Gathering Of Kings
Label: RN Records
Genre: AOR/Melodic Rock
Release Date: May 15, 2020
The kings of Swedish rock are back! Gathering Of Kings have just released their second album, Discovery. Does it stand up to their debut album First Mission and what surprises did the kings bring listeners this time around?
As all the readers know, Gathering Of Kings made the number one spot on our list of Best Albums of 2019. So the bar for this bands new release has cleary been set very high this time around. I am happy to tell you that with Discovery, this band has most definitely not disappointed.
I can tell you that for me personally, the biggest surprise was the addition of one of my longtime favorite vocalists, Jonny Lindkvist (Nocturnal Rites). I got to listen to the track Moonlight (with his vocals) last summer on the eve of Sweden Rock Festival with Ron Dahlgren (Creator, Manager and Co-Executive Producer) and I knew something great was coming this year. Then having the opportunity to witness their live performance the next day with so many other people who enjoy their music, this band has quickly become one that I look forward to new music from. They have forever been imprinted on me.
With this second album, what started out as just a project has now become a full fledged band that has tightened up their line up, but has still left room for musical guests. I honestly feel this is one of the things that appeals to me most about this band, the mix of musicians that take part in what they do and the multiple vocalists that fill each track. I actually prefer the different vocalists across the tracks because each vocalist has their own style and tone that brings something special to each one that would be lost without them. I don’t think Kiss From Above would be the same without Alexander Frisborg, he has a completely different range and tone than the others that lifts this track up. The same could be said for Heaven On The Run, it would have sounded completely different if Rick Altzi was replaced by Frisborg. For me, as someone who loves great vocals, this makes Gathering of Kings stand out against the other AOR/Melodic Rock bands out there.
Lets not forget the writing either. Without the extreme writing talent of Victor Olsson and Alexander Frisborg this band would be something totally different. This duo completely dominates when it comes to the writing. The only words I can come up with trying to describe their collaboration is magic. I don’t know how they do it, but they manage to pull in the vibe of the late 70’s through the 80’s that I grew up with and infuse it throughout in the music. Every time I have listened it has instantly transported me back to those years of my life and I have felt this way with both albums. To me, if an album can do something that profound, it is very special.
When it comes to the musical side of the album, the musicianship and skill of all the players involved lend to a cohesive sound. There’s a genuine feel in the music that holds the truth of what AOR and Melodic Rock are supposed to be. Where a number of other band’s albums out there feel disingenuous and forced, Discovery flows in an effortless feel.
Looking at the layout of the tracklist, it was well thought out. It allows the listeners experience to flow through many different directions yet at the end they all come together and feel complete. There’s also this really cooperative feel to the tracks that no one is trying to stand out alone, but all come together as one. I really enjoyed that and I think listeners are going to truly appreciate it as well.
My final thoughts on Discovery is that it’s going to be another tough battle at the end of the year for the best album of the year. I thought I might have already heard that album this year, but now I am sure that final decision is going to be tough as this is a great album too. Listeners who want to experience something big, this is the album for you. If you’ve not listened to Gathering Of Kings before this point, go back and listen to First Mission, then listen to Discovery. One without the other will really be a disservice to your ears.
Best Tracks: Heaven on the Run, Moonlight, Kiss From Above, From a Whisper to a Scream.
02. Riders Of The Light
03. Heaven On The Run
05. Highway To Paradise
06. The One That Got Away
10. Kiss From Above
11. From A Whisper To A Scream
12. Final Hour
Rick Altzi – lead vocals (3,12), backing vocals (3,9,11,12)
Jonny Lindkvist – lead vocals (4,8)
Apollo Papathanasio – lead vocals (2,9), backing vocals (2,5,8,9)
Tobias Jansson – lead vocals (6,7,11), backing vocals (2,3,6,7,11)
Alexander Frisborg – lead vocals (5,10), backing vocals (2,3,5,6,8,10,11,12)
Victor Olsson – guitars (2-12), bass (2,4-7,9-12), keyboards (1-12), backing vocals (2-12)
Efraim Larsson – drums (2-8)
Jonas Källsbäck – drums (9-12)
Nalle Påhlsson – bass (3,8)
Joel Selsfors – keyboard solo (12)
Erik Gafvelin Wiss – keyboard solo (7)
Henrik Sethsson – backing vocals (10)
Theresia Svensson – backing vocals (6,7,10)
Ron Dahlgren – backing vocals (10)
Mathias Kihlberg – flute (9)
The Album is produced by Thomas “Plec” Johansson at The Panic Room, Skövde. With Ron Dahlgren, Nina Dahlgren & Victor Olsson as executive producers.
Drums was recorded at Nordic Sound Lab by Thomas “Plec” Johansson, Bengan Andersson and Victor Olsson.
Artwork and logo by Markus Vesper at Markus Vesper Art..
Booking and management: Ron Dahlgren & Nina Dahlgren at Rocknytt Lajjv Agency.
“Discovery” will be released by RN Records on all digital platforms as well as on CD and vinyl.
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