Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Seven Kingdoms - The Fire is Mine (2012)
Despite all the good talk, complications tend to set in for female-fronted bands. Similar acts have been accused of being a gimmick--many of them rightly so--but in the case of Seven Kingdoms, the label is undeserved considering the line-up changes the members have endured. Generally, these kinds of groups use their female members only for their sex appeal, drawing in a "listening" crowd but at the cost of future development. Because of the ploy, most fans don't stay interested long enough to see these artists outgrow their infancy stage and loses the drive to complete another album. In other words, the project dissolves.
If only for Sabrina Valentine heading Seven Kingdoms, first listens might be suggestive of the gimmick, but the feeling quickly fades as listeners make their way through the track listing. Compared with previous releases, the songwriting is slightly stronger this time around; tighter and more indicative of the direction the band intends to take their music in. Although the self-titled had better standout tracks, The Fire is Mine is improved as a cohesive product, ironing out the inconsistencies of the prior albums while unfortunately holding one glaring similarity: as if Seven Kingdoms did not learn from their past mistakes, two filler-like intro pieces, "Beyond the Wall" and "A Debt Paid in Steel," mar what is an otherwise excellent roster and interrupt the flow a bit like an interlude placed in the middle of a play.
Only time will tell if that popularity is attainable, however. Initial response to The Fire is Mine has been overwhelmingly positive, and anticipation for the record seemed substantially bigger than the last. Regardless of the situation, Seven Kingdoms currently sit at the top of their discography, and the next will have to work much harder to push The Fire is Mine from its pedestal.