Greyhawk- Keepers Of The Flame

Greyhawk- Keepers Of The Flame
Fighter Records
Release Date: 16/06/2020
Running Time: 44:05
Review by Tsarina Wilson
8/10

Monday mornings. They’re not great, are they?! They need cheering up. So, for a change, I decided to start a Monday morning with a review of the new release by American metallers, Greyhawk. I have to say, this album had me totally confused at first. I always listen to any album 2 or 3 times before I write anything down, but this one had me truly stumped! Was it a metal opera? Was it metal storytelling, with vocals as varied as the amount of beer on sale these days?! So, this review is the product of a good few re-starts! Man, these guys know how to throw a spanner in the works with their music! Incidentally, Greyhawk are so metal they even have their own beer, and let’s be honest not many can say that!

Greyhawk’s quest started in 2018, when five metal guys (featuring alumni from bands like Skelator, Aggression, Prelude to a Pistol and Prophets of Addiction) met up and brought their unique style to life. This is their debut full length album on Fighter Records, and it brings something new to the table. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but then who is these days! Adding a bit more variety into music is what its all about, and these guys certainly stand out in a crowd, and I get the feeling that was their aim.

‘Gates Of Time’ starts the album. It’s very laid back, very calm, with a hint of Manowar, and short and sweet. This was where I thought I’d got the measure of their sound, but I was wrong! So, what’s next? Well that would be crazy drumming, epic guitar riffs and ear-piercing screams, followed by a voice I just wasn’t expecting! This fast-moving track has vocal variations all over it, and makes you giddy! In some places you think the vocals don’t actually match the content, but that’s what makes this album so different, and we like to be different don’t we?

There’s a lot of storytelling throughout this album. In ‘Drop the Hammer’, you can imagine the guys on stage telling the story with visuals on a backdrop. But that element takes nothing away from some truly amazing guitar riffs that make you sit up and listen. I can only imagine how epic it must be to be able to play like that. The guys take it down a notch for ‘The Rising Sign’, where Taylor’s voice is almost haunting, but still so powerful, and the addition of nicely timed backing vocals blend well. But don’t be fooled! This track maybe slower, but the power and feeling are still very strong here. The track builds and builds until the end, with low lamenting vocal harmonies in the background, which are quite chilling.

I Think my favourite track has to be ‘Ophidian Throne’. The tone of Taylor’s voice makes the hairs on your neck stand up and gives you chills.

This is definitely a Marmite album – you’ll either love it or hate it – there’s no in between! The variations from one track to another are a little hard to get your head around, but who wants to listen to the same thing over and over? It’s storytelling, meets Manowarish (yes, I just made that word up!), with a blend of metal, operatic vocals, crazy but intense guitar riffs, and heart thumping drumming. I found it a bit like a Chinese puzzle, it looks impossible, but you just have to take time to figure it out. With ear splitting screams that catch you off guard at times, it’s also not an album that you will fall asleep listening to! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!!

If this is what these guys can do for a debut album, then the future is exciting! If they grow from this, their albums will be insanely powerful and intense. With this album they have really shown what’s possible and what they’re made of. Great work guys and amazing cover artwork too!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Gates Of Time
02. Frozen Star
03. Drop The Hammer
04. Halls Of Insanity
05. The Rising Sign
06. R.X.R.O
07. Don’t Wait For The Wizard
08. Black Peak
09. Masters Of The Sky
10. Ophidian Throne
11. Keeper Of The Flames

LINE-UP:
Rev Taylor – Vocals
Darin Wall – Bass
Jesse Berlin – Guitars
Alika Madis – Guitars
Nate Butler – Drums

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/Greyhawkmetal
www.greyhawkmetal.bandcamp.com
www.twitter.com/greyhawkmetal
www.instagram.com/greyhawkmetal/

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

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