Millennial Reign – “World On Fire”


A highly anticipated release from the Texas-based Christian metal outfit Millennial Reign is about to drop on June 14 on Ulterium Records. A new release has been hinted at for years since the recruitment of their vocalist Tiffany Galchutt for the EP “Carry the Fire Again.”

The brainchild of Dave Harvey has been in some form since the early 2010s. The self-titled debut was released in 2012 with a decidedly 80s rock/metal vibe to the release. Dave rebuilt the band for “Carry the Fire” in 2015 leaning towards melodic power metal. Before their 2018 release “The Great Divide,” there was another major lineup change, but they kept close to their power metal sound. Then the vocalist left and Tiffany Galchutt took on lead vocals. Considering the change this would have to their sound, the band released the EP “Carry the Fire Again” in 2021, which had four songs from “Carry the Fire” with Tiffany’s vocal tracks over the original backing music. It’s clear they have struggled to maintain a consistent lineup for a while. For this release, they had a minor personnel change with Pedro Cortes stepping up on drums joining Tiffany on the mic, band founder Dave on guitars and keyboards and Neil Bertrand on bass.

“World On Fire” brings a lot of promise, providing a well-produced, solidly executed melodic metal album to showcase the new lineup. With new folks in the band, there is an element of feeling out their new sound particularly with Tiffany as the voice for the band. The marketing around the release points to symphonic metal, which I can understand with the plethora of female-fronted symphonic metal bands that use synthesizers out there, however I feel that the true bones of this band is within power metal.

The first characteristic about MR is that this is a bona fide Christian metal band that has a message to share. I particularly like the inclusion of a favorite scripture verse for each of the members on the website. Songs such as “Wandering” share that message of walking in faith with Christ in the desert. There is a level of apocalyptic imagery as well, but I appreciate the uplifting lyrical nuggets that are encouraging in a world that is indeed on fire.

The album is enjoyable. The band lands solid performances that are enhanced with a balanced mix and solid production. Guitar and bass work is quite solid, but I really enjoyed the contributions from Pedro on drums with great fills that add interest in the more repeated sections. The signature lead/solo guitar work from Dave is crystal clear and perfectly executed, showcasing a great blend of technical flourish and lyrical phrasing. I think that this shows off this version of MR well, but as with all albums, there are opportunities to showcase their talent better. In particular, I felt that the songwriting felt a little boxy, lacking organic elements of performance to flow through, particularly for the vocals.

The biggest change in the band’s sound is Tiffany’s voice in the mix. I know that she did the vocals on “Carry the Fire Again,” but that was professional karaoke. Her voice is quite strong and she has a lot of potential, however many of the vocal lines felt flat, lacking the infectious hook needed to make the songs shine. There is a similarity to many of the female-fronted symphonic bands out there, but I actually enjoyed the elements that showed off her bluesy/rock edge. The moments I especially enjoyed were on “Trust,” the pre-chorus on “Eternity” and “Tongues of Fire” that exhibit her voice quite well.

There are a couple of great songs that show what MR does well. The first is the track “Trust,” which shows off Tiffany’s voice quite well. There is a piano synth to lead off, but is not too repetitive and helps weave a great support for the sweet melody in the verse. “Tongues of Fire” shows some great use of epic backing choir synths to lift the sound to an epic level. The chorus has a good melody and kicks the energy into high gear.

The crowning achievement is “Allied Forces.” This song has been a closer for the band in concerts and has all of the right pieces for the band. I like the ascending chord motif and the false endings that get you second guessing when the song is going to end. The song is just pure energy and stands out in character from the rest like a firework finale.

Among all the goodness, I found the keys to be the weak link. The motives tend to be rather odd and grate on me when repeated. Although I know the band has been wanting to move towards symphonic metal, I think that shifting away from the keyboard riffs (although keep the backing choir synths) and convert them to traditional guitar leads would send them down the path of a killer female-fronted power metal band.

“World on Fire” is a great step forward for MR. Considering that they do a decent amount of live performances, I hope that this helps form them into a cohesive unit, translating that live performance energy onto a future recording. That said, solid performances and a polished production helps land a great album for melodic metal fans to eat up.

Rating: 8.5/10

Written by Sean Bailey

1 – Exousia
2 – Bring Me To Life
3 – Wandering
4 – Trust
5 – We Follow On
6 – Eternity
7 – Parousia
8 – Crack the Eastern Sky
9 – Tongues of Fire
10 – World on Fire
11 – Onward to Victory
12 – Allied Forces

Millenial Reign is:
Tiffany Galchutt – vocals
Dave Harvey – guitar and keys
Neil Bertrand – bass
Pedro Cortes – drums

Release Date: June 14, 2024

Record Label: Ulterium Records

Millennial Reign (2012) (released as “Fire by Night” by Defector in 2023) [review]
Carry The Fire (2015) [review]
The Great Divide (2018) [review]
Carry The Fire Again (2021) [review]
World on Fire (2024)

Social Media: Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | X (Twitter) | Spotify | Bandcamp |

Video for ‘Bring Me to Life’

Video for ‘Wandering’

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