SPLINTERED THRONE – THE GREATER GOOD OF MAN
Author: Paul Hutchings
02. The Crossing
03. Morning Star Rising
04. The Greater Good Of Man
05. Let It Rain
07. Night Of The Heathens
08. Time Stands Still
09. Immortal 2020 (Remastered)
Having been around for a decade, the only surprise about this solid release for me is that I’d not heard the band before. Fronted by newish signer Lisa Mann, who first featured on the single “Immortal 2020” as a showcase to support her arrival, the line-up is completed by bassist Brian Bailey, drummer Kris Holboke and guitarists Matt Dorado and J-Mo. The band’s third full-length, “The Greater Good Of Man”, is 42 minutes of traditional heavy metal goodness which unashamedly leans on the influences of bands as diverse as Metal Church, Iron Maiden and Diamond Head.
Mann brings a soulful and powerful vocal performance over the nine-tracks that range from flat out driving metal of opener “The Reaper Is Calling” through to the Maiden-esque “Underdogs”. There is plenty of diversity within the record, with Mann able to belt out huge anthems or change the tempo to a slower, calmer, melancholic approach. Alongside her, the dual guitar work is excellent throughout, with intricate solos, gentle picking and flat-out heavy metal riffs that explode out of the speakers.
The dual guitar style may mirror many a band but there is an originality that is refreshing. The thick heads down metal of “The Crossing” demand your attention, with Mann’s soaring vocal reminiscent of Rites To Ruin singer Krissie Kirby, such is the showstopping power she possesses. Close your eyes and the likeness is at times uncanny.
“The Greater Good Of Man” follows the Ronnie Dio school of storytelling and delivery, with each song scripted out through historical or fantastic stories. “Morning Star Rising” stretches deep into the Maiden/Rainbow crossover, reminiscent of Maiden‘s “Strange World” in places, but in a good way. In fact, it’s a song that demonstrates the best side of SPLINTERED THRONE, for whilst the influences are evident, they are not sewn on the lapels.
Elsewhere there is plenty to enjoy. The band are tight, the songs anthemic and definitely ones that will work in the live arena and underpinning it all is a crushing slab of heavy metal which overlaps with progressive and power metal genres to bring a pleasing and thoroughly entertaining release.