First encountered in 2019, the Swedish project Gathering Of Kings has builtn an audience among melodic rockers and for good reason too.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Gathering Of Kings
LABEL: RN Records
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Jonny Lindkvist, Rick Altzi, Apollo Papathanasio, Tobias Jansson, Alexander Frisborg – vocals * Victor Olsson, Magnus Mild – guitars * Joel Selsfors – keyboards * Mikael Planefeldt – bass * Jonas Källsbäck, Efraim Larsson – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Galacticus * 02 Vagabond Rise * 03 Here Be Dragons * 04 Firefly * 05 How The Mighty Have Fallen * 06 A Rainbow And A Star * 07 The Prophecy * 08 Feed You My Love * 09 Clone Trooper * 10 Long Kiss Goodnight * 11 New Life * 12 Lionheart * 13 Fool’s Cabaret (Bonus)
WEBLINKS: Site Link
First encountered in 2019, the Swedish project Gathering Of Kings has developed an appreciative audience among melodic rockers and for good reason too. I’m not just speaking for myself when it comes to the merits of this band, because it’s all there for listeners to hear across their three album body of work.
Though the project driven nature of this collective might negate some of the attitudes of long-in-the-tooth melodic rockers, it’s countered by some impressive music mostly. I say mostly, because some tracks work better than others, and that’s all due to who’s singing. It has to be said that not everyone can be a Steve Perry within this genre. Lol.
GOK (as they are affectionately known) do know how to put an impressive package together if one looks purely at the cover art. Fetching isn’t it? Kudos to the project management team of this band and album. Let’s check out some of the songs then.
‘Galacticus’ is the album’s opening interlude, an absolute pompous intro if I’ve ever heard. It leads into the mighty ‘Vagabond Rise’ complete with AOR-tastic synths and a chorus from heaven. ‘Here Be Dragons’ is played in a style closer to H.E.A.T. and Eclipse. I think GOK can easily go head to head with those two great Swedish bands. ‘Firefly’ delivers a good combo of keys and guitars, whereas ‘How The Mighty Have Fallen’ infuses a Celtic flavour played out in an epic style.
‘A Rainbow And A Star’ is the album’s ballad which didn’t do a lot for me unfortunately. The Prophecy’ is much better though, helped by a racier tempo and loads of melody. ‘Feed You My Love’ is an enjoyable romp with additional female lead and choir backing vocals which adds a different component. GOK revert to ‘type’ on the sci-fi styled ‘Clone Trooper’, I would have loved for this to be more aligned toward a pomp laden space opera, though it stays entrenched in hard rock territory unfortunately.
Spicy keyboard work introduces ‘Long Kiss Goodnight’ though the song itself is not a real standout. ‘New Life’ is kept to a mid-tempo pace, again not particularly strong or dominant but has a good proportion of melody especially the vocal choruses. ‘Lionheart’ also operates at half pace, but the chorus exemplifies the anthem that this track obviously is. ‘Fool’s Cabaret’ is the bonus track, and is one of the better compositions. It’s a wonder it never made the main album.
For me, the star of the show is keyboardist Joel Selsfors, it’s his ivory work that lays the foundation for everyone else to add their vital contributions. The swapping of lead vocals between tracks has been mentioned previously and for me it’s still an issue.
Of the three albums so far, ‘Enigmatic’ to me feels like it is the most cohesive, but to be fair by this stage they’ve had three shots at perfecting their sound. Though this review is months late, it hovers in my top 20 albums for 2022 so far, though I’m certain others will hear it differently. Check it out for yourself.
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