Everybody wants the throne. Everybody wants to be on top, to be the first, the best, the biggest. The will to obtain power, the unscrupulousness whilst fighting for the throne that is deeply embodied in the TV fantasy series Game Of Thrones is now being transferred to a colossal musical equivalent, courtesy of the German power metal virtuosos ALMANAC. Raise the curtain for Kingslayer, the second album of the band surrounding guitar wizard Victor Smolski – and a murderous journey to the dark times of the regicides.
Let’s make one thing clear right from the start: ALMANAC’s mighty second strike Kingslayer is not about fantasy, it’s no fairy tale about slaying dragons and using powerful magic. It is our very own histories coming back at us in the shape of epic, forceful, wonderfully melodic and skillful anthems. Stories of murdered kings, of despots and tyrants, framed by an invincible power metal performance and presented by no less than three (!) lead singers. This is, of course, nothing new for those familiar with the new band of the former RAGE axeman Smolski and his new fellowship. On their stunning debut Tsar they already turned to Russian history, thus complementing this musical success by a pleasantly unique background for once not speaking about Vikings, Celts or druids.
The record caused quite a stir back in 2016. “It was indeed the perfect start for ALMANAC!” Victor Smolski recalls fondly. “Our debut has been greeted quite enthusiastically; it has been nominated for a Metal Hammer Award and was presented live at a lot of gigs. There could have been nothing better for the development of our band – especially because the feedback at our concerts was nothing short of amazing.” A quick look at the mere figures proves him true: Small club gigs, huge festivals, headliner shows, support slots: More than 50 shows in 10 countries has brought the band close together. “It’s as if we tumbled head-on through a crash course about how to become a functioning metal band”, Smolski laughs. Not that someone like him wouldn’t know already. His characteristic guitar work coined the sound of RAGE for more than 15 years; in the mid-nineties he had already written power metal history with his band MIND ODYSSEY. Since then, he has toured around the globe like there was no tomorrow.