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Just as in medieval times, Kingscrossing like the brave knights before
them ride into battle waging war with their instruments of power. Suited
with double axes, Kingscrossing defends the true metal of the olden days.
The self titled release could easily been a 1987 release instead of 2007.
Done in a straight up heavy metal fashion, the album is the distinctive
style of true 80’s metal. This is not an 80’s pop metal or hair metal band
hence the word true. Kingscrossing like US power metal band Omen is doing
things old school. It is not that the material is dated, but the album
does sort of rehash what some of us have already heard. Still this is a
smart move in todays metal scene in my opinion. besides, The band has a
great sound and many of us long to go back in time when metal was driven
by fans and sound.

Kingscrossing‘s catchy choruses will have you singing (yelling in my case)
right along with Michael Adams on vocals. This man can really shout and
has a clear and precise power in the fashion of Bruce Dickenson and Eric
Adams. In fact, Kingscrossing are very similar in content and style to
Iron Maiden and Manowar. I am not sure it is quite the caliber as these
metal masters, but it is a solid album and can be listened to in full with
no complaints. Musically, the album demonstrates great talent from all
members. I would like to see them get a bit more energy driven with added
depth lyrically. I want to hear the energy drip from their pores. Check
them out. Unlike most bands, Kingscrossing allows you to listen to the
entire album on their website. Definitely check out Stuck In A Hole.

Tim Lynch - HeavyMetalReview    

Review by  Michael the MettleAngel

For the noble knights of Kingscrossing, Metal is Life. These battlescarred diligent warriors are true defenders of the faith. Struggling to enlighten young naive' minds about the true nature of Heavy Metal, these magnanimous souls fight to the death to remunerate the spirit of real mettle. With a rapid fire succession of crunchy, punchy riffs, solicitous soloing, and steadfast drumming, these chivalrous soldiers tap into the everlasting powersource of pure 80's brilliance.

These Metal Angels dwell in the "city that never sleeps"; thus, they are ever vigilant, ready to rule the night, and reign in glory. These kings of excellence crossed paths in 2000; united with a heartfelt desire to play classic arena rock rhythms. Kingscrossing is primarily the CD baby of Zach Grimm, who serves as main songwriter and lyricist. The debut album was released in 2005, but neither the band, nor fans were satisfied with the overall effort; so like Armory, Kingscrossing returned to the studio to rework the songs. They hired classically trained vocalist Michael Adams to replace Greg Williams, and added second guitarist Richie Pagan. The result is a revamped, well-worked second edition rendering.

Make no mistake, Kingscrossing are Traditional Metal, the epitome of the classic 80's style; elucidating all the characteristics of melody, majesty, and mayhem. They resonate the vibe of such Metal Blade heroes as Tyrant, Omen, Obsession, Liege Lord, Hades, Riot, Fates Warning, etc; who if still present today, are mere reflections of past glory. As if struck by lightning, the whole intention of Kingscrossing is to qualify the milieu of metal as not only relevant, but essential.

The CD commences with an eerie techno pulse which emanates and evolves into a medieval offering similar to Saxon's - Crusader. This track has a very infectious bite, and catchy riff, which echoes in my heart long after the song subsides. Powersource is raging steel, with a powersurge of energetic electro-violence and sonic aggression. L.I.F.E. expresses poignant emotion; contrasted by the harsh reality of everyday existence. Brainwashed delivers with its psychotherapeutic toxicity; while Nightmares will have you running to the hills, with no idea why. Reflections summons the sirens of Savatage, reverting the listener to the empire of the Queen of the Reich.

Stalker is a killer cut, with its Street Lethal Racer X riffage and guitar frenzy. Each strident strum endures with an indelible effect, which leaves one scarred for life. Richie Pagan & Zach Grimm meld strings to produce a chilling chord cadence, echoing Jack Frost, Paul Gilbert, and the Malice of Jay Reynolds. Rapid Fire is another ripping guitar assault triumphantly bowing to the battalions of Metal Church.

Kingscrossing remind me of the highly under appreciated war veterans Zaxas. These Christians signed with Noise Records in the mid 90's after serving their country in the Gulf War. Zaxas have a great deal in common with Kingscrossing. Musically the songs are very similar in structure and stlye, and vocalist Michael Adams has a pitch very similar to Dale Anthony. He also reminds me of Michael Tirelli from Holy Mother & Messiah's Kiss.

