After an eight-year hiatus, Symphonity (previously known as Nemesis) made their comeback in 2016 with their second studio album, “King of Persia” which was released in Europe on 30th September and in the United States on the 18th November under the record label Limb music. The Czech Republic Epic power metal band has an impressive line-up, comprising of musicians from Czech, Slovakian and German nationalities. Their debut album “Voice from the Silence” won much praise from the metal audience and landed them quite a few tours. Building up on their previous fame the band has emerged back from the ashes and with a promising start and introduce us to the album with the eponymous track “King of Persia”.
Having two male vocalists, Olaf Hayer and Herbie Langhans, both juggling and leading the sound for the album, have done a tremendous job, which isn’t a common trait that any power metal bands exhibits. The album relies little on symphonic melody and heavily on pelting guitar riffs, thanks to Libor Křivák the sound changes from a core melodic to more guitar oriented and power driven. The drums and bass go hand in hand forming a solid foundation for all the songs. I would be happy pointing out that at certain instances the guitar work and the vocals felt inspired by Iron maiden.
Coming to the self-titled track,” King of Persia”, sets an eclectic ambience alluring its audience with an enchanting voice and some catchy guitar riff (It’s going to stay in your head for a while!). The song writing is at its best, all the members take it upon themselves to showcase their technical prowess, Olaf has an impressive vocal range, Libor shells out a memorable guitar riffs, Ivo Hofmann fills in the ambience with neat melodies and finishes it off with astounding solo.
Libor steals the show with a truly majestic performance on “The Choice” harmonising well with the Keys. Tracks like “In the name of God” and “Flying” have some crazy bass thumps, screeching vocals and amazing finger licks. “Children of the Light” opens with a power filled guitar lick progressing from one melody to the other effortlessly, the song gets you charged up and can be easily tagged as a favourite for all the guitar enthusiasts out there.
“Siren Call” along with “A Farewell That Wasn’t Meant to Be” are the ballads, taking a different direction from the usual tempo we were on all this while. “Siren Call” surprises us with a crisp Nylon string guitar solo. Did you know that “A Farewell That Wasn’t Meant to Be” was the bands tribute to its former bassist Tomáš Čelechovský who the band lost in his fight with cancer. I didn’t expect the likes of this to be present on this album. I’m touched. Respect.
“Live to Tell the Tale” feels straight out of the 80s Glam metal era, the band takes it on them to explore various avenues while still fitting the bill of a Power metal band. I am not sure whether the band set out to make a concept album at first (As it digressed in the middle), but with “Unwelcome” I felt I was in a story, and to my surprise this was the bands tribute to Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky’s “The Grand inquisitor” which happens to be my favourite chapter from The Brothers Karamazov. I’m spellbound.
The album concludes with an Out of the World Outro named, “Out of the world”
Production : The song writing on this album is mature, the guitar work dominates the album which leads to a powerful sound. The bass could have been pumped up, but nevertheless it had its share of fame. And kudos to the drummer for keeping the spirits high!
Conclusion : Eight years is a long time to give to an album, and when its finally out expectations are exponential. The expectations have been met and the name restored. This album would top the charts and before its sold out, I recommend you buy it!
Written by: Ankit Sood
1. King Of Persia / 9:06
2. The Choice / 4:15
3. In The Name Of God / 4:11
4. Flying / 4:38
5. A Farewell That Wasn’t Meant To Be / 6:33
6. Children Of The Light / 7:08
7. Siren Call / 2:54
8. Live To Tell The Tale / 6:32
9. Unwelcome / 5:14
10. Out Of This World / 2:32
Herbie Langhans – Lead vocals
Olaf Hayer – Lead vocals
Libor Křivák – Guitars
Ivo Hofmann – Keyboards
Ronnie König – Bass
Martin Škaroupka – Drums
Record Label: Limb Music, Sept. 2016
Video below: ‘King Of Persia’
Video below: ‘The Choice’
Video below: “King of Persia” (album trailer)