Florida power metal act Seven Kingdoms’ new EP In the Walls is a taste of what will hopefully be featured on their upcoming full-length, due out in January 2017. It contains four tracks: two songs off the new album and two re-recorded songs from their debut full length Brothers of the Night. Clocking in at only 20 minutes, this album teaser will definitely have you circling the calendar for the upcoming full length. There are no low points here and features what you expect from power metal; incredible musicianship, near-flawless vocals, immense strength and passion. All of which has driven Seven Kingdoms since album one.
The title track “In the Walls” gets things going with no sound effects, no quiet intro, just speed. The mix of fast-paced drumming and melody-driven guitars hit you hard from the first second and doesn’t stop. It’s only matched by the incredible singing of Sabrina Valentine, who I consider one of the premier vocalists in power metal. She takes the lyrics, based on the H.P. Lovecraft short story ‘The Rats in the Walls”, and delivers them with such passion and strength. Her style has a touch of symphonic elements that fits the music perfectly. The song stays loud, clean and strong all the way through. The second track “Undying” continues this speed and strength with a bit more somber sound, but doesn’t let up on the power. Lyrically based on the House of the Undying in George R.R. Martin’s book “A Clash of Kings”, Valentine delivers an epic performance that would make the great author proud. Couple that with superb music and you get an awesome music experience.
The other two tracks are re-recordings off of the band’s debut album Brothers of the Night, which was released in 2007 and also based on the work of Mr. Martin. The two songs chosen are “The Bloody Meadow” and “Stormborn”. For those who don’t know, Sabrina Valentine was not the singer in the first record. I was curious to see her take on these songs and needless to say she succeeded mightily. “The Bloody Meadow” (my favorite tune from the original album) is the longest track here, but it doesn’t feel that way at all. The music sounds cleaner, the production is better and Sabrina’s vocals fit perfectly. The song also feels more passionate than the original recording. The final track, Stormborn, is the shortest track and is more of a speed metal tune with harsh vocals, which is becoming more common in power metal. This is the perfect way to end the EP because of the powerful ending.
Thanks to a great crowdfunding campaign, this EP came to fruition. When the fans want something they will do what they can to get it. Seven Kingdoms has delivered a great stop-gap for the fans and then some. In the Walls is a perfect precursor to the upcoming full-length and gives the best of the best from these Floridian power metallers. If the LP matches the intensity here Seven Kingdoms will have a beast of a record, and that sounds quite awesome!