May 23, 2021

It was only a short while ago that Velvet Thunder reviewed Foundations the latest album from Osyron, a band that began life in Ontario in Canada which then located to Alberta. They are very much a symphonic/progressive metal band and I was very impressed with the album.

The band’s second album, Kingsbane, came out in 2017 and this was mentioned in the review but now it is being made available again so it is time to have a look at what the band was doing prior to the release of Foundations. For starters, the line-up was virtually the same with Reed Alton on vocals, Krzysztof Stalmach and Bobby Harley on guitars, Tyler Corbett on bass and former drummer Trevor Cobb (now replaced by Cody Anstey). The original album has been remixed and remastered by the band and there are three bonus tracks which have all been re-recorded with the new drummer and include an acoustic version of Razor’s Wind as well as new versions of Viper Queen and Griefmaker. It will be interesting to see what long-time fans will make of the remixed version of the album which gives the album a slightly different take for sure and the newly recorded songs, with drummer Cody Anstey, will most assuredly be well received.

Photo: Ara Shimoon

I have to admit that I only gave the album a cursory listen at the time of reviewing ‘Foundatios so that I could get a flavour of what the band was about and where they had come from in musical terms and I did state that the two early album were thoroughly enjoyable progressive metal pieces with great songs, marvellous guitar and neat vocals which had put the band in a good place to produce the stronger material on Foundations and I still believe that the latest album or EP if you wish is a development on what has gone before. However, now that I have spent some time with Kingsbane I can confidently state that it is a huge and epic progressive metal masterpiece. The album is a concept work and is an often told tale about a reluctant hero forced to take up arms against an unjust oppressor, in this case, a tyrant King and the journey of discovery that he undertakes to fulfil his quest. You can buy into the story or ignore it if you wish but you really do need to spend some time with this barnstorming progressive metal delight.

Kingsbane is much longer than Foundations so you get more time to listen to and appreciate the musicians and vocalist Reed Alton truly shines with his pitch perfect and strong voice which is a pleasing combination of the vocal prowess and talents of James LaBrie and Ray Alder and I had failed to pick up just what an asset he was with just one quick listen previously. He is most ably supported by the rest of the band as they combine power and subtlety perfectly to create a most thrilling progressive metal album which we are truly fortunate to get a second chance to hear. The new tracks are a delight to and fun to listen to and contrast with the earlier versions and it is obvious that so much love, effort and attention has gone into the reworking of this excellent album. The publicity recommends that the music will appeal to fans of Nightwish, Dream Theater and Wintersun and they are quite correct but, for me, the band is closer to Dream Theater, Fates Warning and Redemption and they are three progressive metal bands that should be in everyone’s favourite’s list.

Do not delay, listen to this album and be amazed at a truly genius prog metal album, an essential item for your collection. There are lots of long tracks full of exquisite musicianship, time changes aplenty and enough power to light up a city.

Kingsbane (Deluxe Edition) track list

  1. From Ashes (2:12)
  2. To War (5:55)
  3. Razor’s Wind (8:15)
  4. Viper Queen (7:07)
  5. Griefmaker (6:41)
  6. Kingsbane (7:18)
  7. Empire Of Dust (7:27)
  8. Kingmaker (10:06)
  9. Razor’s Wind (Acoustic) (5:27)
  10. Griefmaker (Re-recorded) (5:27)
  11. Viper Queen (Re-recorded) (6:03)