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The Last Reign - Evolution

The Last Reign
by Neil Cook at 26 October 2020, 9:48 AM

So a concept album with a Sci-Fi story about the worlds resources being depleted and Mankind’s uncertain quest to secure it’s future.  Sound familiar?  I believe it might be called 2021!

But no it is Buffalo’s Melo Death quartet THE LAST REIGN’s 2nd full length offering since their creation in 2015.  With only guitarist Brian Platter being the last ma standing from that time, the record showcases the new band, especially the vocals of Adam Svensson, with a range of high wails and darkest growls, they have, with the other members created a perfectly suitable facsimile of a late 90’s Melodic Death album.

And on one level this is both a good thing and a problem.  The for the first few tracks, the opening cinematic instrumental “Genesis”, the sort of title track “Evolution of the Ancients” up to “Ironclad Torment” the formula is set some strong mid-paced melodic Metal sung very well and with the odd use of a breakdown.  However then every song that follows sticks EXACTLY to the pattern.  And after a while I found my attention waning, feeling I had heard it before, which makes it feel like a real long time before we get to “Architects Of Genocide”, which is one song which does buck the trend, and is a very strong closer indeed, but could get overlooked.

Which is a shame because they are clearly accomplished musicians, and there is some great guitar work and vocals on display. The production is fresh and clear, but I cannot help feeling it would have been a better package paired down to about 6 songs and presented as an EP, or even perhaps 2 EPs put out over time.  I think the songs and musicianship would have stood up better, and it wouldn’t have hurt the concept, Heck you could have possibly even made it a trilogy.  But shorter sharper chunks of this would have gone down easier.

So it is a mediocre score for the overall package I’m afraid, a case of less would have been more.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Genesis
2. Evolution Of A Decaying Race
3. Annihilation Of The Ancients
4. Ironclad Torment
5. The Hourglass
6. Fallen Dark
7. No Horizon
8. Terminal Threshold
9. The Storm
10. Devoid
11. Luminosity
12. Architects Of Genocide
Adam Svensson - Vocals
Beian Platter -  Guitar
Joe Maggio - Bass
Vince Mayer - Drums
Record Label: Blue Hollow Records


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