Released 24th November 2017
Delivering tales of tyrants, murdered kings and despots surrounded by some wonderfully epic sounding anthems and powerful symphonic melodies, Almanac have hit the nail on the head with their new album, Kingslayer. The lyrics are all based on true stories so no wizards, dungeons and dragons here, just history but enveloped in the mastery of the music.
It’s huge! Three vocalists and a talented band lead by guitarist Victor Smolski plus spot on production have given this album a ‘must have’ label for all fans of heavy symphonic rock.
Recorded in April 2017 at HeyDay Studios, ‘Kingslayer’ was mixed live by sound engineer Andreas Herr.
The album opens with ‘Regicide’. The tale of King Henry VIII being assassinated by a monk. It’s angry and sneering full of dirty riffs and is a hard and heavy metal track. ‘Children Of The Sacred Path’ has fast and furious paced music, “feel the rage inside” begins the lyric and this is very much how the track feels, there’s some really nice riffage in the latter part of this one. ‘Guilty As Charged’ has a lighter opening, all tinkling keys before letting the drama explode into our ears! It’s the repeated melody and shout out chorus that gets inside your head and stays there after the track finishes. ‘Hail To The King’ medieval choral opening, key and tempo changes together with the huge vocals continue the feel of the album. The lyrics may have different influences but the whole thing seems to be joined up through the drama of the music.
‘Losing My Mind’ has a slightly distorted feel to the initial arrangement. Synths and riffs riding along the top of the dramatic music. The rapid drumming and multiple vocals bringing in the hooks and catchy chorus. ‘Kingslayer’ has a deep and dark metal voice giving a narrative over a short, riff ridden track and acts as an interlude from the frenetic feeling of some of the full songs. ‘Kingdom Of The Blind’ is yet another huge song. Musically it is theatrical, the tempo varies from the rapid-fire drumming to the more melodic, but the drama continues throughout the whole track.
‘Headstrong’ grumbling deep bass-line and guitar opening with the rapid drumming lifting it back up. A very dramatic big track with a conversational lyric between the 3 leads before the vocals join together for a very big catchy chorus. ‘Last Farewell’ has a mystical soft opening with a flute playing and an acoustic guitar. A story telling vocal again, however, it’s the music and arrangement of the track with the lightness of the strings that steals this as the track of the album for me. The final track, ‘Red Flag’ has a hard and heavy orchestral string arrangement adding to the fullness of the music. The rapid paced drumming and rumbling bass-line ebb under and through the vocal. The melodic lead blends beautifully with the voices of the other singers to enhance the track. There are some blistering dual guitar riffs cracking through late in the track.
Children Of The Sacred Path
Guilty As Charged
Hail To The King
Losing My Mind
Kingdom Of The Blind
Victor Smolski – Guitars and Keyboards
Andy B Franck – Vocals
David Readman – Vocals
Jeanette Marchewka – Vocals
Athanasios ‘Zacky’ Tsoukas – Drums
Tim Rashid - Bass
Check out the band on their website: http://www.almanac.band/
Social media: www.facebook.com/AlmanacVS.band/