You would be forgiven for reading the title of Almanac’s new album, Kingslayer, and thinking ‘wow they’ve written a Game Of Thrones inspired album. But before you start thinking that the German power metallers have delivered you an album in which they look of the lives of Jon Snow, Khaleesi and more importantly the KIngslayer himself Jamie Lannister I should tell you that just like on their first album, Tsar, the band has turned to real life history, and not fairytales, for their inspiration behind the album…. and what an album it is. Taking inspiration from Pirate Queens who wouldn’t die and schizophrenic kings this is a walk through history like you have never experienced before.
While described as power metal there is also a strong sense of symphonic metal around Kingslayer… an album that has fast become one of my favourite albums of the year. From the opening track, ‘Regicide’ this is an album that wins you over with its amazing blend of vocal coming from David Readman, Jeanette Marchewka and Andy B. Franck. Then comes ‘Children Of The Sacred Path’ which sees ex-Rage guitarist Victor Smolski deliver some absolutely brilliant axe work.
There are no weak tracks at all on Kingslayer. ‘Guilt As Charged’ again showcases the trio of vocalists while ‘Hail To The King’, which takes a look at some Sri Lankian history, conjures up a smooth 1980s rock vibe. ‘Losing My Mind’ has musical twists and turns all through it while the very short title track, ‘Kingslayer’ again showcases the talents of Smolski on guitar.
One of the best tracks on the album is ‘Kingdom Of The Blind’ which really does see the symphonic side of Almanac as the tracks just keeps building and building to some truly amazing epic heights. That sound continues with ‘Headstrong’ before ‘Last Farewell’ takes a turn towards folk metal. The album then closes with the triumphant sounding ‘Red Flag’ which again sees Smolski stand up and deliver the goods.
Kingslayer is an amazing album that really does show why Almanac is a band that the world must sit up and take notice of. This is a stunning follow-up to Tsar and is an album that is very easy to fall in love with. The talent of Almanac is outstanding and hopefully, this is a band that is around for many years to come.