The Druid King
1/11/2018 - Review by: Eric Compton
Collectively influenced by classic heavy metal along with modern European metal
Niviane is an American power metal band hailing from Sacramento, California formed in the fall of 2014. The band is collectively influenced by classic heavy metal along with modern European metal to produce what has been branded "A new breed of American Power Metal". The band's debut album, 'The Druid King', was recorded at Alien Production Studios in California, with JK Northrup (XYZ, Paul Shortino) at the helm and a Pitch Black Records sticker on the spine.
"The Berserker" is the band's leadoff single and album opener. The starting riff is very similar to Grave Digger's "The Curse of Jacques". At 1:08 vocalist Norman Skinner introduces himself with a Warrel Dane type of screaming vocal presence. Gang chants highlight the chorus parts with a bit of medieval flare. The young group showcase a lot of German Teutonic influences on tracks like "Gladiator" (sing along chorus, fast hands and feet) and the military percussion of "Into Twilight". There's a sprinkling of heavy riffed thrash through "Arise Samurai" and even a symphonic approach for "March of the Jotunn".
Both Mark Miner and Gary Tarplee actively combine dazzling guitar work that remains heavy but atmospherically flavored. The vocal talents of Skinner, big production, visually appealing artwork and imaginative writing really places the bar high for the band's sophomore effort. Based on this debut alone, Niviane are going to be a young band to watch.
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