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4.29 | 12 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2012


1. Beyond The Wall (1:17)
2. After The Fall (5:41)
3. Forever Brave (5:11)
4. Flame Of Olympus (4:54)
5. Symphony Of Stars (5:37)
6. The Fire Is Mine (5:39)
7. Kardia (4:55)
8. Fragile Minds Collapse (6:03)
9. In The Twisted Twilight (5:02)
10. A Debt Paid In Steel (0:57)
11. The King In The North (7:51)

Total Time 53:07


- Sabrina Valentine / Vocals
- Camden Cruz / Guitars, Backing Vocals
- Kevin Byrd / Guitars, Backing Vocals
- Aaron Sluss / Bass
- Keith Byrd / Drums


- Lindsay Vitola / Backing Vocals
- Chris Kinder / Backing Vocals
- John Zambrotto / Backing Vocals
- Matt Smith / Backing Vocals, Additional Vocals (#7)
- Patrick Parris / Backing Vocals, Voice Acting (#10)
- Jim Morris / Backing Vocals, Voice Acting (#10)
- Bryan Edwards / Backing Vocals, Voice Acting (#10)

About this release

Released by Nightmare Records, October 9th, 2012.

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Time Signature
A debt paid in steel...

Genre: power metal

Never having heard Seven Kingdoms before, I honestly did not know what to expect from this album. I mean, I knew they were a power metal band, but with power metal things can be anything from totally awesome to miserably cheesy.

I must say that I was positively surprised by this release. While an American band, Seven Kingdoms draw extensively on the upbeat nature of Euro power metal (primarily older Euro power metal along the lines of the Helloween of the mid 80s) and combine this with the harder edge of US power metal. This results in a collection of uptempo power metal songs built around fast double bass drum work and epic choruses.

Much to my positive surprise, Seven Kingdoms also draw extensively on classic metal, which means that there are plenty of galloping guitar riffs and, even better, twin guitar leads galore. Another thing that I like about this album is that, compared to a lot of other power metal, there are several passages which are riff-driven. And not only that, but a lot of the riffs are just as catchy as the vocal lines.

Sabrina Valentine's vocals are on the softer side but, while I prefer more hard edged female vocals, I think her voice has enough power to match the metallic instrumentation. Still, I was pretty surprised at finding that I actually liked her singing style very much. The overall musicianship is impeccable and characterized by both solid performance and virtuosity.

Definitely in the more appealing end of the power metal spectrum, Seven Kingdom's "The Fire Is Mine" rocks hard and, at the same time, is full of melodic appeal. Recommended to fans of both US and Euro power metal.
The Fire is Mine (2012) is the third full-length album released from United States power metal act Seven Kingdoms. So far in their career the band has gone through several changes, although they’ve always belonged to the power metal genre. Their first album, Brothers of the Night (2007), saw the most different incarnation of the band to the one exists today. The band, which is now female fronted, had a male vocalist in this earlier stage of their career as well as a full time keyboardist. Unusually for power metal the band used a lot of growling vocals to the point that several songs came across as much death metal as power metal. Power-death if you will. By the time of their second album in 2010, which was self-titled, the band had replaced original vocalist Bryan Edwards with Sabrina Valentine, who remains for The Fire is Mine, and additionally let their keyboardist John Zambrotto go as they didn’t see keyboards being a major part of the Seven Kingdoms sound any longer. Although their clean vocals were now sung by Sabrina the album did still feature growling vocals, this time performed by bassist Miles Neff, who has since been replaced with Aaron Sluss.

And so with another new line-up The Fire is Mine has the band changing again. Gone are the growling vocals. Gone also are the tendencies displayed previous for the band’s music to stray into thrash metal, which resulted in a sound not too dissimilar to Iced Earth. Apart from the seemingly obligatory ballad track (in this case, the seventh track Kardia) the album is pure female fronted power metal of the type that is musically mostly associate with the harder hitting German acts like Blind Guardian circa Tales From the Twilight World through to Imaginations From the Other Side but with female vocals and that’s pretty much what you get with The Fire is Mine. Speed is clearly the flavour of the day and honestly when it comes to power metal that’s just the way I like it.

For a time, I levelled a minor portion of criticism towards the ballad I mentioned above, Kardia, which features guest vocals by Matt Smith of Theocracy, since when listening to it I couldn't help but feel that the flow of the album has been disrupted, even though the song wasn't a completely non-metal ballad. Even so, I realised that it was very well performed, with some of the best vocals on the album, so my enjoyment of the album wasn't being significantly lessened by its presence, which I would then have described as something of a power loss. A few more listens though, and the song began to grow on me, with thoughts entering my head along the lines of "hey, this still isn't what I'd normally expect from a ballad in a power metal album, but this is starting to work for me!". It was at this point that I realised I'd misjudged the song, and although it was very different from the speed assault that is the rest of the album, it was equally as good.