One may easily detect the band's fondness for Dio, Maiden, Manowar, & Queensrÿche.. All songs fervently flow very well, but Stuck In A Hole ends abruptly, and is not the appropriate song for concluding this album. Angels Of The Night would have been a better choice.

I admire the honesty and integrity of the lyrics as well. Some songs are very personal to Zach and his brothers; others are more fantasy, or reality based. Either way, each song guages with a specific message, not of anger or resentment, but of hope and promise. Kingscrossing think good things and move out of judgementalism, into an attitude of gratitude. I highly respect this personal power of creation.

Celebrate real metal and sojourn with Kingscrossing. I can see why they are a top seller at Their committement and determination will prove most beneficial. Like Lizzy Borden, Zandelle, Wild Dogs, or Aska, these knights defend the holy realm; so that someday soon, the expendable youth, and brainwashed masses may finally wake from their bedlam of hails and horns, only to realize that True Metal never dies! 
          7 chalices of 10 

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Reviewed: 2-8-08 by KIT

It warms the cockles of my heart to see that the 80s traditional U.S. heavy metal sound is alive and well today. I'm not talking power metal, progressive metal, speed metal, symphonic Hollywood blackened theatrical operatic horror viking metal, or any of those other fractured sub-genres, just plain old-fashioned, true-as-steel American metal in the vein of Axehammer, Malice, Lizzy Borden, Breaker, Vicious Rumors, Obsession, Leatherwolf, 'Dungeons'-era Savatage, 'Warning'-era Queensryche, Armored Saint and the like. To my ears, the pride of Texas, Aska, are the leading purveyors of this style, but Nevada's Kingscrossing have enthusiastically thrown their hat in the ring with their 's/t', independently released debut CD.

From the outset, it is immediately clear that Kingscrossing ooze professionalism and class. The musicianship is proficient, to say the least, especially the searing 6-string work of Zack Grimm and Richie Pagan (love the stage names, guys). The production is sharp, clear and superior to that heard on many of today's bigger-budget recordings. And vocalist Michael Adams is a massive talent. He claims to be influenced by Geoff Tate and Ronnie James Dio, and I hear both of those. But I'd also toss in some Bobby Lucas (Overlorde), Mark Vanderbilt (early Kamelot), Jim Hamar (Breaker), and, for something a bit more obscure, Dale Anthony (Zaxas). His technical skills are superb, and he manages to be powerful, controlled and expressive all at the same time.

Of course, for a band like Kingscrossing to succeed, the songs must be excellent. Let's face it: This style of music has been around for more than a quarter century. If, like Kingscrossing, you are choosing to perform that sound in undiluted, pure form, without innovation or experimentation, then it is imperative that the songs be strong. (Don't get me wrong: I'm not criticizing the band for playing true, unabashed American metal. Far from it, I applaud the choice. But that narrow path isn't necessarily the easiest road to recognition given the conventions and inherent limitations in the style, so great songwriting is a must.) On this metric, 'Kingscrossing' is a winner. Sticking to the midtempo for the most part, Kingscrossing present a host of compelling riffs and cool vocal melodies, with memorable songs. The adrenaline-powered "Rapid fire" (no, not a Judas Priest cover) is an obvious highlight, as are the band's eponymous track (opening line: "Stand up and fight for the king and the queen") and the speedier bursts of "Powersource" and "L.I.F.E.". All 11 songs are effective, and there are no ballads, instrumentals, intros, outros or other pointless time-wasters on this lean 45-minute attack. The mantra "all killer, no filler" comes to mind.

What's frustrating is that a band of Kingscrossing's caliber continues to toil in obscurity. They're unsigned and have little word-of-mouth buzz, to my knowledge. However, late last year Kingscrossing crossed the pond for a short tour and an appearance at the famous Swordbrothers Festival in Andernach, Germany a few days before Christmas. Here's hoping that 2008 is kind to Kingscrossing, a band with the chops, talent and songs to turn, no, bang, many heads in the underground metal community.

