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Eternal Reign – The Dawn of Reckoning: Review

Eternal Reign is another spawn of German power metal, and released their newest album on August 6 entitled The Dawn of Reckoning. It has been nearly five years since their last album. Though one would expect this significant period of time to have a positive effect on the overall quality of the album, it unfortunately does not show here.

The Music (rating: B)

  1. Drowned
  2. Beyond the BLack
  3. Lords of Chaos
  4. Shadows of the Past
  5. Emptiness Devours
  6. Lost Clouds
  7. Forgotten Sunrise
  8. The Beast Within
  9. Devil and Daughter
  10. Gone Too Far
  11. Still Remains

In this album, the band follows the general guidelines to power metal quite strictly. There are a couple of sections that are peppered with progressive characteristics, but overall it does very little outside power metal. There are speedy guitar riffs with a hefty amount of double-bass and straight, fast basslines. The vocals are high (not Daniel Heiman high) and somewhat similar to Fates Warning vocalist, Ray Alder… somewhat.

The vocalist is probably the most standout of all the instruments. The guitar riffs are rather simple and standard to the power metal scene, and the solos are easily forgotten. The drums are basically filler, sticking to the snare/hi-hat patterns with underlying double-bass; it gets stale after a while. Regarding the bass, the instrument does not even make an attempt to put itself out there. It is mostly just single-note picking. Also, the keyboards fulfilled its duties as an atmospheric presence, but at times became awkward when given the spotlight (particularly with accentuation). None of the non-vocal instruments are bad, but at no point did any of them impress me.

They all gave a lot of room for the vocalist, Dirk Stühmer, but not enough was done on his part. With certainty, he was the highlight performer on the album, and is no doubt a talented vocalist. However, his technical flaws are visible and his phrasing is short of spectacular. From time to time, his voice feels forced and results in a seemingly unnatural tonality. Additionally, his phrasing is sometimes predictable and dull. However, he does have a commendable range which he is not shy to display, and the power of his voice is highly suitable to the genre. But it was as though the band put all their faith in him to make this The Dawn of Reckoning an extraordinary, special album,  which he was unable to do.

Although I may have made it seem like there was much wrong with The Dawn of Reckoning, that was not my intention. The major wrongdoing with this album is that it seemed as though the band was doing as much as possible to avoid wrongdoings. As a result, they created a generic, standardized power metal album. There are a few good things with it (the vocalist, the execution, etc.), but nothing great enough to convince me to recommend this album. It is only for fans of the band and possibly the genre.

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