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Royal Quest - The Tale of Man

Royal Quest
The Tale of Man
by MarcusTheRocker at 08 July 2015, 3:54 PM

Writing your first Rock/Metal opera is going to be one hell of an ambitious task especially if you are an artist who writes and performs everything themselves. Also, you need to find something to base your opera on as you don’t want to do the same thing that everyone else has done plus you need to think about how to arrange it and who you want to appear on it. Once you sort that, you’re good to go - but don’t muck it up or else your hard work will have been for naught, as I have seen a few cases where they do sound good but they have too many problems to be really viewed as listenable compositions.

The subject of today’s review is a Greek band who this year release their debut album which takes the shape of a Rock/Metal opera. The band name is ROYAL QUEST and their debut “The Tale of Man” is based around the play Eternal Champion by Michael Moorcock. Formed in 1998 in Athens Greece, the project is fronted by Yannis Androulakakis who is the main brains behind the band in terms of composition and songwriting. I guess you could go so far as to call ROYAL QUEST a solo project of Yannis with a few guest musicians playing/performing with him - not entirely unlike the German powerhouse band AVANTASIA, lead by Tobias Sammet (of EDGUY).

This album has been something that has been in the works for a long time but due to several setbacks or delays, it took a good number of years before it was finally ready. The finished product seems to use a Power Metal style approach to the music while adding in a few elements that is very reminiscent of Medieval music which in itself adds a bit of variety and flair to the arrangements.

One thing I will give Yannis points for is the technicality of the performances, as everyone involved gives it their best to make this long awaited debut as good as it can be and indeed there are moments when that shines - be it the vocalists or the medieval/symphonic arrangements. Unfortunately though not everything is perfect as there are few elements which do put me off.

The composition is my main concern, as although I do give it points for flowing continuously with no real breaks or gaps between songs - meaning it’s one long tale split up into the 14 or so tracks that make up this album - the way the compositions have been arranged can often sometimes sound a bit messy and all over the place, meaning you can never really tell what’s going on or make out what each instrument is playing.

However it’s not just the compositions that I have issues with, as the long track length of some of the songs are also a major concern for me as sometimes they seem to drag on too long and you can never tell when the song is going to end or if you’re listening to the next one after it. The production is my final concern as unfortunately, this part does not seem to fix the somewhat messy compositions and arrangements, meaning that you’ll probably spend more time trying to make out anything in the music instead of actually finding enjoyment in listening to the melodies.

Bottom line, for an album that has been in the works for years, the finished product just sounds and feels a bit too clunky and messy for my liking which is a shame as there is potential to be had here. I will give it some credit for incorporating a combination of Medieval and Symphonic elements as there are moments when you do appreciate these parts of the music as well as the effort put in by the performers but unfortunately, the somewhat messy compositions and the okay-ish production let this album down. Give it a listen by all means if you like Power Metal or Rock/Metal operas but if you’re worried about finding good music to listen to, then don’t risk it as chances are this one will probably miss the mark for you.

3 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. Rising Empire
3. Days of War (Intro)
4. Days of War
5. The Reign of Law
6. In the Name of Man
7. Dark Ages
8. Dark Lords Words
9. The Cave of the Dead
10. Moonstone
11. The Realm of Chaos, Part I: The Encounter
12. The Realm of Chaos, Part II: The Prayer
13. The Realm of Chaos, Part III: Umbralith
14. The Last Scene
Yannis Androulakakis - Guitars, Programming, Vocals
Vasilis Axiotis - Vocals
Angeliki Frangos -Vocals (female)
Kalliopi Mitropoulou - Violin
Basil - Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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