Gathering Of Kings is the Swedish project that fuses prog, Hard rock and AOR, with a cast of thousands turning up with an invite.
Written by: DEMONAOR
ARTIST: Gathering Of Kings
LABEL: RN Records
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Sweden
LINEUP: Rick Altzi – lead vocals (3,12), backing vocals (3,9,11,12) * Jonny Lindkvist – lead vocals (4,8) * Apollo Papathanasio – lead vocals (2,9), backing vocals (2,5,8,9) * Tobias Jansson – lead vocals (6,7,11), backing vocals (2,3,6,7,11) *Alexander Frisborg – lead vocals (5,10), backing vocals (2,3,5,6,8,10,11,12) * Victor Olsson – guitars (2-12), bass (2,4-7,9-12), keyboards (1-12), backing vocals (2-12) * Efraim Larsson – drums (2-8) * Jonas KГ¤llsbГ¤ck – drums (9-12)
Additional Musicians: Nalle Pahlsson – bass (3,8) * Joel Selsfors – keyboard solo (12) * Erik Gafvelin Wiss – keyboard solo (7) * Henrik Sethsson – backing vocals (10) * Theresia Svensson – backing vocals (6,7,10) * Ron Dahlgren – backing vocals (10) * Mathias Kihlberg – flute (9)
TRACK LISTING: 01 Starsleeper * 02 Riders Of The Light * 03 Heaven On The Run * 04 December * 05 Highway To Paradise * 06 The One That Got Away * 07 Lorelei * 08 Moonlight * 09 Revelation * 10 Kiss From Above 11 From A Whisper To A Scream * 12 Final Hour
‘The original idea of Gathering Of Kings started as a Swedish equivalent to the 1980’s concept Phenomena, where a collective of singers and musicians would together create keyboard-driven and well-produced AOR. The debut album, ‘First Mission’, was arguably one of the absolute best albums of 2019 and featured many of Sweden’s most prominent musicians and singers in this genre.
With the sequel ‘Discovery’ you have thrown something into the artist and the music lineup and what we have are some heavy names like Bjorn Strid and Erik Martensson. This has consolidated the essence of the project and makes me believe that Gathering Of Kings led by Nestor Victor Olsson is moving away from being just a project and towards actually being a ‘real’ band. How does that sound?
On this sequel the recognition factor is high and you land stylistically close to the predecessor. Undoubtedly, they have once again succeeded in producing an album where you dot all the classic ingredients for how an AOR plate of rank should sound: well played, with a slick production and good songs that sit down.
But where ‘First Mission’ piled up potential hit after hit where this one feels more like a smooth and solid record where fewer songs stand out. Of course, there are some excellent exceptions. Two of the singles from the record, ‘Heaven On The Run’ and ‘Kiss From Above’ are real heights and easily placed on the debut. I also like ‘Highway To Paradise’ and ‘From A Whisper To A Scream’.
If Gathering Of Kings is formed to become more of a band than a project and a third album is planned, the concept should be given space to develop. Personally, I think the idea would feel good to let in other songwriters and possibly producers without, for that matter, losing their ‘red thread’ musically. No doubt, however, ‘Discovery’ will spin well on my turntable this summer. It feels like a safe and pleasant musical experience, and you may need it in the current circumstances.
Kiss From Above
From A Whisper To A Scream