World On Fire 

MILLENNIAL REIGN have returned with a new album that promises to captivate melodic power metal fans: World On Fire.” Known for their intricate orchestration and powerful riffs, the U.S.-based band continues to explore the depths of symphonic metal, blending heavy instrumentation with atmospheric elements. While the album showcases the band’s strengths, it also highlights areas where they have room to grow and evolve.

The album opens with Exousia,” a track that sets an atmospheric tone with its synthy, electronic, and string-filled intro, creating anticipation for what’s to follow. Bring Me To Life transitions seamlessly from the opener into a symphonic section that, interestingly, reminds me of the Tron Legacy score (this is a good thing). However, the vocals, while competent, lack the dynamic range needed to fully captivate listeners. The track tends to feel repetitive, and the vocals lose their impact towards the end, diminishing the overall tension.

Wandering brings a refreshing change with its Arabic/Indian influenced intro, featuring a sitar and unique percussive elements. The song picks up pace and excitement with heavier drums, although the vocals are sometimes overshadowed by the instrumental richness. A guitar solo eventually revitalizes the track, though it arrives a bit late. The intricate percussion and exotic melodies make this song a standout in terms of musical exploration.

Trust stands out with a familiar yet elusive sound, reminiscent of early Delain albums, especially A Day For Ghosts (from Lucidity – 2006). The chorus is catchy, and the guitar solo is well-timed. However, the vocals still struggle to stand out against the orchestration. Despite this, the song’s structure is solid and offers a compelling listen. We Follow On showcases some interesting drum work but suffers from flat vocals, especially during sustained notes, which lack the necessary punch. The song concludes quickly, maintaining a brisk and engaging tempo. The dynamic drum patterns provide a strong backbone, keeping the listener’s attention despite the vocal shortcomings.

Eternity starts with a memorable, if somewhat midi-sounding, melody. At this point of the album, I felt a pattern emerging in Tiffany Galchutt‘s vocals: she has a strong voice that seems to be often under-utilized. The guitar solo here is atmospheric, blending nicely with the midi strings and Tiffany‘s subtle fade-in towards the end. The layered instrumental elements create a lush soundscape, though the repetition in lyrics slightly dampens its impact.

Parousia offers a dramatic snare drum intro followed by a choir, setting a serious tone before transitioning into Crack The Eastern Sky.” This subsequent track incorporates Arabic scales effectively, aligning well with their style. The infusion of Middle Eastern influences adds a unique flair, enhancing the album’s thematic diversity.

Tongues Of Fire begins with fast strings and choir elements, building interest with a false pre-chorus. When the actual chorus arrives, it is catchy and memorable, though it could benefit from stronger percussion to heighten its dramatic effect. The intricate string arrangements and powerful choir give the track an epic feel, making it one of the more memorable pieces on the album.

World On Fire brings Delain to mind once again, with a midi-sounding piano and energetic drums. This track stands out due to its dynamics and Tiffany‘s more powerful vocals, especially towards the end, offering an uplifting yet somewhat mismatched mood. The energetic drum work and piano melodies create an engaging contrast that highlights Tiffany‘s vocal strengths.

Onward To Victory” features a synthy intro and high-energy buildup, leading to one of the album’s best choruses. This track, with its fast-paced tension and catchy hook, is poised to be a live favorite. The vibrant energy and infectious chorus make it an ideal track for live performances.

The album’s standout track, Allied Forces,” starts with a synth lower in the mix and dominant guitar and drums, harking back to old-school heavy metal and hard rock – there are moments where Tiffany’s impressive falsettos are a nod to Guns N’ Roses. Her vocals completely shine throughout this track, exuding an 80s hair metal attitude with a touch of vocal fry. The guitar solo is outstanding, and the song’s structure is tight and engaging, making it the album’s highlight. The blend of nostalgic rock elements with modern metal sensibilities sets this track apart as a testament to the band’s versatility.

Overall, MILLENNIAL REIGN‘s latest offering has moments of brilliance, particularly in Allied Forces,” which exemplifies the band’s potential. It does everything right in my books: strong melodic lines, excellent dynamics, frequent changes, emotive and driven vocals, and beautifully mixed instrumentation. This is what I hope to hear more of from MILLENNIAL REIGN. World On Fire has plenty to love for fans of symphonic metal, hard rock, and particularly Delain enthusiasts. With more dynamic changes and a greater focus on maximizing vocal potential, MILLENNIAL REIGN could reach new heights in their future works.

Angela Ambrose