release Date: September 22nd, 2022

Genre: Rock

Links: https://www.metalblade.com/kingsofmercia/

 

Line Up: 

Jim Matheos (Fates Warning),

Steve Overland (FM),

Simon Phillips (ex-Toto)

Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Fates Warning)

 

Tracklist:

01 Wrecking Ball
02 Humankind
03 Sweet Revenge
04 Set the World on Fire
05 Too Far Gone
06 Liberate Me
07 Nowhere Man
08 Everyday Angels
09 Is It Right?
10 Your Life

 

You ever just start listening to an album and just know? I mean, from the first notes that what you are listening to is something special? I don’t mean like, “Yeah this album is good,” I mean, “This is one of the most brilliant collaborations I’ve ever heard in my life!” Even though I come off as “that guy” who loves every single thing I hear, I honestly don’t have those true moments where I hear something that moves me quite like that. It’s those rare moments that truly make me appreciate the fact that I am a music lover. For me, these moments happen every few years or so. The latest one happened on my first run through of the latest album from a new band called Kings of Mercia.

Yeah, it’s a new band, but features a couple legends in the business: Steve Overland, singer from FM and Jim Matheos of Fates Warning. Matheos had written the music, and Overland had been suggested as a vocal option. When the partnership began it fit perfectly. On paper it sounds like such a weird pairing- a prog metal musician and an AOR voice, but when the magic of combining it all together occurred true magic really happened. Adding Joey Vera and Simon Phillips to the mix just perfected it further, and thus s/t was created. Having already experienced a couple releases from prior FW singer Ray Alder, I was curious to see how this collaboration was going to be. A-Z proved to be a foray into positivity for the typically melancholic Alder, so I was curious as to how the usual dour Matheos and the usual positive vibe of Overland was going to work out. Once I heard the album, I can almost envision Jim smiling a couple of times during recording, because not only does this album kick ass, but it too has a very up-tempo feeling not often found in the bulk of Jim Matheos’ other recordings. Songs like “Set the World On Fire,” “Wrecking Ball,” and “Is It Right” are brilliant tracks on a fantastic album. Overland shines in a different light as well, showing off his chops in ways he hasn’t before.

Kings of Mercia s/t is an amazing album. This is making it even tougher to figure out what will top my list later this year. I also hope this isn’t going to be a one-off deal. I know everyone in the band has other band obligations, but this is an incredible collaboration, and really needs to keep going. This album has the potential to be huge if it gets the right push.

 

Written by: Chris Martin

Ratings: 10/10

Editors Pick EditorPick Rex Brown - Smoke On This Review

 

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Kings of Mercia - Kings of Mercia
10
Kings of Mercia - Kings of Mercia
The Good
  • Supergroup
  • Rare Collaboration
  • Prog Meets AOR
  • 10
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