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Orion’s Reign – Scores of War (Reissue)

Orion’s Reign
Scores of War (Reissue)
by Eric Poulin at 02 March 2021, 9:02 AM

ORION’S REIGN is a symphonic power metal that started in 2001 and hails from Athens, Greece. This is a reissue of their 2018 album “Scores of War” which was the band’s second full-length release, originally through Pride and Joy Music. “Elder Blood” has some really powerful choirs before having a full-fledged assault and some really long high notes from Daniel Vasconcelos, who has quite the set of pipes. I find there are some similarities with SABATON in how the band has very high energy. The vocals are rather different from the latter, but they pack quite the punch.

“Together We March” for some reason reminded me of when JUDAS PRIEST changed singers and brought in Tim Owens, most likely because there are times when the singer hits certain notes that have a similar range. The music is again entirely different, but the song is not always in a rapid-fire mode, it has some slower portions that add some variety to the song. “Gravewalker” has a bit of that EVERGREY feel to it, as relies a little more on the gothic side of things, and in some manner you can attribute this song to the category of THERION who have mastered the art of symphonic metal for over 25 years. The track is a bit slower in tempo and I think that shows the versatility the band is capable of.

“An Adventure Song” sounds like a mixture of BLIND GUARDIAN and RHAPSODY since it uses a more medieval themes and a structure that has been akin especially to the Italian power metal legends. Again, I think it is necessary for bands to use a slower pace (think of HAMMERFALL) to convey different emotions and change things up on an album of this genre. A song like “Nostos” is something I originally got used to from a band called FALCONER, it is epic (without being a long song) and yet still has the feeling of being a journey. If you wondered if this band can have a well-performed ballad and not sound too cliché, well they have one on here called “Withering Heart” which is very genuine and helps the main vocalist show off his passion and abilities maybe more than any of the other songs, as the focus is more on the lyrics and the delivery.

The original album closer “Ride to War” has some interesting screams in the vocals that are not the typical and really has all the makings of a good album ender, keeping things positive and ending the album on a good note. There are few bonus tracks on this version including probably the most unique version I have ever heard of SLAYER and “Raining Blood”, it has all the violent nature of the original but with the added choirs and symphonic elements, it adds a lot of power to it. I never imagined one day to hear a power metal cover such a song, but they did a marvelous job on this one. The other 2 bonus tracks mingle very well with the rest of the album, revisiting some of the same themes.

It must have been about 10 years since I had listened to a symphonic power metal and there is a unique nature to the songs, even if they use many quintessential parts to them that fans have come to expect. The production is top notch as well and all the songs have a good flow to them. If you are into this genre; I am certain you will appreciate this re-issue.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Elder Blood
2.Together We March
3. Gravewalker
4. The Undefeated Gaul
5. An Adventure Song
6. Freedom Is Not Negotiable
7. Nostos
8. Warrior's Pride
9. Withering Heart
10. Last Stand
11. Ride to War
12. Way to Purgatory
13. Raining Blood
14. Dragonborn
Lineup:
Geo Strife - Guitars
Noel Kardaris - Drums
Michael Batistatos - Guitars (Lead), Bass
Kirk Gazouleas - Keyboards
Daniel Vasconcelos – Vocals
Record Label: Pride & Joy Music
     


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Edited 11 April 2021
 

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