Magic Kingdom – Symphony of War (Limb Music)

Wednesday, 20th March 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

Anyone remember the days of the original Metal Mania’s on MTV with Dee Snider hosting during the mid 1980’s? If so, you might remember like me, your first encounter with Sweden’s Yngwie Malmsteen. I think most knew his incredible speed and finger picking would change a lot of the game plan when it came to power/traditional metal, so it’s no coincidence that in 2010 we still have guitarists plying their original wares who owe their riff technique and solo skills to this axe master.

Which brings us to this Belgian act. The third full length in 12 years, Magic Kingdom delves into guitarist Dushan Petrossi’s penchant for fantasy and supernatural lyrics coupled with a full-on affinity for neo-classical power metal. To bring people up to speed, it’s necessary to go back in their catalog to 2004’s Metallic Tragedy. This album features Fairyland vocalist Max Leclercq and the special Oliver Hartmann on the song “Master of Madness” – and Dushan applies his Yngwie Malmsteen technique all over this fast and furious recording, reveling in all the Rising Force glory years.

So six years beyond, Dushan employs the vocal services of Olaf Hayer, he of Dionysus and Luca Turilli’s solo outings, and Iron Mask singer Roma Siadletski for Symphony of War, which opens with a keyboard/guitar arpeggio salvo signaling the fantasy epic battle has begun! For the most part you, know what you’re going to get through these 13 tracks – loads of overblown melodramatic theatrics (“We Rise”), pulsating off to the races double bass effort (“Million Sinners World”), and of course the long-winded epic closer (this time cut into five parts, “Metallic Tragedy Part Two”).

When one needs their fix, Symphony of War can cut the mustard, but some of the choir work comes off a tad comedic and you sometimes yearn for Dushan to just strip down the music to bare essentials once in a while.

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