Finally, a caveat: Confusingly, there are 2 versions of this debut CD floating around. The earlier edition (recorded in 2005) features a different singer, somewhat different tracklisting and weaker production. If you decide to check out Kingscrossing, make certain you pick up the 2006 pressing, which features re-recorded material, new material, better production, and Adams' stellar pipes.       KIT 

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KINGSCROSSING- Kingscrossing (independent) 
Review by 9/10- Toine van Poorten

Metal fans raise your swords, because the debut album of KINGSCROSSING is a true killer!!! Eleven songs with a total playing time of forty-five minutes, showing us that true metal is still very much alive. The band hails from Arizona, where they polished their best armour and sharpened their axes, before going to battle. The five warriors of metal can be proud of their album. No clichées, no GAMMA RAY or HELLOWEEN-like galloping beats, but powerful metal hymns is what you get, spiced up with some great twin axework. Just listen to a song like “Powersource” to get the idea what the two axemasters have in mind for you. “Brainwashed” starts off quite interesting and it will catch your attention right away. Get a load of riffage in this song, it’s great! “Nightmares” opens with a drum intro similar to “Run To The Hills” of IRON MAIDEN in 1982. The rest of the song could well be on any old SAVATAGE album. While “Reflections” sounds more like the old QUEENSRYCHE stuff in the early days. As you can see, there is plenty of variation in the sound of KINGSCROSSING, and they sounds like some of the best old school metal bands. In “Angels In The Night”, singer Michael Adams sounds like a Ronnie James Dio. The song shows some similarity with “Stars” of the short lived HEAR ‘N AID PROJECT. “Stalker” and “Bed Of Nails” can be categorised as great songs, but in my opinion “Rapid Fire” is one of the definite highlights on this CD. It’s not the JUDAS PRIEST cover, that goes by the same name, but it does have the same power as this metal anthem. ‘You live by the sword, die by the sword’, backed with an ultraheavy riff, yes that’s the shit I wanna hear. The CD closes with the short “Stuck In A Hole”. Just one last check. Was this album recorded in 1982 or in 2006? It was recorded in 2006 by a band called KINGSCROSSING, consisting of Michael Adams on vocals, Zack Grimm on lead guitar, Richie Pagan on lead guitar, Rob Shock on bass and D. Hying on drums. KINGSCROSSING, a name to remember, if old school heavy metal is your thing! (9/10- Toine van Poorten)


CD/DVD Reviews
Kingscrossing Independent

by Derric Miller
Staff Writer

Comments: With band members with names like Zack Grimm (guitar) and Richie Pagan (guitar), there is right around zero chance the band Kingscrossing won't succeed. It's called kismet, karma, luck … some things just make sense, just fit together. These guys HAD to be in a Metal band, you see? Oh yeah, the bass player's name is Rob Shock; go figure. Rounding out the band is lead singer Michael Adams and drummer D.Hying, and together, they have released one of the coolest independent releases in quite a while.

Kingscrossing has influences of Queensryche - mostly due to Adams' similar vocal style to Geoff Tate - and they also have a bit of Power Metal or NWOBHM in their music, like Saxon. Kind of a "can't fail formula," eh?

The CD opens with a song after the band's name, typically either a narcissistic or just bad move. It's not too bad, here, though. "Kingscrossing" has Lynch-like riffs and searing guitar leads, a triumphant and galloping rhythm section, and some impressive vocals from Adams. They admit their sound a bit like "medieval metal" in their MySpace page, and you'll get that here. Both Grimm and Pagan eschew normal rhythm playing for speedy and fast guitar passages.

"L.I.F.E." is one of the songs that should go far in making these guys well known. It's heavy, with more insane guitar leads, and Adams shines vocally. He's received classical training, much like Geoff Tate, and you'll hear it in his delivery. Everything is under control-there's no untimely or untoward screams, no reaching for notes he can't attain. His lower passages are just as good as his higher range, meaning he understands just because you can hit the high notes doesn't make you a great singer. He's got the whole package. Check out Grimm's solo on "L.I.F.E." It's fat and full, sort of like a Zakk Wylde solo.

Shock tears into things on "Nightmares," leading the way with a funky and grooving bass intro. This song is a bit more experimental than the others. It has quirky guitar sections, and Adams' voice is kind of pushed to the front, rhythmically jousting with the lead guitar. Cool.

Now, when they do slow things down, you are going to get a major Queensryche comparison. On "Reflections," the song begins slow, and has that same ominous feel of "Take Hold of the Flame." Adams uses his higher range, and the song picks after the opening to another straightforward metal anthem.

That's about as slow as the band decides to get, though. The next tracks are all high quality, like "Angels In the Night," "Stalker" and "Bed of Nails," but they don't really branch out and try new things. It would have been interesting to hear the band pull off a ballad or mid-tempo rocker, letting Adams show what he can really do. Maybe next time around.

Kingscrossing is a strong release. If you like guitars, they are your band. If you like high-quality singers, Adams won't leave you wanting. They know how to write great songs, even if they sometimes fall into similar styles.



