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Myriad Lights - Kingdom of Sand

Myriad Lights
Kingdom of Sand
by Paul Carr at 24 September 2016, 7:07 AM

This is Italian band Myriad Lights’ second album after their debut “Mark of Vengeance. On that album they offered up a mix of classic metal sounds and distinctive power metal. Here, they offer more of the same but embellish their sound with more keyboard and orchestral sounds. The band introduces the album with the moody “Desert Nights.” Atmospheric swirls and distant ethereal keyboard notes give way to urgent orchestral synths and electronics. It’s an intriguing opening before the rush of second song, “Kingdom of Sand.” It’s a power metal stormer, full of distorted guitar and theatrical, soaring vocals from Andrea Di Stefano. Moreover, Francesco Lombardo is able to show off some really adept and impressive classic metal soloing. As a whole, the song pushes and pulls with interesting use of keyboards and a stalking riff during the bridge. Unfortunately, it is also probably the best song on the album.

That is not to say there aren’t other high points here. The band is clearly in thrall to the classic era of metal. There’s are plenty of odes to JUDAS PRIEST, DIAMOND HEAD and there is certainly a touch of Bruce Dickinson's rangy howl on certain songs particularly “Abyssal March.” “The Deep” changes things up with the sounds of chains scraping along the floor over a simple acoustic guitar pattern. The song then launches into an epic metal territory with a riff that comes across like a metal Bond-theme. Unfortunately, the song highlights the limitations of Andrea Di Stefano’s range as there are a few occasions where he over reaches himself. “The Grave Chant” adds an interesting keyboard riff but is let down by some cringe worthy lyrics. There is no excuse for lines like “Now is the time for you to rise” in 2016. It just comes across as a bit depressingly cliché. This is one of the main criticisms of the album as a whole.

The album is very much split into two. “0393 Lights” signals the opening of the second side and is a beguiling interlude, featuring some yearning classic guitar playing. It marks a slowing of pace and acts as an aperitif for the grandiose “Mirror”. Here the band aims for a classic rock song in the mould of German 80s heroes Scorpions. They mostly succeed as this song wouldn’t sound out of place sound tracking a club scene in a 80s action movie. “The Waves” is a folky acoustic number. It aims to be a rollicking, nautical tale but comes across as a bit tepid and undercooked. It doesn’t completely sink but could do with more hands on deck to give it a bit more life. Thankfully the loud guitars return in “Deathbringer”. It’s a driving hard rock song with a suitably rousing chorus. Once again though the song is let down by some hackneyed lyrics such as ‘Master of the universe and warlord of the sun’. Overall, this album has plenty of positives. There are sparks of originality but at times it’s classic power metal by numbers. Similarly, there are times when they need to realize their limitations and dial down the theatrics.

Songwriting: 6/10
Originality: 6/10
Memorability: 6/10
Production: 6/10

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Desert Nights
2. Kingdom of Sand
3. Abyssal March
4. The Deep
5. The Grave Chant
6. 039 Lights
7. Mirror
8. The Waves
9. Deathbringer
10. Ascension
Lineup:
Andrea Di Stefano - Vocals
Francesco Lombardo - Guitars
Lele Mr Triton - Keys
Giuseppe Lombardo - Bass
Simone Sgarella - Drums
Record Label: Punishment 18 Records
     


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Edited 13 August 2020
 

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