F U L L . R E V I E W S


Niviane
The Druid King
Type: CD
Company: Pitch Black
Release: 2017
Genre: Power
Reviewer: Eric Compton
Published: 1/11/2018
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.
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: NIVIANE
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
The Druid KingNiviane
2017
Eric Compton1/11/2018


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