Nima : In 2008 the Czech Symphonity delivered its strong debut, ’Voice From The Silence’, on which they came with sturdy, but rather standard symphonic power metal. But the band impressed by strong songwriting, and the fact that the vocals were done by Olaf Hayer (Dionysus, ex-Luca Turilli) of course also helped.
The sequel took a long time, but in late September ‘King Of Persia’ was finally a fact. Whenever an album takes eight years in the making, the expectations are obviously high. Fortunately the band not only meets the expectations, but even surpasses them. On ‘King Of Persia’ the gentlemen continue in the same style as on the debut, but it have raised the whole to a much higher level. Also here the songs are packed with powerful, catchy riffs and fantastic guitar work, supported by the for this genre equally important keyboards. Thus, the sturdy power metal passages are much more powerful and the symphonic pieces much more exciting, and therefore catchier. Moreover, the record is also much more varied than its predecessor. On top of it all the gentlemen have also significantly developed on instrumental level (which was already thick on order) and show a highly talented and professional band.
Hayer is again present on this album, but must share his position with Sinbreed's Herbie Langhans. A good move by the band to get Langhans for this album, because let's be honest, the fact that Hayer is an excellent singer (that especially shines on ‘In The Name Of God’) is not in question here, but his voice is pretty cliché. Langhans however, has a rawer voice and that fits much better with the heavier songs and gives the music a darker vibe. Listen to songs such as 'The Choice', 'Flying' or 'Children Of The Light' and you’ll know what I mean. And of course this has also been to the benefit of the variety. Besides that, with the sturdy 'Unwelcome' and especially the magnificent, majestic, epic title track in which the men go in duet with each other, the album reaches its absolute highlights. Don’t get me wrong though, because the rest of the songs are all excellent compositions and contain many highlights and Goosebumps moments. I am however less charmed with the ballads ‘A Farewell That Was Not Meant To Be’ and ‘Siren Call’, which ruin the momentum of the album and make the mood collapse. Without these ballads, the album definitely would have scored higher.
But anyway, altogether ‘King Of Persia’ is an excellent symphonic power metal album, and definitely one of the better albums in this genre in the recent years. Fans of the genre and of bands like Rhapsody, Angra, Magic Kingdom, Iron Mask, Dionysus, Sinbreed and co. can purchase this album without a second thought.