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Gathering of Kings – Enigmatic

Gathering of Kings
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 07 September 2022, 3:41 PM

Swedish Melodic Hard Rockers GATHERING OF KINGS third studio album "Enigmatic" was released on July 29th via RN Records. The album was mixed and mastered by award-winning producer Thomas "Plec" Johansson in Skövde, Sweden with Ron Dahlgren, Nina Dahlgren and Victor Olsson as executive producers. The songs were written and produced by Victor Olsson. Drums were recorded at Nordic Sound Lab in Skara by Mikko Viitala and Victor Olsson. The cover artwork was created by Markus Vesper, who also handled the art on the previous two albums. The album features a guest appearance from the Swedish pop group ONE MORE TIME. Its members are the singers Nanne Grönvall, one of the most beloved and popular artists in Sweden, Maria Rådsten and Peter Grönvall, the son of ABBA's Benny Andersson, on keyboards.

The album contains twelve songs. “Galacticus” is the first. It’s a short, mood-setting instrumental, with plenty of spacy keyboards. “Vagabond Rise” is the first proper track. It’s energetic, with a great mix of keys and guitars. The vocalist has quite a range and control over his voice, and the music is quite catchy, especially with the harmonized layers in the chorus. The production is top notch as well. “Here Be Dragons” features a sleazier riff with plenty of attitude. The balance with keyboards and guitars is one of the better elements on the album. Neither assumes the driver’s seat per se, and both allow the other to shine in equal increments. “How the Mighty Have Fallen” begins with some playful, Folky notes in the guitars. The vocalist is different, with a raspy edge to his voice. The sound comes full circle in the chorus, with a reprisal of the Folk elements after.

“A Rainbow and a Star” is a softer, more introspective offering, with charming vocals and a sweet, longing sound. The pure, clean vocalist is back once again. It’s a Power Ballad of sorts. “Feed You My Love” is another slower offering with poignant melodies and a sound that takes you back to the melodies of the 1980’s, for those of you who are old enough to remember those great days. Once again, it’s the chorus that really shines. If you don’t think the title is suggestive, wait until you hear the lyrics (hint, hint). “Long Kiss Goodnight” is a heavy keyboard number with the raspy voiced singer once again. The sound here is seductive, with plenty of backing vocals. “New Life” has that positive reinforcing sound that just makes you feel good. Big hooks will reel you into the song, which has plenty of wondrous melodies.

“Lionheart” closes the album. It’s a mid-tempo, steady rocker, that you can’t help but tap your foot along with. Again, the chorus contains the most melodies. One thing that the band can do quite well is drive that sound home in the chorus. What a pleasant album! They key to this big, rich sound is the balance that the band maintains in the music. You can tell that that this group of musicians are seasoned, because their detail to the various songwriting aspects are keen. Enjoy the plethora of melodies they put forth, and may they last until the end of your days.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Galacticus
2. Vagabond Rise
3. Here Be Dragons
4. Firefly
5. How The Mighty Have Fallen
6. A Rainbow and a Star
7. The Prophecy
8. Feed You My Love
9. Clone Trooper
10. Long Kiss Goodnight
11. New Life
12. Lionheart
Jonny Lindkvist – Vocals
Rick Altzi – Vocals
Apollo Papathanasio – Vocals
Tobias Jansson – Vocals
Alexander Frisborg – Vocals
Victor Olsson – Guitar
Magnus Mild – Guitar
Mikael Planefeldt – Bass
Jonas Källsbäck – Drums
Efraim Larsson – Drums
Joel Selsfors – Keyboards
Record Label: RN Records


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