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Antioch - Antioch IV: Land Of No Kings Award winner

Antioch IV: Land Of No Kings
by Max Elias at 29 September 2019, 8:25 AM

From the same savage landscape of roaring guitars, harmonies, and blissful shredding that gave us bands like IRON MAIDEN, come ANTIOCH, who released their fourth album. By now, they managed to make fist-pumping, melodic Heavy Metal that is straightforward and yet, ageless.

The epic first notes of “Screams In The North” let you know that something wicked comes your way, as the driving mid-tempo gallop of drums signals the arrival of the main riff. The vocals are mostly stoic and soaring, although occasionally they dip (rather successfully) into 3 INCHES OF BLOOD territory. The harmonized licks intensify, as “Beware The Black Hand” kicks off. The song ebbs and flows between vocals and guitars, providing the melody, all while the rhythm section pounds out a battle charge. Things only escalate from there when the title track “Land Of No Kings” comes on. The riffing is constantly in-your-face and melodically charged throughout, but what really sells it is the infectious quasi-chanted vocals. They make you feel less like a listener and more like a participant in the story of the song.

Though classic, Melodic Heavy Metal is the main course here, forays into other genres do not faze ANTIOCH. The screeching 3 INCHES OF BLOOD vocals return on “Dungeon Runner”, which is an exploration of the Thrasher side of Metal. Riffs that cut instead of stomp, a vocalist that sounds like he’s caught between being in pain and inflicting pain on others, and faster, more acrobatic drumming all flesh out the just-under-3-minute beast of a song. The maniacal attack is complemented by the more mellow, catchy “Hard On The Rock”, showing wisdom in song placement. The best part of it is the bouncy, twisting riff that comes in just before and under the solo - which is also an impressive bit of wizardry.

Along with “Dungeon Runner”, the other 'outsider' song on the album is “The Man Who Made the Mountains”a soft ballad that shows vocal and guitar interplay at slower speeds is just as potent. Unlike a lot of power ballads, it never turns heavy, but the atmospheric beauty is a welcome change of mood from hair-raising attack; although the strong mournful lyricism is hair-raising in another way. The album returns to form for the last few tracks, boasting more killer riffs and rousing vocal performances; even though it’s not as ‘pretty’, it’s always nice to hear the screeches come back on “Gargoyle”. To close the album, the band opts for traditionally epic and once again nails it. “One For The Grave” charges ahead with unstoppable vigor, and the multiple lead breaks are resplendent displays of technique and melodicism. For a band taking their cue from metal’s classic glory days, it’s a fitting way to end an album.

I thoroughly enjoyed this album, and can recommend it without any hesitation to anyone who likes good riffs and bands that enjoy the music they create, just as much as ANTIOCH do. You can really tell the energy and passion for metal is infused in all of ANTIOCH's songs, and that clearly reflects in "Antioch IV: Land Of No Kings".

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1 Screams In The North
2 Beware The Black Hand
3 Land Of No Kings
4 Dungeon Runner
5 Hard On The Rock
6 The Man Who Made The Mountains
7 Thunder In Hell
8 Gargoyle
9 One For The Grave
Jordan Rhyno - Bass
Alex Dupuis - Guitars
Nicholas Allaire - Vocals, Drums
Record Label: Independent


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