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On disc: Signum Regis

Signum Regis - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars
The Eyes Of Power - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

The Eyes Of Power

The Eyes Of Power
(Inner Wound Records - 2010)

Vindex bassist Ronnie König founded Signum Regis in 2007 and in 2008 Signum Regis presented their self-titled debut. The Slovakian band got convince Göran Edman to sing on their debut and Mr. Edman is still handling the vocals.
It's a concept album which deals with the Roman-Persian relations during the late antiquity (224 – 630 AD) in the Middle East.
The album begins with Renewal In The East, a song with a prominent bass line at the opening passage, then a break and they head into a progressive passage. The instrumental leads you into the album, but has no catchy elements and so isn't easy accessible. For Dura Europos they speed up and Mr. Edman joins in. It's a fast power metal tune with tempi changes, but also offers epic vocal parts. As the songs tell a story based in the Middle East you'll find some sonic fragments from the area to support the story. At Purpleborn the refrain is catchy and will hook you up immediately. At this one neo-classical elements are more obvious and kinda replace the progressive elements. A mid-paced rocker is Mystical Majesty and one more time guitarists Filip Koluš and Ado Kaláber can show their skills in a song supportive way. The instrumentals surely give them more space to shine, but next in line is a fast, riff-based tune called One Fatal Enterprise. For the chorus they slow down and again offer some catchy melody lines, but also some progressive passages. Personally I'm not a huge fan of instrumentals, but Signum Regis don't overdo it. So The Underground Temple offers some Middle East sounds beside giving the guys the chance to shine, but they don't get lost in technical playing, they always get back on track and support the song. At Oathbreaker Göran Edman delivers a great vocal performance, not that he isn't on other tracks, but this one sticks out! It also has a light 80's atmosphere. One of my favorites on The Eyes Of Power!

The last instrumental Roma Aeterna can't hook me up, but the mid-paced tune is intense due to the pumping bass line which is the heartbeat of the song. The closer is called Destroyers Of The World, a symphonic beginning slowly leads you into the last chapter of the story.
Again Signum Regis present an album full of melodic power metal tunes which are enriched with neo-classical sounds and progressive elements. The songs offer catchy refrains, complex passages and riff-based parts. To get a first impression, check out the trailer the band made for The Eyes Of Power!

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


Signum Regis

Signum Regis
(Locomotive Music - 2008)

Do you know the Slovakian band Vindex? Well, Signum Regis is mainly Vindex, just that Vindex singer Ludek Struhar is playing drums now and the microphone was taken over by no one else then Göran Edman! Signum Regis was founded in 2007 by bassist Ronnie König to have a place for songs which didn't fit to Vindex.
They open up with an organ leading with epic sounds into Fields Of Stars which is an up-tempo tune. It's obvious that the guys are influenced by Yngwie Malmsteen, not just the guitarists. The voice of Göran Edman fits well to the 80's sound. Fields Of Stars has a catchy hook and combines powerful melodic metal with neo-classical elements. And with the following All Over The World they push the accelerator down... The song reminds me a bit of Stratovarius - in the opening... What I miss is the fire... the emotions. But somehow this was something I always missed from Malmsteen and the likes. At Neverland they sound more alive! The song is heavier and even if it's more melodic metal the song can shine... Like a heavy version of TNT... They become balladesque with For Ever And A Day. A powerful balladesque rocker and here they can touch you. Here they show feelings and this side of Signum Regis is in my opinion more interesting than the neo-classical side. Sure, they don't present anything new, but the hard rock / melodic metal tunes are stronger. At The Rain is partly based on a heavy groove, but partly they get back to the melodic speed metal. The slower groove parts are quite interesting and here the neo-classical elements build a nice contrast. But it gets mediocre with the 'standard' melodic speed metal refrain.... The instrumental Mountain Haze shows that their music works, but when they stick to the neo-classical stuff then it works better without vocals... But perhaps it's coz they slow down and the guitars get more space without vocals. I guess it's mainly that they slow down. More mid-tempo next time, if you ask me. The closer is Sirens Roar which can hook you up - after a few spins. The tune is a bit hymn-like and partly the vocals of Göran Edman are a bit raw and the slower passage makes the song stick out. Okay, you also get some Malmsteen-ish guitar licks, but they show a bit more then that here.
The songs on the self-titled debut have an 80's sound and they are well performed. The mastering was in the hands of Tommy Hansen. In my opinion Signum Regis is stronger when they use less neo-classical elements, when they slow down a bit. I'm not sure what's their aim and I can only recommend to make a decision which way to turn - before they record another album. Don't get me wrong, this album isn't a waste of time, but they should work on their strong points. Mnoho št'astia!

7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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