It is no secret that I am a HUGE fan of Seven Kingdoms! Their brand of Power Metal is among the most polished and technically stunning from anywhere in the world, bar none! The icing on the cake for me is that they call my state of Florida home. After listening to them for years, seeing and reviewing their show in Orlando a couple months ago and reviewing “Decennium” that was released just over a month ago, I jumped at the opportunity to interview them when offered. Big thanks to Jon Freeman for this one!
Fans of European style PowerMetal have a lot to look forward at the end of the month; especially for those that, like me, love female fronted Metal of any type! There is just something about the timber of the female voice that runs straight through me, especially when they as good as the mighty pipes of lovely little Ms. SabrinaValentineCruz (not meant to be cute, she is really tiny!). I have listened to SevenKingdoms for some time now and recently covered their killer show at TheHaven in Winter Park, FL (Show Review). Simply stunning! Not only are they album perfect live, but bring such a fun and energetic persona to the stage. The furious and adroit abilities of guitarists CamdenCruz and KevinByrd effortlessly flow at ridiculous speeds while the rhythms and shared leads of AaronSluss’ bass lines are driven by the bedrock foundation of KeithByrd’s blasting drums. Not to fault any of these killer players, Sabrina’s vocals are what hooked me a couple of years ago after first hearing TheFireIsMine from 2012. Her voice emotes beautifully with such sparkling power and purity. Truly the voice of an angel and helps make SevenKingdoms a damned addiction.
With 2016 just barely behind us we are looking at the upcoming releases in 2017. Some of these albums already have specific release dates and titles and some haven’t been announced yet. These albums are not only by bands that we like but a release in which the band is reuniting or hasn’t released an album in a while, or just an album we think will have a huge impact on the band’s career. The albums that follow are in no specific order and our staff has all had input on the albums in which they think are the most anticipated of 2017.
“What happened to the Metal scene here?” “Man, this sucks! I gotta drive to <pick a town> to see any good shows anymore.” “Nobody is playing around here this weekend.” “There are only a couple of good bands here and I have seen them a million times. Uhhhghh!” “We never get any good shows here anymore.” These are all statements that I constantly see, hear and read just about every day, from folks all over the world. Thankfully, these sentiments do not apply to my home state of Florida. No matter where you live here, there are almost too many shows to choose from on any given evening, especially on the weekends. The more difficult decision usually becomes “Do I go to see ‘X’ or do I see ‘Y’ or drive a little further to see ‘Z’?” We have also seen the rise of legendary bands like Death, Deicide, Obituary, Nonpoint, Trivium, Shinedown, Savatage, Cynic, IcedEarth, Kamelot, SixFeetUnder, MollyHatchet, AlterBridge, LimpBizkit, ADaytoRemember, LynyrdSkynyrd, BlackTide, Creed and many, many others over the years. The pool of talent seems to be bottomless here. All of these bands had to start somewhere and the next generation of bands continue to emerge in Florida at an exponential rate. Such was the case with the Halloween show at TheHaven in Winter Park, FL, Saturday, October 29th, 2016 which highlighted some of the premiere Metal acts available from Central and South Florida. Although it is exhilarating to see national and international acts in a large venue, local bands have the fire and talent at a comparable or higher levels in our own back yards.
As a special treat, all pictures are credited to my guest photographer MatthewDegele!