Warkings is a fairly new Power Metal band that I have somehow managed to miss. Considering they have only been around since 2018 and “Revolution” is already their 3rd full-length album, I can tell this band is having a quick ascension into the subgenre’s higher ranks. If this is also your first time reading about this band, you should know that they play a pretty straightforward form of euro Power Metal, less focused on keyboards than most, and instead of one where rock-solid riffs and hooks become the main attraction. Their ‘gimmick’ (all newish Power Metal bands seem to have a gimmick these days, right?) is well, War. But not in a military way like Sabaton, and more in a LARP kind of way, focusing on tales of ancient warriors and their feats. “Revolution” pretty much follows this theme throughout and manages to deliver 40 minutes of some of the catchiest and hookiest metal I have listened to this year.
The album starts with “We are the Fire”, a very in-your-face opener with thick riffs and powerful vocals (courtesy of Georg Neuhauser of Serenity). All in all, a pretty solid but average Heavy/Power track, although the gang choruses in the middle section sound really cool. “Sparta – part 2” is next, and right away it sets a different mood with its eastern folky influences. Also, is it me or does the verse here sounds eerily similar to Kamelot’s “Nights of Arabia”? The chorus is both as simple and cheesy as anything, but it works somehow and makes this song a perfect addition for a live set. “Fight” comes next, and after a short vocal intro comes what I think is the most theatrical track in the whole album. The contrast between the amazing main riff and the dramatic vocal delivery make it a very fun one to listen to. “Spartacus” comes next and with it the Greek influences, which soon turn into a crushing Groove Metal main section and harsh vocals a la Randy Blythe. The chorus fails to be as memorable as the previous ones, but the guitar solo shines bright.
The next song is “Kill for the King”, a very middle of the road Heavy/Power Metal song that is not bad but doesn’t really bring anything new or too interesting to the table. “Deus lo Vult” comes right after. This one is a mid-tempo song that struggles a bit to reach the levels of energy of the rest of the album. The chorus is almost anthemic, but it doesn’t really get there in my opinion. Again, a perfectly decent track, but that fails to stand out. Next comes “Ave Roma”, easily my favourite song from the album. This one is a killer from start to finish, a true metal headbanger. The chorus is as addictive as they get and the guitar solo is spectacular. “Ragnar” is an odd song. It starts with a nice sea shanty, and then some gang chants and guitar riffs that remind me of Amon Amarth kick in. The song becomes a bit mellow, but in general, this song feels a bit disjointed. “By the Blade” is another killer track, a fast and unrelentless Power Metal anthem. Great kicks and guitar lead pave the way to a great vocal performance in a song where every musician shines. The album finishes with “Where Dreams Die”, a good song with a more epic feel to it and very nice melodies and good contrast between slower and faster sections. Not the best song in the album but an appropriate closer for a solid album without a doubt.
“Revolution” manages to give the listener a very consistent Power Metal experience, where all the musicians play their parts but are rarely given an opportunity to really shine. This is a fairly conservative and safe album within its subgenre, and although it doesn’t really need to be more than that, sometimes I feel the band is capable of delivering more than they are. Most of the songs are perfectly fine Power Metal headbangers, but it is more of the same that other bands are already doing. Production is very tight overall and with the quality, you would expect from a Napalm Records album. If you are a fan of this genre, this album is definitely for you.
Album highlights: Sparta pt.2, Fight, Ave Roma, By the Blade
For fans of: Dream Evil, Rebellion, Hammerfall, Mystic Prophecy
Release Year: 2021
Label: Napalm Records
Reviewed by Roman Ibarra