Can you tell what type of album Shepherds Reign by Shepherds Reign is by its cover? Before I listened to the music I was thinking well this probably isn’t soft, delicate folk. I’m thinking intense hard rock or metal. That’s indeed what I got.
The band from Polynesia is comprised of Filivaa James (vocals/keys), Oliver Leupolu (guitar/ production), Shaymen Rameka (drums) and Gideon Voon (guitars). Their self-titled album contains eight songs.
Up first is “Reign.” You are quickly greeted with riffs that are reminiscent to Rage Against the Machine before going into a riff that's more associated with speed metal. James has a voice that fits metal. He sounds indignant, intense and doesn't whisper. The band is tight and the drummer especially has metronome like ability with the kick drum. “End of Trail” is an intense song from the almost endless guitar solos to the drum work. The hook is catchy and James displays how he can go from an aggressive singing voice to a demon like growl.
Although fast with inventive drumming “Concrete Walls” sounds like the most single worthy track to me. It leans more towards hard rock except for the guitar solo which is madness. The guitar work is very prominent with a dark edge to it on the verse. The chorus opens into some of the positive and uplifting moments on the album. The breakdown however is really hardcore.
“Take Me Back” is the ballad. In fact the song is a very heartfelt love song. Well I had to laugh when the next song after “Take Me Back” was called “Death.” Do you see the correlation? “Angel In Black” is another song that defines the band’s hard rock/metal sound. “Why Can’t You Die” is another title that made me laugh. The band sounds a bit like Tool here.
Overall, Shepherds Reign is a pretty straightforward metal/hard rock album. The band seems to have a penchant for ’90s bands as this is the vibe I was picking up on. Take a listen.
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