August 6, 2018 King Company – Queen of Hearts (Album Review)
Hailing directly out of the capital city of Helsinki, Finland, Melodic Hard Rock band King Company epitomizes true original Classic Rock paired with modern 21st century Rock bearings. In 2016, King Company topped the charts with their widely-acclaimed debut album, One For The Road, as the band earned loads of positive reviews at every turn. Two years removed from instant success, King Company look to keep the fire burning as they announce the release of the follow-up LP, Queen of Hearts, set to drop on Friday, August 10, 2018, via Frontiers Music s.r.l.
Going back a few years, in 2014, veteran Power Metal Drummer Mirka “Leka” Rantanen sought to create a new band. As starting a band from scratch is high risk, Rantanen decided to only work alongside extra talented musicians with whom he previously rocked out and those he called friends. An easy decision, Rantanen brought in Vocalist Pasi Rantanen who shared the stage with Mirka in Finnish Metal bands Thunderstone and Warmen. On the strings, Mirka called on Guitarist Antti Wirman and Enfarce Bassist Time Schleifer. Lastly, classically-schooled Keyboardist Jari Pailamo was hired to round out the lineup of an exciting new band.
Briefly known as No Man’s Land, the band decided to officially change their name to King Company as they entered Finland’s Astia Recording Studio to begin the process of crafting new music. Not long after, with a three-song demo to their name, King Company landed a contract with Hard Rock/Heavy Metal record label, Frontiers Music s.r.l. and began the process of recording the band’s debut album.
Released on August 24, 2016, as noted earlier, the band’s aforementioned debut, One For The Road, handed King Company a boat load of buzz among Rock fans and critics. As life tends to bring upon the unexpected, Pasi suddenly began experiencing extreme issues with his vocal chords rendering him unable to sing. As the band’s tour was already scheduled, King Company searched high and low for a singer, and, while combing through YouTube, discovered Italian-Argentinian Vocalist Leonard F. Guillan. A seasoned talent, Guillan fronted King Company as the band toured Spain and impressed all with his energetic presence and passion-filled pipes which will remind listeners of Scorpions’ Vocalist Klaus Meine.
As King Company began recording, sadly, Pasi was still unable to sing and had no idea when his voice would be back in action. Admirable, Pasi did not want to hinder the band’s future, so King Company hired Guillan as the band’s new singer. Helping in any way he could, Pasi lent his expertise to King Company’s second album via his new role as vocal producer. Everything in place, King Company successfully completed recording the sophomore album, Queen of Hearts, and are primed to reveal this potent medley to the world.
Taken over by the spirit of Hard Rock, the Queen of Hearts appears before her kingdom starting with the dynamic and melodic mix of “Queen of Hearts,” “One Day Of Your Life,” and the ballad “Stars.” On watch, “Living In A Hurricane” holds an intro/main hook reminiscent of Mötley Crüe’s “Too Young To Fall In Love” if the riff was sped up. This is where King Company shines with real vintage Rock tendencies highlighted by an emotional, rocking tempo and soft keyboard tones.
Next up, the Arena Rock thrill of “Under The Spell” brings back the beloved feelings embodied by the 80’s Rock era, as the uptempo ballad “Never Say Goodbye” is grateful before the compelling dramatics of “Learn To Fly.” Traveling afar, “Berlin” holds a forceful opening riff and a slow moving yet heavy guitar solo, really driving home the Rock. Thereafter, the climatic keyboards of “King For Tonight” set the stage for even more powerful serenade vocals of eternal love by Guillan. Something we all strive to achieve, “Living The Dream” is orchestral and acoustically-driven, as good as any similarly written piece by bands like Queensryche or Dream Theater. A title imperative to King Company’s push toward greatness, “Arrival” kicks in via crunchy guitar, wavy rhythms, and booming riffs as a bridge of cosmic synth builds to a mighty guitar solo.
Across the board, King Company’s Queen of Hearts encompasses compelling music shooting from all corners of the band. To those Hard Rock fans seeking some passion with an edge, crank up Queen of Hearts as you drink in a perfect storm of red-blooded Rock intros, effective hooks, powerful sonics, energetic grooves, and cut-throat vocals. That said, King Company is on the rise and can win it all with a Queen of Hearts. Top-notch, CrypticRock gives Queen of Hearts 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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