Siren hails from Cincinatti and features members of Winterhymn, Hell Scorched Earth, Elimination and Imperial Vengeance. Thit quartet, founded in 2012 brings us something quite unique, an amazing blend of doom and black metal with vintage heavy metal. The result is 'A Kingdom Aflame', a surprising full-length which contains eight tracks that will rock your world in ways you didn't know it could rock. Well, seven track because there's a little breather present as well.
The album opens like many traditional heavy metal albums do. An acoustic intro, followed by distorted guitars and upbeat drums. After a short while, 'Fire and Blood' is a solid power metal track which holds a tremendous sense of euphoria, similar to bands like Gravedigger or Edguy. However, suddenly the bleakness of black metal comes shining through, complete with blast beats and fierce guitars.
'Into the Starless Night' follows a similar hard rock path with some vintage doom elements and a strong live capacity. There's twin guitar solo, a multitude of different vocals styles, some stoner rock elements and a lot more to be discovered. These elements make 'Ursine Lineage' my favourite song on the album. 'Bastard of the Dreadfort' somehow seems to borrow from death metal and hardcore and becomes a strange surprise on this album.
'Hiraeth' switches the sequence, opening like a crushing piece of black metal and evolving into something Sabaton could have written when the were in a doom-mood. Like most of the songs, it takes some time getting used to the strange combination. Luckily, Siren constists of a bunch of highly skilled musicians who possess a decent amount of songwriting skills. Each bit and piece of music on this album sounds convincing enough to remain enjoyable for the entire duration.
I wouldn't be surprised if Siren becomes a big name on the festival stages this summer. This music has the power to please them all, from the oldest metalhead to the youngster looking for new extremes. Maybe some people will frown upon the combination of completely different styles within the metal genre but that's their problem. This is just great stuff, with some flashes of mastery and enough quality to entertain you.