Of course the more one directional approach the album has taken compared to the band’s previous releases might be seen as a turn for the worse by existing fans, although I think that The Fire is Mine sounds a lot more powerful an album which more than makes up for having less variety. Seven Kingdoms are clearly a band who by this stage know what they want to do, and that is power metal and as of this album it seems that they have pretty much perfected their craft and the majority of the album is power metal as it is meant to be played. There’s an intro and interlude track also present on the album, the intro, Beyond The Wall, being used as a build up into the first proper song, which is the lead song After the Fall and the interlude, A Debt Paid In Steel, being a theatrical piece with a trio of guests doing voice acting which in turn leads into the album’s closing track, The King In The North. The trio consists of producer Jim Morris, Patrick Parris (bassist of Theocracy) and Seven Kingdoms former vocalist Bryan Edwards. Some of the song names are no doubt familiar given the recent explosion of the TV series Game of Thrones; Seven Kingdoms are very much influenced by the works of George R.R. Martin, right from their name to some of their lyrics.

Changes aside, I think the band, especially Sabrina Valentine, have improved a lot between albums. Not that they weren’t good before; both Brothers of the Night and Seven Kingdoms are exceptional power metal releases, but on The Fire is Mine things have been stepped up a gear. I single Sabrina Valentine out though because she really shines on this album now that she is established as Seven Kingdom’s sole vocalist. And she sounds even more powerful than she did on the self-titled. If the phrase female fronted power metal makes you think you’re going to get a mezzo-soprano then you need to think again with Seven Kingdoms. Sabrina possesses a melodic voice, lacking the rougher edge displayed by Crystal Viper’s Marta Gabriel, but neither does she belong to the warbling operatic class of singer like ex-Nightwish frontwomen Tarja Turunen or Xandria’s Manuela Kraller. Instead she’s nicely in between, not lacking for power, but never leaving any doubt that it’s metal she wants to sing and her improved performance just makes The Fire is Mine even more powerful than the already good self-titled that was her debut with the band.

I think it is very clear that with The Fire is Mine Seven Kingdoms have excelled. Not only is in their best and most accomplished album, but it also stands as one of the best power metal releases of 2012. In fact it is insofar the best straight up power metal album of the year so far. They could still throw the ballad out and be none the worse for it, despite it growing on me after many listens, but in The Fire is Mine Seven Kingdoms produced a power metal album that stands up to the best works of Blind Guardian, Helloween, Gamma Ray, Kamelot and all the other big names of the genre you care to name drop. This is the sort album that, if power metal is your thing, will click right away and I can even see the genre’s detractors having a hard time finding a reasonable argument against this album with its guitar driven approach to the music, exceptional lead guitar, killer vocals and powerful song-writing. The Fire is Mine is, simply put, metal as it was meant to be. A perfect rating is given without reservation.


(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven ( on 22/09/2012)
Seven Kingdoms are a female fronted Power Metal band from Deland, Florida. The band was formed in 2007 by guitarist Camden Cruz and vocalist Bryan Edwards, but shifted lineups since then and now includes vocalist Sabrina Valentine, guitarist Camden Cruz, guitarist Kevin Byrd, drummer Keith Byrd, and bassist Aaron Sluss. In 2010, shortly after Seven Kingdoms played the opening party at Prog Power USA, Blind Guardian asked them to be the opener for their North American tour. Seven Kingdoms went on from this fantastic opportunity to play several one-offs and smaller tours in 2011, ending with the "Uniting the Powers of Metal Tour".

Now, Power Metal is a genre that, depending on your viewpoint, is either suffering or reveling in the fact that the genre is growing by the droves. The unfortunate effect of this phenomenon is that new Power Metal bands must fight hard to carve out their own niche and establish that they have a unique style. So one thing Seven Kingdoms has got going for them is the voice of the band – Sabrina Valentine. She is not your typical operatic soprano voice you'd hear in a band like this – she has more of a powerful feel to her voice, stemming from her lower, Alto range. Now this fact may both attract and deter some new listeners, but it does give them a unique element for their sound. Unfortunately for me, I felt that this was where their uniqueness ended. I know for a fact that some seasoned Power Metal fans already disagree with me here, but I didn't hear much else on the album that would separate them from the hordes of other recent additions to the genre, and I personally would have liked to have heard them mix in the sound of other metal sub-genres here and there in order to make it more interesting. But this is where my critique ends, because otherwise, Seven Kingdoms have delivered a very energetic, polished, and professional album with all the speedy riffs and nimbly-executed rhythms you might expect. And while I was looking for something to separate this group from other Melodic Power Metal bands, I do know that those who just want some Power Metal are going to be (and some already are) very pleased with this release – it is a solid effort showing musical proficiency and the love of their craft. So in conclusion – if you are a Power Metal fan who just can't get enough of the genre, this is highly recommended, but for me this was an enjoyable release: just not in the way that will make me want to come back to the album again and again and again.

Originally written for

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