SEVEN KINGDOMS — Brothers of the Night

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SEVEN KINGDOMS - Brothers of the Night cover
4.72 | 7 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 2007

Tracklist

1. Eyes of Summer (4:27)
2. Stormborn (4:04)
3. We Do Not Sow (The Legacy of Black Harren, Part 1) (5:21)
4. Blackwater Rush (7:10)
5. The Bloody Meadow (7:49)
6. Dragonflight (5:11)
7. The Long Night (4:05)
8. Watchers on the Wall (6:08)
9. Towers of Hubris (The Legacy of Black Harren, Part 2) (6:08)
10. Winter Comes (7:07)

Total Time 57:30

Line-up/Musicians

- Camden Cruz / Guitars
- Bryan Edwards / Vocals
- Cory Stene / Bass
- Kevin Byrd / Guitars
- Keith Byrd / Drums
- John Zambrotto / Keyboards

with

- Patrick Pintavalle / Guitar solo on #9

About this release

Release Date: November 2007

Thanks to Stooge for the addition and adg211288 for the updates

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SEVEN KINGDOMS BROTHERS OF THE NIGHT reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

adg211288
Brothers of the Night is the debut full-length album by US power metal act Seven Kingdoms. The album was released independently in 2007. Brothers of the Night musically tells a bit of a different story compared to the two albums that would follow it, namely Seven Kingdoms (2010) and The Fire is Mine (2012). The lyrics of the album are entirely based on A Song of Ice and Fire, a series of fantasy novels by American author George R. R. Martin, which has now had two seasons produced as the popular TV show Game of Thrones.

If you’re familiar with their more recent work that has been released through Nightmare Records, then the most obvious difference to note in Brothers of the Night is that at this stage in their career Seven Kingdoms were not the female fronted act they are today. Instead they had a male vocalist, Bryan Edwards, who does still contribute behind the scenes with Seven Kingdoms but left the band after this album. Bryan is an unusual singer for a power metal act given that much of his delivery is done using a death growl, and a pretty deep and powerful one at that. That’s partly why his clean vocals come across as a little strange though, as his clean delivery seems to lack any real strength behind it, which in most power metal bands would most likely result in an album which just didn’t work no matter how good the compositions were.

It’s been clear to me for some time now though that Seven Kingdoms aren’t just another power metal band and while Brothers of the Night took a few more listens to completely get into than the two albums released with new singer Sabrina Valentine, Seven Kingdoms manage to pull off one of the best albums the genre has to offer even with Byran’s atypical delivery. I would even go as far to say that it’s Byran’s unique style that gives Brothers of the Night some of its charm, although I wouldn’t be doing my duty as a reviewer if I didn’t admit that his clean voice at least is an acquired taste. His growl is spectacular though, and I wasn’t surprised when I found out he ended up in the death metal band Vermiform.

To elaborate more on the music found on Brothers of the Night I’ve mentioned that Seven Kingdoms isn’t just another power metal already. The reason for this is that Brothers of the Night isn’t just a power metal album. Given the amount of growls Bryan uses and how heavy the music generally is parts of the album bear a music closer resemblance to death metal, and there are some parts where the riffs have quite a noticeable power-thrash sound. While there are some pure power metal songs like the opening Eyes of Summer, Bryan’s growl will also carry a kind of thundering intensity that, after that opening track is done will likely knock you for six as soon as the following Stormborn kicks off.

The Song of Ice and Fire lyrics are also a nice touch if, like me, you’re a fan of the books or the TV show (which didn’t exist when this album was made) and since the album in general has a very high level of quality where writing and band performance is concerned, I must admit that my personal favourites tend to be the songs I like the lyrics the most from such as We Do Not Sow (The Legacy Of Black Harren, Part I), which is based on the Ironborn of Martin’s books, and Seven Kingdoms rendition of a House Greyjoy saying ‘what is dead may never die’ pack quite the punch when delivered with Byran’s growling vocals. I also really like Blackwater Rush and its smile raising chorus of ‘Halfman they cry’.

Overall Brothers of the Night is an exceptionally high quality debut from Seven Kingdoms. The band would change quite a bit with each album and eventually be playing more or less a pure power metal sound by the time The Fire is Mine would be released. While they are most certainly none the worse for having a more focused power metal sound these days (in fact The Fire is Mine is their best album in my opinion), Brothers of the Night is most certainly the much more varied and unique album. Maybe not quite as good for all that, but ultimately no less a masterpiece as far as I’m concerned, albeit perhaps for completely different reasons to The Fire is Mine.

96/100

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org))

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