Words: Craig Hartranft
I can't help myself. I see the band name Magic Kingdom and I think Disney. Images of Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy running about form in my mind. But this Magic Kingdom has nothing to do with Disney. This is another band from guitar master Dushan Petrossi and that means heavy power metal with an abundance of face melting riffage and leads.
Essentially, that last sentence summarizes the essence of Magic Kingdom's latest and fourth album. To be fair, some small elucidation is necessary. Not everything here is galloping power. More often than not, the songs vary the pace from a moderate tempo to one faster. Also, as expected, Petrossi not only uses his guitar to deliver heavy riffage, but also the melody and harmony as well. Ex-Adagio vocalist Christian Palin follows this with ease adding to the depth of the arrangements. Yet, he's still the typical metal singer with more than a few screams in his lungs.
Returning to the aforementioned heavy riffage, 'heavy' is probably the best word to describe the overall sound and tone of the album. Petrossi also adds in some symphonic elements to his riffage to make things even more bombastic. However, I'm not sure if he's doing this with keyboards or guitar synths; it's simply not clear. On first spin, I wondered if all these things merely added up to the songs being another showcase for Petrossi's exceptional guitar skill. On the one hand, the answer is, absolutely. After all, it's his band and the guitar is the forward part. Guitar geeks will love his guitar wizardry. On the other hand, these are well-formed songs. Along with the guitar presence steering the songs, melody definitely has some influence, and the structure suggests a beginning, middle and end to each composition. It's not merely the guitar floundering about in so much fret wonkery. But it's there. In other words, Petrossi knows how to build a solid song and drop in his massive riffage and burning leads. Aspiring guitar gurus should take not. Suggested listens: With Fire and Swords, Guardian Angels, Full Moon, and Four Demon Kings of Shadowlands, a rather epic piece.
Magic Kingdom is another band from guitar master Dushan Petrossi and that means heavy power metal with an abundance of face melting riffage and leads.
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