Released by: Frontiers Records
Release Date: August 11th, 2023
Genre: Melodic Hard Rock
Stefan Nykvist – Lead and backing vocals
Jesper Lindbergh – Drums, rhythm guitar, keyboards, loops & soundscapes
Daniel Lykkeklev – Bass, keyboards
Peter Lundin – Lead and rhythm guitar
1. When All Lights Go Out
2. Blood From Stone
3. A Way Back
4. The Beginning of the End
5. Will You Find Me
6. Everdying Night
7. The Lion’s Road
8. Love Will Burn
9. Hope and the Sorrow
10. Throne Of Gold Part II – A Heartless Melody
The first Sarayasign debut left the Melodic Rock scene optimistic about its potential, the Swedes brought forward a heavier, edgier Melodic Hard Rock potency that left a mark. Already moving to its sophomore release, we have “The Lion’s Road”, a continuation of sorts from its predecessor.
The presser states it’s some kind of “concept-driven, cinematic, melodic hard rock band “, but I know better than to fall for this. I simply call this, driving, punchy Melodic Hard Rock. I guess if you want to say these songs take place in the mystical land of Saraya, fine, but the music itself it’s nothing short of brilliant needing no concept to boost effectiveness. This is not proggy Melodic Rock, this is a pretty outstanding and power-laden slab of Rock period.
I don’t know enough about vocalist Stefan Nykvist, in fact, I’m not so sure about his past works in the AOR/Melodic genres, but I’ll be damn if he isn’t a perfect blend and fit of heavy/melodic and flamboyant. His vocals on Sarasign’s debut “Throne of Gold” we’re great, but I think he steps it up a notch on this one. These Swedes know how to Rock Hard!!! Nykvist Vox is a cross between the great Heartland vocalist Chris Ousey and FM’s Steve Overland. Just fantastic stuff!!! The Drum work of Jesper Lindbergh is crunchy and groovy, and the pounding guitar work of Peter Lundin is loud and tenacious.
Things smash your face in with no time to waste, with the opener “When All The Lights Go Out”, a nice rocker with a driving pounding edge, the vocals here just give way for the rest of the album, nonstop frenetic, ultra-melodic and luring. The superior guitar work continues “Blood From Stone”, where the solos climactic cling on to your eardrums and belt them out with melodic hooks and groove. The damn chorus in “A Way Back” is another turning point in a record that refuses to let you down at any given point in time, I like the more subdued moments when vocals calm down, to open it back up with more stunning riffs, really cool stuff.
The first single “Everdying Night” follows suit in terms of heaviness and keen guitars, the melodies continuously scream at you, enticing the listener to bang your head with ecstasy. Stefan Nykvist continues to impress belting out some superlative and cunning words, his vocal range is outstanding!!! The tune brings flashes of the Swede Hard Rocker’s Eclipse. Even the slower moments for instance in “Love Will Burn'”, are scintillatingly done, the keys are sprinkled in with success, and again the vocals just take flight man. Why do I hear reflections of Ray Alder? We haven’t even discussed the Epic Melodic Rocker, yes you heard that right, 7 minute Epic closer “Throne of Gold Part II A Heartless Melody”. This one feels like Ten in it’s hey day, super heavy and punchy with some feel, every moment here just sounds bombastic, very well executed!!!
I know we have said it many times before about the Melodic Rock genre, and the systematic niche approach to many of the artists in that sector, but once in a while you get heavier stuff that just clicks on all sides. This is what you get here with Sarayasign. With powerful melodies with a keen sense of story and groove, you have a talented high-rising vocalist who can carry a song, combining with a tremendous rhythm and guitar work, just a formula for success. The Swedes have successfully surpassed their debut and ultimately just leave nothing for the filler bucket here. The Lion’s Road should end on many top lists of Melodic Rocking albums of the year. Every one of these tunes is a banger!!!
Written by: Shadow Editor