The power metal genre is another area in which the bands seem to come in by the dozens, and it is far too often that in those situations some great bands will often be over looked. I was first introduced to Seven Kingdoms a little over a year ago when I had seen them open for Blind Guardian and I was truly thankful that they would no longer fly under my radar.
The Fire is Mine is the third studio album by Seven Kingdoms and is the second album with Sabrina Valentine leading the way with her powerful vocals. If you are new to Seven Kingdoms keep in mind that this isn’t your typical female fronted power metal band, meaning that you won’t get those soprano and operatic style vocals that seem to be rather popular in this genre. Instead, Sabrina delivers vocals that are a bit more alto and on the lower to mid range side of the spectrum which is by no means a complaint because this girl can still soar high with the best of them and adds a rather high range of emotion to each track. Take Flame of Olympus for example, one of the more aggressive songs on the album in which we are treated to some more traditional vocals with little bits of some rather angelic sounding vocals to change things up, and tiny little aspects like that can really grab a listeners attention. Throughout some of the songs we will hear the group vocals out of the other members of the band which at that classic uplifting power metal feel and the aggressive vocals that have appeared in previous Seven Kingdoms albums have been kept out this time around, which at times I prefer because I get an impression that some bands get an urge to throw in the harsh vocals just to prove their toughness when it’s really not needed, I like my clean singing just as much.
One thing I had noticed about this group and the album is that no point do I feel like they go overboard with the power metal aspect. There are sometimes that I feel that the “cheesy” factor is too high sometimes in power metal, instead Seven Kingdoms will incorporate more traditional and at times even a thrash element to their arsenal which could bring in fans that are normally a stranger to this genre. Since there is a subtle mix of styles in this album one thing that stood out to me is the structure of tracks, everything is put together rather well and absent of the sometimes tiring over board mindless shredding that once again tends to appear in this genre, they have managed to keep things consistent and coherent. However since Seven Kingdoms seemed to have found a formula that they are comfortable with but it’s always nice to see what a band can do when they step outside their comfort zone. The Fire is Mine is broken up a little bit with the track “Kardia” and is a nice break from the nonstop ride from the early aspects in the album and really displays the bands softer side and will defiantly be a staple in their live shows and to me stands out to be a power metal classic.
The Fire is Mine is an album that fans of this genre will find a lot of excitement in. The speedy and more aggressive aspects will help Seven Kingdoms mould their own identity. There are plenty choruses that are catchy and ear pleasing without getting too poppy, the solos are well crafted with some technical flare to show their skill and the riffs will please the truest of traditional, power and thrash fans. Keith absolutely slays on the album showing some excellent drum skill keeping everything sounding full and supplying some interesting fills and patterns and making sure nothing ever goes stale on the percussion side of the story. The Fire is Mine will have listeners feeling that sense of strength and power that I’m sure a lot of us get when listening to this genre, that feeling in which you could take down anything that stands in your way, without that power metal doesn’t have its hook. Plain and simple fans of Seven Kingdoms will definitely love this album and it’s only a matter of time before more and more people discover this band. Most of all, Seven Kingdoms should truly be proud of themselves for their work and effort in the Fire is Mine.