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LAST TRIBE ‘The Uncrowned ’
(Frontiers FRCD172) (2003)

The third album by this Swedish melodic metal act, the brainchild of songwriter/guitarist Magnus Karlsson. In vocalist Rikard Bengtsson they have a classic metal screamer who has the vocal power when needed but can easily tackle ballads/slower pieces of music.

Lyrically its as you expect with a fantasy slant and there are plenty of crunching guitars, with keyboards also high in the mix (played by Karlssson as well!). Pick of the bunch has to be the opener, Healer that rolls in on a wave of keys and guitar with an anthemic chorus. Royal Hunt fans will enjoy this one, especially as Bengtsson has moments very similar to Royal Hunt's John West. Full Moon is one for lovers of 80s hard rock a la Prophet (in the song structure) and Lillian Axe (in the guitars), moving from all out riffing to quieter passages a definate track for the live arena. Another plus point in this album's favour is the changes in tempo, its not all galloping riffs or slow, brooding passages.

One for fans of Royal Hunt for definite not as strong overall as Royal Hunt's latest album but a cut above many of the other metal releases out there vying for your cash and attention. Be nice to see them over for the Gods festival next year!


Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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