Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Magic Kingdom-Savage Requiem

AFM Records

Alright kids are you in need of fantasy and enchantment? Well then forget about that overpriced and overrated theme park of the same name. You know the one with that non-metallic mouse as it's mascot? Yeah? Give it the old drop-kick to hell and back as it is utterly weak and pathetic when compared to this neo-classical/symphonic power metal band! Truth be told there is only one true Magic Kingdom and that  one was founded in 1998 by Iron Mask/Arms of War guitarist Dushan Petrossi. Due for release on April 14th, "Savage Requiem" is Magic Kingdom's fourth-full length album overall and the first to feature new vocalist Christian Palin (Epicrenel, Random Eyes, ex-Adagio, ex-Essence of Sorrow). Having come a long way since the release of their underwhelming debut offering, "The Arrival", in 1999, Magic Kingdom is electric on the hour long "Savage Requiem" and that has everything to do with the strong songwriting of Dushan Petrossi and the once in a lifetime performance of new lead singer Christian Palin! Of course Christian Palin isn't the only new addition to this power metal band as "Savage Requiem" finds Magic Kingdom welcoming in drummer Michael Brush (Celestial Wish, ex-Hellbastard, ex-Merciless Terror). And to be fair both Brush and Magic Kingdom's other original member, bass guitarist Vasiliy Molchanov (Iron Mask, ex-Cryme, ex-Shah, ex-Kings of Spades), did more than just show up for the recording sessions of "Savage Requiem". The slick rhythm section that showed up for album number four is way bigger and bolder than usually for these sort of melodic metal recordings and their presence is greatly appreciated! But if we are going to be completely honest about this album's energy source (and why wouldn't we be?) then it all boils down to the combination of lead guitarist Dushan Petrossi and new lead singer Christian Palin. It isn't so much a matter of chemistry between the two members (especially as any argument about band chemistry should start and end with this high-functioning band as a whole!) as it is the way in which Palin's passionate voice gracefully moves inside and out of the stunning arrangements and performances that Petrossi has provided. Enlisting this former Adagio vocalist into the fold proved to be a brilliant move on the part of Petrossi as "Savage Requiem" greatly benefits from having someone as emotionally triumphant as Palin at the helm. And speaking of the brilliance that is this Belgian guitarist, Dushan Petrossi not only wrote all the music and lyrics for Magic Kingdom's newest album, but he also co-produced & mixed it alongside of Angelo Buccolieri! With Dushan Petrossi calling the shots a band like Magic Kingdom just keeps getting better with each new album and thanks to this album's sick delivery I have gained all new appreciation for this savvy guitarist who is now (justifiably) being likened to both Yngwie Malmsteen and Michael Romeo! I gleefully confess that "Savage Requiem" caught me completely off guard as I am far from what you would call a fan of  neo-classical metal! Normally this kind of symphonic power metal is wasted on someone like me, but thanks to the masterful way in which Magic Kingdom strikes a balance between the slick (neo-classical metal, orchestra arrangements, smooth vocals, melodic power metal, etc.) and the sick (fast-rocking solos that are footloose and fancy free(!), snazzy speed metal, hard and heavy power metal that actually kicks it and kicks it wicked fierce!) this album was just too much fun to walk away from! Fans and newcomers alike should find plenty to love about Magic Kingdom's latest, but unlike dear old Walt's Florida getaway this groovy entertainment activity won't leave you dead bloke with maxed out credit cards and a careful of crabby kids!

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