Millennial Reign – World on Fire Review

Symphonic Elements and Melodic Keys: Unveiling the Sound of 'World on Fire'...

Released By: Ulterium Records

Release Date: June 14th, 2024

Genre: Heavy/Power Metal

Links: https://www.millennialreign.com/

 

Line Up:

Tiffany Galchutt – Vocals
Dave Harvey – Guitars
Neil Bertrand – Bass
Pedro Cortes – Drums

 

Tracklist:

1. Exousia

2. Bring Me to Life

3. Wandering

4. Trust

5. We Follow On

6. Eternity

7. Parousia

8. Crack the Eastern Sky

9. Tongues of Fire

10. World on Fire

11. Onward to Victory

12. Allied Forces

 

When it comes to Christian-themed power metal, my favorite band is obviously Theocracy. However, I have heard other bands in that style that have impressed me over the years, including the American heavy/power metal group Millennial Reign, whom I first discovered with their previous album, The Great Divide. That album delivered solid, hard-edged metal, and while it wasn’t overly shocking or spectacular, it impressed me enough to be interested in future albums from the band. Their latest release, World on Fire, is set to release this Friday, and after giving it some time, it has left me more impressed than the previous album, with a slightly more relaxed and melodic sound. It still has a ton of energy, great performances, and inspirational lyrics.

Over the years, Millennial Reign has gone through many lineup changes, with guitarist Dave Harvey being the one constant member of the band, clearly in charge of the show. The band has had a different vocalist on each of their albums, and World on Fire is no different. I was impressed by Travis Wills on The Great Divide, but he was only a temporary member of the band, soon to be replaced by Tiffany Galchutt, who first performed on Carry the Fire Again, an EP featuring four re-recorded tracks from the band’s second full-length album. She has stayed on for this release.

Compared to the previous album, the music this time around is a bit more restrained, more melodic, more keyboard-driven, and with more symphonic elements. There’s still bursts of heavy guitar work, and Harvey gets to show off his talents with plenty of crunchy riffs and great solos, but I find most tracks are led by ambient, melodic keys and symphonic elements, with guitars largely playing a secondary role. Songwriting is one area where I find the band has improved quite a bit, as there’s more variety here than on the previous album. It features a good mix of heavier material, softer material, fast-paced tracks, mid-paced tracks, and a couple of slower tracks. More importantly, the songs are all great in their own way, with a couple standing out in particular.

The overall sound is solid, with guitars, keys, and vocals all high in the mix and easy to hear. The drums are a bit low in the mix and sound weak at points, but at other times they sound much better, and they are the only real inconsistency on this album. Vocalist Tiffany Galchutt does a great job on her first full album with the band, bringing a softer, more melodic approach than previous vocalist Travis Wills, which fits the overall sound of the album. At times her voice reminds me a bit of Hayley Williams from Paramore, with a slight punk/alt-rock vibe to her vocals, which is not typical for a heavy/power metal album, but it works quite well here. She stays in mid-range most of the time but stretches out for some high notes on occasion, sounding just as good when she gets more intense as when she dials things back and sings more calmly. Her vocals allow the lyrics to shine through more clearly. On the previous album, I didn’t notice the lyrics all the time because Wills had an over-the-top voice that occasionally left the lyrics lost in the shuffle, while Galchutt sounds crystal clear at all times, making it easy to understand what she’s singing. While some Christian bands tend to be a bit more subtle or use allegories or other tricks so the lyrics aren’t super obvious, that’s not the case here. The lyrics are very straightforward, to the point where most of these songs could easily be played on a contemporary Christian radio station, if not for being a bit too heavy. Some may be turned off by this, but I always enjoy these kinds of lyrics and find them a nice change of pace from most metal bands, so I quite enjoy this aspect of the album.

