Kings of Mercia – ‘Kings of Mercia’

Metal Blade Records
A-Z, Cleanbreak, Generation Radio, Skillz
Release Date
September 23, 2022
Metal Blade Records
Heavy Metal/Hard Rock

                When it comes to guitar players, there are those names which are batted around more than a tennis ball at Wimbledon, we all know the names. Yet, one of the most underrated and overlooked names out there is Jim Matheos, who has put together a new project Kings of Mercia (KoM) with the band releasing their self-titled debut album.

                Matheos is a musician capable of delivering huge melodies with whale sized hooks and ‘Kings of Mercia’ is no different. To animate this project and truly bring it alive, to complete the line-up of KoM, Matheos brings on board fellow Fates Warning bassist Joey Vera, powerhouse drummer Simon Phillips and perhaps the strangest choice, Steve Overland of melodic rock band FM. Yet, having Overland at the vocal helm shows a completely different side to Overland who demonstrates that he can push well beyond the confines of melodic rock and deliver an album of heavy metal/hard rock which is very, very good. Through tracks such as ‘Humankind’, ‘Wrecking Ball’ and ‘Your Life’, KoM power forward with songs which just ooze melody, dynamics and class that show just how many years of veteran professionalism this band have under their belt. Whether they’re tearing it up or bearing their soul with an acoustic ballad, ‘Kings of Mercia’ is an excellent piece of work.

                However, there are those who ‘may’ find this album too melodic from the heavy side or those from the melodic side which find it too heavy. Yet, if you sit in the middle, you’ll find a cracking album that can be played over and over again, so you’re quids in.

"a cracking album that can be played over and over again"

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