From the land where Peter Jackson filmed the Lord of the Rings trilogy comes traditional metallers Fallen Order with their debut EP, The Age of Kings. To say that Fallen Order is a traditional heavy metal is not to say that they are old, out of touch, or irrelevant, as there are many bands across the globe doing the very same thing.
The question is do they get the genre right, keeping it both entertaining and interesting? The short answer is, likely, yes. The long answer provides the details. The songs has the typical speed of power metal, which they temper with moderate moments as within the title cut or to a lesser extent in Falling Down. They also give you twin guitar leads, another well-known trait of the genre, and they're quite good.
Vocalist Hamish Murray has a clear baritone voice, with moments of Halford like high screams. I'd like to say his performance is strong but, sometimes, probably due to the mix, he seems overpowered by the music, notably on Stand Together. Alternatively, on the title cut, he seems larger, but this could merely be my ears getting used to focusing on the vocals.
Finally, the songs are wrapped up in strong melodic lines, whether in the vocal or guitar arrangements, another important characteristic of 'true' metal. It's got be melodic, or simply go home. Fallen Order eschews the harshness and hardcore traits of modern metal, and that's always a good thing. Fundamentally, The Age of Kings is good start for this band. The real challenge for the band would be to avoid the trap of redundancy and familiarity in future releases. Keeping it true does not have to mean being repetitive and boring. Favorite cuts: Beyond Death, The Age of Kings, and Stand Together, which you can listen to on their Facebook page, though it sounds a little flat there.
With The Age of Kings, New Zealand's Fallen Order taps into the Eighties metal vibe, and keeps 'true' metal alive and kicking.
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