CD Reviews

Almanac - 'Kingslayer' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 16, 2018    
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A rifferiffic release.

When our Reviews Editor offered me this album, I must admit I was somewhat perturbed by the thought of some Power Metal. However, dear Ed knows his reviewers rather well, and we in turn trust his judgement, hence me accepting the challenge.

I'll give anything a go, and if it's exciting, oozes melody and hooks, and the lyrical content is engaging, I'll eventually succumb. Conversely, there are several Power Metal outfits that have impressed me over the years, namely Kamelot, Masterplan, Black Majesty, and (unbelievably) Therion. I can now add Almanac to that list as they offer everything I love about Rock music per se, and like those aforementioned bands, Almanac is much more than fundamental Power Metal; it's Symphonic Metal, Heavy Metal and Classic Rock all fused into one gargantuan soundscape.

This is a real European affair comprising of members spanning Belarus to Burnley! Its founder member and brainchild is former Mind Odyssey and Rage axeman Victor Smolski (guitars, keyboards), and he is thunderously supported by new recruits Tim Rashid (bass) and Athanasios "Zacky" Tsoukas (drums). They in turn support not one, not two, but three vocalists in Andy B. Franck (Brainstorm), David Readman (Pink Cream 69) and Jeanette Marchewka (Lingua Mortis Orchestra) who gel seamlessly, creating a varied and scintillating vocal banquet.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Prior to listening to 'Kingslayer' I purchased their debut opus 'Tsar' (2016) and was immediately agog by its power, melodious qualities and aggressive riffage (I'm a sucker for good riffing). However, 'Kingslayer' has improved all aspects tenfold, and from the get-go the listener is carried along on a tidal wave of tempestuous tuneage. If I had to offer comparisons, I'd say that this composition is a forceful, explosive amalgam of Masterplan and Pink Cream 69.

'Regicide', 'Children Of The Sacred Path', 'Guilty As Charged' and 'Hail To The King' are a quality quartet of tunes that will take your breath away. They initially feel like "Rock Opera" material, but these are stand-alone, rousing tales from ancient history, predominantly concentrating on the demise of regal entities. 'Kingdom Of The Blind', 'Headstrong' and 'Red Flag' are three more frantically delivered ditties, while 'Losing My Mind' is reminiscent of Pink Cream 69 and 'Last Farewell' being a moody, stripped-back affair.

Like the debut, 'Kingslayer' also comes in a wonderfully produced digi-book. When you factor in the phenomenal music as well... put simply, what are you waiting for? A rifferiffic release!

Dave Crompton

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  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
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  • Berny : @the trapps: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. The magazine is now available in your downloads section.
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  • tomandpam : I paid for a download on issue 89 and didn't receive the download. Please let me know when I can get it. Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Fireworks Magazine #89 will be available at selected UK based newsagents on December 16th. The digital version can already be purchased in our Download Store.
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  • SeaDog57 : Berny; there are only links up to Fireworks 86. Which is kinda strange because i already downloaded CD 87 but i'm looking for the link to CD 88...Chris
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  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
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  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
  • bpomper : hello i purchased fireworks #88 through paypal on9/23 and have not recieved an email from rocktopia. purchase is for a hard copy of the mag. should i have cd download instructions.when should i expect it
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