King of Kings Shining Force (Bloodbought) 2003

1. "The Old Serpent Whispers" (3:30)
2. "God Is Calling" (4:02)
3. "Bow Down" (4:00)
4. "Sign Of The Times" (5:22)
5. "The One I Love" (4:13)
6. "Come Quickly" (3:48)
7. "Shining Force" (5:03)
8. "Holy Nation" (4:40)
9. "A La Chamba (In Memory Of Jesse Flores)" [instrumental] (5:29)
10. "Apocalypse" (3:09)
11. "Holy Of Holies (Take Me In)" (4:50)
12. "The Blood" (5:59)
13. "Exodus" (4:11)
14. "The Holy One" (4:54)
15. "All To You" (5:19)

Shining Force are yet another band to bring back the 'classic metal' sound. Their songwriting is slightly technical and very melodic. The band is musically proficient as well; they have some excellent guitar solos and the vocals are quite enjoyable as well. Despite all these qualities, one of the strongest things about this CD is the lyrics which boldly proclaim their faith in Jesus Christ. Actually, it was this fact that tweaked my interest in Shining Force and had me tracking them down on-line. It's a shame there aren't more bands that take an unbending stance like this. Unfortunately, the low budget production and a terrible drum sound hinder this CD quite a bit. Also, I think the band should have chosen ten or eleven of their best songs and included them only. While I enjoy most of the songs on this disc, there are certainly some that are stronger than others and fifteen songs is just to long for an independent debut. On the positive side, I think this band shows much promise and I look forward to what they will release in the future. Hopefully the production will improve, because they already have a great singer, good chops and good songwriting capabilities. (Musically compares to bands like Sacred Warrior and Haven.)

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