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Fallen Order - The Age Of Kings

Fallen Order
The Age Of Kings
by Andrew Sifari at 14 March 2014, 1:17 PM

On their debut recording “The Age of Kings”, New Zealand’s FALLEN ORDER bring the listener back to the halcyon days of Heavy Metal with a combination of catchy melodies, galloping beats, and powerful riffs across the five-song EP. The band formed in 2005 in Lower Hutt, New Zealand, adding vocalist Hamish Murray in 2007 and guitarist Kieran Gallagher in 2009 to fill out their lineup, and have been playing live ever since.

From the album’s opening riffs, it is clear that FALLEN ORDER, like countless other bands, owe a huge debt to IRON MAIDEN, sonically and thematically. “The Age of Kings” is not a simple exercise in hero worship, however, and the band plays with a noticeable confidence, especially guitarists Kieran Gallagher and Ben Jays, with their speedy, MAIDEN-meets-ICED EARTH riffs and shredding guitar solos. Drummer Nikki Terror acquits himself admirably as well, providing a solid rhythmic base for the rest of the band with his precise playing. Hamish Murry’s Matt Barlow-esque vocals fit the music pretty well, but sometimes would be better served with a more aggressive delivery, as it feels like he somewhat drags the momentum of some parts down.

Opening track “Stand Together” is a strong number that does well in introducing the band’s sound; “The Age of Kings” may be their first official release, but FALLEN ORDER present themselves with an impressive amount of skill and polish. At times, the band’s classic-minded approach can seem dated, but there are several strong moments that can be attributed to their developed songwriting skills. “Falling Down”, the third track, is a good example of this, especially with its strong guitars and catchy chorus. I felt kind-of disappointed by “Beyond Death”, which could have done with a bit more aggression and bite to it to help get off the ground in the way one might hope when the song begins. It is a decent tune that has the potential to be better. The mid-tempo title track doesn’t hit the mark quite as well, and its 9+ minute length doesn’t help much, but it is still another solid offering that takes little, if anything, away from the EP’s overall quality.

Overall, “The Age of Kings” flies the flag of classic Heavy Metal high from beginning to end. It is a decent first effort the band would do well to build upon in the future, as it is enjoyable, but not perfect. If you’ve got a passion for traditional Heavy Metal, this is a release worth checking out.

3 Star Rating

1. Stand Together
2. Sign Your Life Away
3. Falling Down
4. Beyond Death
5. The Age of Kings
Hamish Murray - Vocals
Ben Jays - Guitar
Kieran Gallagher - Guitar
Tooley - Bass
Nikki Terror – Drums
Record Label: Stormspell Records


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