Signum Regis return with an ep full of the European power metal that has won them acclaim on their previous releases. For a person like me that grew up listening to Deep Purple, Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen and other such bands and now enjoys bands like Iron Saviour and Empire 21, this is an easy ep to review. In all honesty, I haven’t heard their previous material, but seeing as it has won critical acclaim for being great power metal, I feel confident in recommending this ep to existing fans of the band.
Signum Regis was formed in 2007 by bass player Ronnie König who quickly added vocalist Göran Edman (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen), and they set about recording the self-titled debut album, which went on to receive good reviews. From there the band signed to Inner Wound Recordings in 2010 and recorded the concept album The Eyes of Power. In the writing process for the third album the band decided that more vocalists would be needed and some of the singers the band recruited include: Lance King (ex-Pyramaze, Balance of Power), Matt Smith (Theocracy), Michael Vescera (Obsession, Animetal USA, ex. Yngwie Malmsteen), and Daísa Munhoz (Vandroya, Soulspell). All of these vocalists and Göran contributed to an epic retelling of the Biblical story of Exodus. Through the Storm shows the band returning to a more simple concept of producing an album with great songs and no unifying concept. This ep will be followed later in the year by a full length album as well, so fans will not have to wait for new material very long. Through the Storm includes 4 new tracks as well as a re-recorded version of “All Over the World” from their debut album and a cover medley of Yngwie Malmsteen songs “Vengeance/Liar”. Mastering was handled by Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Amaranthe) and for lack of a better term is masterful and combined with great production results in an album with a very full, rich sound, just as one would expect for power metal.
This is an album that scores high on all counts. The drums and bass pound along keeping the songs moving, keyboards provide nice accent and texture to the songs, the guitars provide great riffs and solos and the vocals are soaring and powerful. One could use this ep as a definition of power metal.
In “Living Well” Mayo’s vocals are eerily reminiscent of Klaus Meine from the Scorpions which likely is just a result of being European but the similarity is there. Surprisingly, in other songs on the album, like “Through the Storm” and “My Guide in the Night” I hear more of a David Coverdale tone, which combined with the Klaus Meine makes for a unique sound, one that Mayo can call his own. For me the sound is hauntingly familiar likely from the days of my youth listening to Yngwie Malmsteen. No matter how you look at it or who you hear in the vocals, there is no mistaking that they are perfect for these songs and this sound.
Guitars are somewhat subdued in terms of solos through parts of the albums, with little flourishes and fills here and there, making the listener somewhat anxious for a full-blown solo and when those do happen, they are worth the wait. Nothing over the top and flashy, but certainly very technical and played with emotion to fit the song, which is an oft-overlooked aspect of songcraft and musicianship. Opening riffs and those throughout the verses are tough and driving and the ep never really slows down at all.
“Come and Take It” opens up a bit different with a funky bass line and bass drum and then relies on the bass and drums to carry the song from time to time. Soaring choruses abound on the album and the backing vocals work very well. “Vengeance/Liar” being a cover of a Malmsteen song opens up as one would imagine with an intricate guitar riff that blends into the driving rhythm of the song. As expected, the guitars play a key role in this song and rightly so. When choosing a song to cover, the band chose well as this showcases the guitars nicely but also the drums frantically pounding along in the background but still playing an integral part in the overall sound.
Put very simply, this is how power metal should sound, and this puts a lot of pressure on the band for the upcoming full length as expectations are incredibly high.
Written by John Jackson
01. Living Well
02. Through The Desert, Through The Storm
03. My Guide In The Night
04. Come And Take It
05. All Over The World
Mayo Petranin – Vocals
Ronnie König – Bass
Filip Koluš – Guitars
Ján Tupý – Keyboard, backing vocals
Jaro Jancula – Drums
“Signum Regis” (2008)
“The Eyes of Power” (2010)
“Exodus” (2013) [review]
“Through the Storm” EP (2015)
Record Label: Ulterium Records, May 2015
Pre-Order / Ulterium Records Store
An interview with Filip, Ronnie and Jaro of Signum Regis can be found here. (Nov. 2013).
Video below “Through The Storm” (Teaser)