January 27, 2022

Once again, the album cover never lies! Take a look to see an armoured knight with sword held high standing over a vanquished foe with some sort of demonic hell dog by his side whilst a castle burns in the background and all to a blood red portentous sky. Welcome back my friends to the ever glorious world of power metal and if you do not worship at this particular altar then I suggest you move on rather rapidly.

Onto the band and we find a relatively new outfit from Akron, Ohio which was put together in 2016 by singer and guitarist Jacob Wherley and guitarist Patrick Kern. They were then joined by bassist Eric Curry in 2019 and have now released a couple of EPs (available for the usual streaming and download sites) plus the Devil’s Warhead single which features guest vocals from fellow Ohio resident Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens and a faithful and reverential version of Priest’s Victims Of Changes and there, in a nutshell, you have the band perfectly defined.

High King is Emerald Rage’s most impressive debut release and it is a real statement of intent from a hungry and determined power trio that is destined to make a mark in power metal. You only have to look at the bands that the musicians name check as major influences and these all perfectly sum up the exciting, enticing and aggressive power metal that the band delivers so well. They are definitely influenced by the whole NWOBHM movement plus the heavy weights in Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy, Running Wild, Helloween, Scorpions, Judas Priest (of course), Sabaton and Metallica amongst others. This is a glorious power metal album with just enough thrash to raise the energy levels even further and all delivered with a 100mph panache that leaves you quite breathless. Hard and strident vocals and lots of huge riffs and tremendous solos make High King a most impressive debut and, yes, there are a few rough edges which can be smoothed out and they surely have many years to do that and a certain roughness makes the band just that little bit more dangerous.

If you are looking for a new name to shake up the power metal top order then I suggest you start immediately with Emerald Rage.

High King

  1. Into the Sky (5:30)
  2. Wrathful Eyes (4:26)
  3. High King (5:37)
  4. Heart of a Pagan (3:25)
  5. Dire Wolves (3:29)
  6. White Stag (3:54)
  7. Empress (3:21)
  8. Goddess Freya (3:56)
  9. Wings of Solitude (5:35)