Following a nice but very brief intro, opening track “Bring Me to Life” is one of the better tracks on the album, with a nice mix of heavy guitar work in bursts, melodic keys during the verses, and symphonic elements during the chorus. It moves at a moderate tempo throughout, slowing down slightly during the verses to allow room for Galchutt to shine. The chorus is a tad heavier and more upbeat, with nice vocal melodies. Next is “Wandering,” which opens with a somewhat folk-infused passage, introducing a Middle Eastern flavor also used heavily in the symphonic elements, which are very prominent throughout the track. Verses are slow-paced, calm, and atmospheric with light vocals, but the pace picks up, and the drums and guitars become heavier during the chorus, which is faster-paced and more intense. It’s a great track that nicely balances the heavier and more melodic aspects of the band’s sound.

One of the slowest tracks on the album is “Trust,” which opens with flashy keyboards before restrained, yet subtly heavy guitars kick in and stay throughout the verses. The chorus is very melodic and catchy, with some of the most openly Christian lyrics you’re likely to ever hear on a metal album. While it’s a lighter track overall, there’s a really nice, classic heavy metal-infused guitar solo in the second half, which is one of the highlights. Next is “Follow On,” a more upbeat track featuring light and playful-sounding keys, as well as more explosive drums and rather heavy guitar work during the verses. The chorus is more melodic but still moves at a fast pace, while the guitar solo is great and has a strong power metal feel. Another slower track is “Eternity,” which is probably the softest full-length track on the album. It has light and melodic guitar work accompanied by soft keys during the verses, and vocals are low and soft throughout, even during the chorus, which has more energy than the verses but is still quite calm and melodic. The track has a bit of a hard rock feel, is very light and melodic, but also quite catchy and highly enjoyable overall.

After another very brief instrumental track, “Crack the Eastern Sky” is perhaps the heaviest track on the album, with a very classic heavy metal feel, featuring crunchy riffs, powerful vocals, and a strong atmosphere to the keys. I wouldn’t say it sounds dark, but it’s certainly one of the most intense and epic-sounding tracks here, with a nice blend of heavy guitars, keys, and symphonic arrangements throughout. Galchutt delivers powerful vocals. It moves at a moderate tempo but stays heavy throughout and has another excellent guitar solo. From this point, the rest of the album is faster-paced, starting with “Tongues of Fire,” another contender for the heaviest track on the album. It’s a track where the symphonic elements have a strong atmosphere and an epic feel, while the guitars are crunchy and slightly aggressive, especially during the verses, which slow things down a bit but are still fairly up-tempo. The chorus goes full speed ahead and is the most explosive section on the album, moving at a blistering pace while still having catchy vocals and strong melodies. It’s perhaps Galchutt’s most fiery performance on the album, and she sounds excellent on this track, while the guitar solo has a classic power metal feel. Overall, it’s one of my favorites on the album.

The title track dials things back a bit with a slightly lighter, more keyboard-driven sound, but it’s still fairly fast-paced and has nice melodic guitar work. It slows down during the verses, gradually picking up momentum before speeding up for another quick chorus with strong vocals and epic symphonic arrangements. It’s one of the higher-energy tracks on the album, with upbeat and positive lyrics. Next is “Onwards to Victory,” another more keyboard-driven track with strong use of symphonic arrangements. It moves at a steady pace throughout, not quite as fast as the previous two tracks, but still very upbeat and high-energy, with another strong chorus featuring powerful vocals, excellent melodies, and uplifting lyrics. Folks who aren’t as thrilled by the lyrics throughout most of the album may find the closing track, “Allied Forces,” a welcome change of pace. It’s a fun track celebrating rock ‘n’ roll, and Galchutt adds extra grit to her vocals for a cool effect. It moves at a fast pace with more of a hard rock/heavy metal vibe, not just in the lyrics and vocals but also in the music, with guitars having a clear ’80s influence. It’s a highly entertaining track and closes the album nicely.

Overall, World on Fire is another strong album from Millennial Reign, bringing listeners a slightly more relaxed and melodic sound than the band’s previous album, while still having bursts of heaviness, uplifting Christian lyrics, and plenty of high-energy power metal tracks. It delivers a nice mix of heavy guitar work, light keys, epic symphonic arrangements, and strong vocals from newcomer Tiffany Galchutt, who leaves a very positive first impression. Fans of the band’s previous work should enjoy this one, and I’d also recommend it to anyone looking for some enjoyable, melodic heavy/power metal with a slight edge and very positive lyrics.

 

Ratings: 8/10

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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