ReviewsIdol Throne – A Clarion’s Call (Stormspell Records)

Idol Throne – A Clarion’s Call (Stormspell Records)

Excitement enters the room when a band impresses you right out of the gate with their debut album to anticipate the follow-up – and that’s the case here with US power/thrash act Idol Throne. Released in the summer of 2022, The Sibylline Age contained fine songwriting and musicianship that came across with influences as diverse as Iron Maiden, Metal Church, and Dream Theater to King Diamond, Liege Lord, and even Blind Guardian. Two years later we have A Clarion’s Call, an eight-song outing that keeps the dynamic abilities of the group front and center – proving that they understand how to perform great progressive-oriented material with sophistication, class, and finesse across a variety of power / thrash angles with tremendous hooks and superior vocal presence.

The wall of riffing as well as delightful shred / lead break mechanics from Jason Schultz and Martin Bowman should set ears ablaze – right away the crushing main rhythms of opener “Ecliptykon” mesmerize in a way of Heathen or Artillery, counterpoint measures or circular surprise runs adding heightened edge of your seat action. As the album unfolds the versatility becomes more apparent – specific songs take on a bit more down-to-earth sheen, where singer Jake Quintanilla gains more of a chance to shine in his mighty mid-range or soaring falsetto notes (“Covenant of the Immortal” a prime example) or you get a bit more of a marching/ battle call atmosphere to the musical movement which sweeps you away in the harmony-fueled title track. Those listeners who love mighty music that just makes you want to raise fists to the sky, tempered with that delicate infusion of tasteful, melodic elegance, rest assured there’s plenty of songs that fit those ideals to a tee. Tremendous rhythm section foundational work by bassist Trevor Kuta and drummer Aaron Grove cements a battle cry cut like “King Among Jackals” – even when the arrangement takes more of an accelerated Metallica-ish gallop tempo shift near the halfway mark of its mammoth 8:20 timeframe. By the time you get to the moody instrumental closer “Falconer’s Cry” that features alluring clean/ progressive axe play and a cultural theme running through the main parts (the keyboards providing a cinematic touch), most will feel content in this professional output where the musicians passionately put their all into this style.

Many may fear the atypical stew approach of combining three to four subgenres to come out with the music you’ll hear from Idol Throne – but don’t worry. If you desire tremendous musicianship, exciting riffs, and a boatload of high register hooks / melodies, then A Clarion’s Call checks all those boxes (and more) for your record collection.

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9 / 10