InnerSiege – Kingdom of Shadows


Inner_KingdomSome bands start slow and early recordings often leave a bit to be desired. Inner Siege have come storming out the gates and released a debut album that many seasoned bands would be proud to have as one of their own. If you are looking for heavy melodic power metal, this is an album you will want to check out. Top-notch production, great vocals, and strong musicianship abound in this debut album.

Being a power metal band in Peoria, Illinois must be a bit of a daunting task as that is a long way from Europe where power metal has a much stronger foothold in the music scene. Inner Siege will undoubtedly draw comparisons to bands like Queensryche and others and while the influence of those bands on the sound of Inner Siege is readily apparent, they are not merely copying the sound.

The opening track on Kingdom of Shadows, “Warrior” starts out with a guitar and drum riff much like that of the hardcore band Terror in their song, “Keepers of the Faith”, which was a bit of a surprise to me. Not too far into the song though there is a lead guitar part over the top of the riff that certainly wouldn’t be found in any old-school hardcore. The rest of the song carries that great riff throughout and piles on some great guitar solos and strong vocals much like Geoff Tate of Queensryche. In some ways, it is too bad that the inevitable comparisons to Queensryche will be made as Inner Siege has more to offer, so I just use this to set a base of what to expect.

In contrast to the band I shall not name anymore, the guitar tone through much of Kingdom of Shadows seems to have a meaner, nastier, edgier tone. The production and mixing of this album was the first thing I noticed. Guitars and drums are clear, low end is very present and obvious without being intrusive, and the vocals are perfectly matched with the instruments. Inner Siege certainly made the right choice in having Fredrik Nordstrom (Dream Evil) handle the production duties as his experience working with In Flames, Opeth, Arch Enemy and others shows in this mix. One of the strongest songs on the album is Abuser, which features a driving, galloping riff and portrays the feelings of an abused child. Definitely a dark subject for a song but handled very well from a lyrical standpoint with music to match. It’s a song that’s good but also one you end up with a love/hate relationship for. On one hand from a musical standpoint it is well-crafted which you love, but on the other hand the fact that we can even have such a topic for a song brings up nothing but sadness.

To me, the album was very strong through track 7, “Excuses”, but seems to lose some intensity in the last three tracks. “What Kind of Love” is an instrumental that starts out with some acoustic guitar and then some electric guitar over the top, at first going along with the melody but then branching out into an extended solo. The overall intensity that was present earlier in the album seems to have faded a bit toward the end. The album closes with “Ultimate Sacrifice” which is also the longest track on the album and it too, seems to be missing something that was present in the earlier tracks, which is unfortunate as the earlier songs are very strong and the overall impression of the album may be wrongly influenced by these last songs.

Overall, this is a very impressive debut. Everything you would expect in heavy power metal is here. Strong, soaring vocals with a wide range, great riffs and guitar solos, driving drums and bass and some high quality production combine to make this an album that really stands out as one that fans of the genre should pick up.

Rating: 7/10

Written by John Jackson

1. Warrior
2. Fight On
3. Dragon Rider
4. Children of Winter
5. Control
6. Abuser
7. Excuses
8. Free
9. What Kind of Love
10. Ultimate Sacrifice

Band Members:
Jeremy Ray – Vocals
Kevin Grose – Guitar
J.L. Prater – Guitar
Wade Helm – Drums
Ravn – Bass

Record Label: Roxx Productions, Dec. 2012

Interview With ‘Jeremy Ray’ Of ‘InnerSiege’ [Nov. 2012]

Weblinks: Facebook / Reverbnation / Twitter

Buy the album here:
 First Paradox 
 Nordic Mission

Video below: Children Of Winter

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