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Last Kingdom - Demo 2007 review

Band: Last Kingdom
Album: Demo 2007
Release date: November 2007

01. Abandoned
02. Warrior Kings
03. End Of Life

Style: Power Metal
Country: Sweden
Label: Self-Released
Length: 17.41
Recorded: 2007

Hobbe Houshmand - Guitars
Freddy Olofsson - Guitars
Stefan Jacobsen - Vocals
Stefan Malmenlid - Keyboards
Jimmy Malmenlid - Bass
Henrik Hedman - Drums

As you can probably tell from the fact that this release is only a three track demo, Last Kingdom is a brand new band on the scene. Rawness-wise it's obvious that Power Metal demos are more refined than the more extreme genres, especially Black Metal. But apart from the poor production, the tracks from this release are played more or less like they would be on a final release. The poor production though can be attributed to the fact that this demo was recorded in a home studio, as a lot of starting out bands would.

Last Kingdom is no garage band however. I wouldn't be surprised if a label snapped them up fairly quickly. There's certainly talent, from what I'm hearing here. The band is also playing live gigs soon (supporting the likes of Dragonland, Sabaton, Hammerfall and Lost Horizon) and searching for a studio to lay down some new material. So no doubt you'll be hearing about these guys in the not too distant future. But anyhow, I'm here to talk about this specific release.

While this demo doesn't go out of its way to go forth and explore new territories in Power Metal, it isn't totally bland and boring the whole way through either. It will be right up the alley of die-hard Power Metal fans, and even the general melodic metal listener may prick up an ear at the powerful vocals and the clever guitar riffs. I know this release is only a demo, but it does feel like it's all over too quickly. If Last Kingdom had a lot more material, you'd feel teased by this, but at least the band should catch people's attention long enough for them to keep an eye out for future releases.

I don't know if any of the members were in previous bands before Last Kingdom, but they've been practising for a while at least! Vocalist Stefan Jacobsen has a rather soulful voice, and sings the high notes just as well as the lower ones, without quavering. He actually sounds a little bit like John Cavaliere from Black Majesty, to give you all a bit of an idea as to what he sounds like. The drumming thumps along, with a nice sound and keeping a solid beat. Unfortunately the bass is barely audible, so that's something to think about for their next recordings. "Abandoned" is probably the best track on the demo, and it showcases very catchy moments, such as the solo-esque riffing with perfect keyboard background accompaniment just before the chorus.

So this demo release is rather promising I think. It will appeal most to current fans of Power Metal, but with some refinement this band has the potential to gather a nice healthy fan base.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 6

Written by Raiden | 09.02.2008


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