After each listen of Signum Regis one appreciates what they do more and more. They don’t necessarily win you off the bat, but a love affair grows with them the more time you spend listening to them. Unfortunately into day’s myriad of European styled heavy metal bands it’s a hard job to stand out from the crowd. Also the level of musicianship is growing which makes it harder not to come across average, even when you are nothing like average. Signum Regis get a lot right in what they do, though it’s not perfect, and this is where I found my love affair with them started with the release of Chapter IV: The Reckoning.
Signum Regis is a Slovak power metal band, which was founded in 2007 by the bass player and songwriter Ronnie König. They are a little more than your standard power metal outfit and I found that they have a lot of progressive melodic elements to their interpretation of the genre.
If you like bands like Golden Resurrection and Divinfire then this is a band you need to listen to. Lyrically bold, and excellent musicianship paint the landscape of Decennium Primum. The album is consistent in its material and lyrics throughout, but it’s a hard bat as a band with the likes of a band like Golden Resurrection swimming in the same pool.
Decennium Primum does not have the greatest vocal strength for this particular genre. “Decennium Primum” the opening semi instrumental song I found not necessary. The album has a far greater strength an momentum just skipping the opening track and just starting on, “Unfold The Mystery” which reminds me of bands like Golden Resurrection, and is a good introduction to the album. “Damnatio Ad Bestias” and “Screaming For Justice” keep the power metal with melodic infrastructure going, building the momentum. “Kingdom Of Light’ brings that momentum to a simmer with its ballad overtones and accompanied by melodic guitars. It is one of the stronger songs on the album and has a big sound to it, and who does not like big metal choruses. Some great lead guitar work throughout the song. “The Future King”, “Well Deserved” and “Thunder And Rain” pick off where “Screaming For Justice” ended, and the three songs build nicely on one another, with tons of energy and passion. Lots of great guitar work, some good backbone from the bassist and drummer and though the vocals might not be the greatest they are adequate for the delivery of the lyrics, and are strengthened and supported by some great choir like choruses like on Thunder And Rain”. “Train To Neverland” and “A Psalm Of Life” give good closure to the album.
One thing you pick up on throughout the album is the guitarist. His shred mastery and amazing solo’s give the album its strength from beginning to the end, and keep the album from heading into normality. That technical prowess adds depth and character to the album, giving it a colourful back drop for the vocals and in itself the guitars speak a story of their own that accompanies the messages of the songs. Musically well-made, the album benefits from good production and energy captured throughout. As with Chapter IV: The Reckoning, this is an album for those more inclined to enjoy a bit of progressive rock infused with their power metal. It ticks most of the boxes in terms of delivery and guitar worthiness, but as an album as a whole it’s not as strong or as impactful like Golden Resurrection would do, but it does not falter in poising itself as an album that does not fall into the field of mediocrity, but instead is a stand out release of this genre.
A well executed album that gets most of the boxes ticked, and delivers to what one would expect to hear out of a European styled heavy metal band. A band and an album that you need to listen to more than once to truly appreciate.
Written by Donovan de Necker
01. Decennium Primum
02. Unfold The Mystery
03. Damnatio Ad Bestias
04. Screaming For Justice
05. Kingdom Of Light
06. The Future King
07. Well Deserved
08. Thunder And Rain
09. Train To Neverland
10. A Psalm Of Life
Ronnie König – bass guitar
Filip Koluš – guitar
Mayo Petranin – vocals
Ján Tupý – keyboards and backing vocals
Jaro Jančula – drums
Record Label: Independent, March 2017
Video below: ‘Damnatio Ad Bestias’
Video below: “Decennium Primum” (Teaser)