17 Oct 2018
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Shepherds Reign - Album Review - Shepherds Reign

15 Oct 2018 // Review by Matt McGrath

New Zealand is world renown for Polynesian musicians, groups like Deceptikonz, Nesian Mystik and Aaradhna are some of the first to come to mind. So, it was surprising to hear of a band breaking the mould and coming straight outta South Auckland into the Kiwi Metal scene. Possibly the first band of its kind, Shepherds Reign brings their own flavour to the scene with their debut, self-titled album.

The opening track to the album Reign is unexpected and hard-hitting, with an extremely catchy rhythm that goes hand in hand with the chant-like chorus. We are greeted with massive melody and powerful solos that slide into the structure perfectly. End of the Trial brings an angrier approach to the album drawing some clear discontent and then erupting into heroic power chords creating an almost fairytale-like feel.

The third song Concrete Walls shows signs of the band's capability to be radio friendly and provides a palatable experience. Accompanied by a music video we can see why the band has chosen this to be the single. Sporting more contagious melodies and lyrics that resound in our heads brought home by a tear shredder solo. A well-rounded representation of what this band is capable of commercially.

From one extreme to the other Legend packs a solid punch, masked by its graceful piano intro, this track is probably the heaviest song on the album. Not to be fooled by the exciting dynamic of the big choruses that we have now become familiar with; this track is definitely a personal favourite. More piano in the next track provides an interestingly nice turn into the lighter side of things with Take Me Back. Slow and sad with awesome instrumentation coming together with a tale of heartbreak to make an authentic ballad.

It is crazy how well this band's music resonates together with each song being quite different, the lead and rhythm sailing along accompanied by piano like in the song Death. Short and sharp the drumming on this album is on point and so effective in providing the heaviness precisely when needed. Angel in Black displays yet again the well thought out structures with an almost alternative rock sound, big and powerful while still keeping the metal theme intact.

Drawing attention to the bands clear 90's influenced sound, Why Can't You Die further reinforces this bands diversity and potential to be unique in an unforgiving genre. Wrapping up the album in an almost Deftones like fashion, leaving us with a desire to hear more. An all-around showcase of what this band is capable of, exploring realms never seen before in the Kiwi metal scene.

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )
 

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