Yes, everyone, it’s power metal time! But not the female-fronted power metal you’re used to hearing. No choirs, no classical instrumentation, no operatic singing whatsoever. Just plain ol’ in-your-face power metal with lots of solos, fantasy lyrics, and one of the most versatile young singers on the scene. Oh, and some death growls, progressive twists, and bits of speed and thrash metal thrown in for good measure. This is how Seven Kingdoms does power metal, and boy does it kick ass!
Seven Kingdoms actually originated out of the Florida (U.S.) death metal scene. The band’s original vocalist, grunter Bryan Edwards, who was a big fan of author George R.R. Martin’s fantasy novel saga A Song of Fire and Ice. (FYI: The series’ first book, A Game of Thrones, is now a hugely popular TV mini-series.) Hence, Seven Kingdoms’ name and the lyrical content of band’s debut album, Brothers of the Night, were all inspired by the series. Fast forward to 2008: The band shifts its style from death metal to power metal – and opts for a versatile female vocalist in Sabrina Valentine.
Seven Kingdoms, released in July 2010 through Nightmare Records, is currently the band’s only release as a female-fronted band. The best way to describe the album is a heavy metal soundtrack to a fantasy film. Different songs on the album could represent battle cries, calls for vengeance, the epic climax, and even the mournful dirge. The most impressive part about Seven Kingdoms is Sabrina’s vocals. She has the range, emotion, and projection that could rival Floor Jansen and some of the other well-known big voices in “femme metal.” I could tell you so much more about this album – but then we’d be here a while! So if you’d like to know more about my thoughts on Seven Kingdoms, just click here to read my review of it at Sonic Cathedral.
Which songs by Seven Kingdoms would I recommend? Well, to start off, here’s “Somewhere Far Away,” the first song I had ever heard by Seven Kingdoms (thanks to Femme Metal’s Beauty & Brutality compilation album). It’s one of their shorter and more straightforward songs, and a great example of their fierce sound.
My fellow Sonic Cathedral and UtF writer Robin is also a huge Seven Kingdoms fan. (She’s actually the one responsible for me discovering the band – so thanks, Robin!) If she was writing this article, I know she would urge you to check out their ballad “A Murder Never Dead.” I do, too. It’s such a beautiful, heart-aching piece, and one of my favorites on Seven Kingdoms.
And I have to share Seven Kingdoms’ namesake song with you. It’s the longest and craziest track the band has done to date – and that’s why I adore it. Here’s a video of the band performing “Seven Kingdoms” during their North American tour with Blind Guardian this past fall.
If you live in Florida or on the U.S. East Coast, chances are you might be able to check out a Seven Kingdoms gig this year. Click here for the band’s current list of upcoming dates. More shows may be announced in the near future, too!
Seven Kingdoms are:
- Sabrina Valentine – Vocals
- Camden Cruz – Guitars
- Kevin Byrd – Guitars
- Keith Byrd – Drums
- Aaron Sluss – Bass
Learn more about Seven Kingdoms by visiting their official website, Myspace, Facebook, LastFM, and ReverbNation pages. You can buy Seven Kingdoms at Nightmare Records’ webstore, Sonic Cathedral, iTunes, or Amazon.