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Shepherds Reign - Album Review - Shepherds Reign

15 Oct 2018 // A review by Matt Mutinous

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 )
 

About Shepherds Reign

Hailing from the deep Polynesian stronghold of South Auckland, Shepherds Reign have stamped their powerful mark on the New Zealand and international music scene in a very short amount of time, creating a huge buzz from their live shows. Combining the traditional and ancient music of their forefathers with modern rock and metal influences including bands like Gojira, Avenged Sevenfold and Dream Theater, Shepherds Reign have found their own unique sound in a cluttered and overblown musical environment.

Unlike any heavy artist, Shepherds Reign bring a captivating and enthralling sound with the use of the Samoan language, instruments and culture, making it an integral part of their live show. The evocative and primal live show displays a fierce pride for their music that wins the audience every time with its blood pumping ritualistic beats, thick melodic textures and an undeniable power that hooks the audience into the bands dark and heavy realm completely.

A fifteen date tour of New Zealand as special guests of Devilskin's RED NZ tour 2020 cemented a place for Shepherds Reign as a force to be reckoned with and won them a huge swathe of new fans. Paul Martin, bassist for Devilskin and producer of The Axe Attack commented “I totally knew our audience would love these guys! I can’t remember being this excited over a band for a long time. They completely blow me away with everything they do, attitude, commitment, passion and an unashamedly distinctive sound. But the real magic is in the songs. Powerful, compelling and totally undeniable.”

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Shepherds Reign

Releases

Shepherds Reign
Year: 2018
Type: Album

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