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Last Kingdom: Chronicles of the North

In spite of a history dating back to 2005, it wasn't until 2012 that the world got to hear the debut full-length from Swedish power metal act Last Kingdom. Entitled Chronicles of the North, Last Kingdom's entrance statement is one that fits nicely in the Swedish metal landscape and shows plenty of promise for this up-and-coming quintet. An observation characterized by speedy riffs, neoclassical instrumental runs, and grandiose atmospheres, Chronicles of the North ticks all of the boxes that should appeal to fans of bombastic and melodic power metal.

For those familiar with Reinxeed (another contemporary Swedish power metal act), Last Kingdom actually bears quite a bit of resemblance with them; their brand of melodic power metal with symphonic flavorings sounds quite a bit like something that would've been popular in the early 2000's. Unfortunately, like many bands playing this style of music these days, Last Kingdom doesn't bring anything new to the table, and their take on the genre is virtually indistinguishable from dozens of other acts. The performances are solid and the compositions have plenty of memorable hooks, but there isn't much that will keep me coming back to Chronicles of the North in the future. I also found Stefan Jacobsen's vocal performances to be pretty hit-and-miss, and although his singing style suits the music well, his ability to hit some notes in the upper register is questionable.

Still, fans of European power metal looking for an album that totally embraces what the genre is all about won't be disappointed with Chronicles of the North; while it may lack in innovation, the quality of the music is competent enough to make for an enjoyable listen. In short, Last Kingdom's debut shows plenty of promise in terms of musicianship and composition, but the band will need to expand their sound if they wish to make a lasting mark on the power metal scene.

Track Listing:
1. Chronicles of the North (4:40)
2. Warrior Kings (3:40)
3. Daylight Retreats (5:29)
4. Silver Moon (3:59)
5. The World Is Dying (6:00)
6. End of Life (5:09)
7. Fate (5:35)
8. Abandoned (6:59)
9. Lost (5:53)

Added: November 19th 2012
Reviewer: Jeff B
Related Link: Last Kingdom Official Website
Hits: 1876
Language: english

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