SIGNS OF REIGN from Minnesota return with their second album, “Awaken from Disguise”, after their 2017 “New Beginning” debut. What I always enjoyed about this band is their unique ability to combine melodic progressive metal elements with some modern progressive metal influences, while they let a flame for classic and US power metal to shine on their songs as well.
I have listened their debut quite extensively when it was released, and while I have noticed some ups and downs on the release, I was able to quite understand the band’s musical vibe and philosophy. So… So, I was quite curious to see if they had managed to keep this vibe on their second release.
Well, I got big news for you guys. Yes the band is still delivering this first class combination of melodic progressive, modern progressive and US Power Metal along with some classic heavy metal touches!
I would consider the “Awaken from Disguise” to be in an even darker mood compared with the debut. The songs are painted in darker colors, they sound even deeper, and are waiting for the listener to dive into them.
The band actually uses a “narrative” form to develop their song’s structure, meaning that the songs are getting expanded minute by minute, leaving you on a story – hearing mood. Yes and this works musically as well, not just by vocals and lyrics. How? Well it is the use of different tempos, extensive bridges, emphatic guitar parts and of course the presence of great vocal arrangements. These are the top features that complete the final “narrative” result of this album.
The melodies throughout the album are dark and reflect really well under the each and every musical approaching we would here on this release. From melodic Prog, to modern Prog, from classic to US Power Metal. Song “Tethered” and “Journey’s End” are good examples of this combination. Speaking about “Journey’s End” track it probably got one of the greatest epilogue parts of the album, together with the “Dream State” song which features an amazing melodic pre epilogue bridge, that would drive the listener to the final narrative epilogue part.
If I have to point a weak -in my opinion- part on the overall result this would be the specific usage of “slow parts” on specific songs. Yeap there are some times when the band develops some specific parts upon slow tempo using that slow and heavy type of riffing. Sometimes those parts are lasting a little bit longer than expected and I feel that they would sound even better under a different orchestration. For example there are similar parts where the band uses arpeggios on guitar and those parts sound absolutely great. But anyway this is mainly a personal opinion and you can simple judge for yourselves when you listen (ps. Hey Papadakis you simply can not stand those “modern parts”, leave the poor band alone, they are doing it ok!).
Denny Anthony has done an amazing vocal job for this album. And we can also hear some amazing guitar stuff by John Poggione and Matt Johnson (who also plays om the great Doomsters GRIEF COLLECTOR; we have actually reviewed their recent release, if you want to check them out).
Influences? Well I would pick QUEENSRYCHE –Empire / Promised Land era-, FATES WARNING –Perfect Symmetry era–, DREAM THEATER -Awake era-, NEVERMORE, CRIMSON GLORY, JUDAS PRIEST and IRON MAIDEN. Yeah you can focus into the music and discover those influences by yourself.
To cut a long story sort, here we got a very interesting Prog Metal album that you should check out.
SIGNS Of REIGN are back and they got good music to offer. Catch up with them!