Out now on Ice Warrior Records
Orion’s Reign hail from Greece and peddle metal with some power, traditional and neo-classical touches. After an independently released 6 track EP the band began work on what has become “Nuclear Winter” which won the band a deal with Ice Warrior Records. The album features guest spots from some of Greece’s best metal talent in Bob Katsiosis and Theodore Ziras.
The album is fairly competently played with dual guitars and keyboards keeping the driving rhythm section well fuelled. An area of contention for many though will be the vocals of Yiannis Kobatsiaris with his pitch being off in a number of places and some quite “adventurous” vocal melodies to boot. The album is also marred by a rather lacklustre digital sounding mix and very clicky sounding bass drums; but even these don’t spoil the charging, almost quasi Maiden opener “Amidst The Battle”.
A more symphonic vein is heard on the title track (with some guttural vocals) and “Cruor Ritus / Darkness Comes” where once again the musicianship is good, with keyboardist Kyriakos Gazouleas showcasing a knack for creating enriching orchestral backings. The band get to flex their instrumental brains on the neo-classical “Steel Horizons” which is home to a lot of fast finger work, but little substance in the backing areas of the track. The highlight though is the closing 3 part movement of “Beyond Eternity” which will excite most symphonic power metal fans reading this.
The deluxe limited edition also gets 5 new bonus track which yield more of the same in sound and again a below average production.
Overall this is a likeable enough offering from Orion’s Reign, whether there is enough to get the band noticed in the overcrowded Symphonic Power Metal scene is hard to say. However, if the band can iron out the less than satisfactory elements highlighted elsewhere in this review they may stand a chance.
At this time, one for aficionados of the genre only.
Rating – 68%