2007 Private Pressing (45:55)  Metal Rules
Review by IronIngo

This band from Las Vegas is hot as hell in the word's purest sense for this self-produced and self-titled CD is powerfood for every voracious Metalhead. The opener and title track inevitably reminds me of FIFTH ANGEL while the following "Powersource" is fast and heavy and makes me draw comparisons to POWERSURGE or LETHAL. Every single track feels like a journey back in time to the good old 80ies.And thus the band's variable sound cannot be compared to only one band but legends as WARRIOR, OMEN, ROUGH CUTT or AXEHAMMER could serve as a stylistical orientation for you. And, of course,vocalist Michael Adams' voice is 100% pure Metal. Senseless to point out any single song here for this album totally kills. You ought to check out there homepage as well to listen to several sound files which should finally convince you completely !!


Translation: Peter Schulien


Review by Michael Kohsiek
Sacred Metal Page > Sacred Reviews >  Kingscrossing

Ich verstehe es einfach nicht. Forstet man einschlägige Seiten wie myspace oder cdbaby nach "neuen", unbekannten Metalbands durch, so kann man beinahe wöchentlich hoffnungsvolle Talente entdecken, die ihr Herz nach wahrem Metal musikalisch ausleben. Was ich nicht begreife: Mittlerweile sollte sich herumgesprochen haben, dass man mit US-Metal, der bekanntlich nicht gerade "in" ist, nicht einen einzogen Blumentopf gewinnen kann, ganz im Gegenteil: Das Gros der vermeintlichen Metalfans lacht solche Bands aus und weiß meistens ganz genau, wieso diese "anachronistischen Combos für die Ewiggestrigen" keinen Plattenvertrag an Land ziehen können - es mangelt einfach an Talent und Originalität. Wieso spielen also immer noch soviele Bands völlig trendfreien, "richtigen" Heavy Metal ohne Ambitionen, Erfolg zu haben, der über die knapp 500 verkauften Einheiten im Underground hinaus geht? Ich weiß es nicht - aber ich bin jeden Tag dankbar, dass es sie alle gibt - in dieser Woche sind es Kingscrossing aus dem staubigen, glitzernden Las Vegas, die mich umgeblasen haben.

Ganz in der Tradition von Jag Panzer, Omen, Warrior oder auch Fifth Angel geht es auf den meist recht midtempolastigen elf Songs zur Sache. Über die gesamte Distanz vermag die Gitarrenarbeit von Hauptsongwriter Zack Grimm sowie seinem Sidekick Richie Pagan zu begeistern, die sich ein faszinierendes Duell nach dem anderen aus den Handgelenken schütteln und in alter Criss Oliva-Tradition sowohl hervorragend solieren als auch straight nach vorne riffen können.

Kingscrossing können übrigens auch schneller: "Rapid Fire" ist dem ein oder anderen vielleicht auf der aktuellen CD-Beilage des "Heavy" in Erinnerung geblieben, wo man zu den Höhepunkten zählt und auch "Powersource" ist ein over the top-Powermonger, bei dem man gerne seinen Kopf schüttelt. Dass der "Rest" der Full-Length-Scheibe alles andere als ein "Rest" ist, hab ich in den letzten Tagen mehrfach begeistert hören dürfen. Neben etlichen hymnenhaften Refrains (allen voran bleiben "Kingscrossing", "Reflections" sowie "Nightmares" in hervorragender Erinnerung) kann besonders Sänger Michael Adam mit seiner kraftvollen, fabelhaften Stimme punkten. Hörmöglichkeiten bietet die bandeigene Seite sowie natürlich myspace, weshalb ich mir weitere Worte nun spare und alle Leser dieser Seiten auffordere, sich dieser Klasseband zu widmen. Join the Kingscrossing!!

(c)2006, Michael Kohsiek




First of all i'd like to tell that when you're hooked on True US Heavy Metal music, you do not let go beyond a band like Kingscrossing. It all started back in 2001 when guitarist Zack Grimm disbanded his formation Steele Life, a band which played those days with numerous other greats such as Flotsam and Jetsam, Cessation Of Life, Anvil, Imagika, St. Madness and many. Zack left the Steele Life ranks for unknown reasons to me but kept on writing and composing new songs. Zack's a natural born eavy Metal maniac with the intention of delivering true sounds of steel to all those that feels attracted itself to this genre.

He went in search of the appropriate musicians whom he found at first by ex-Aftershock vocalist Greg Williams. Some other Aftershock members Rob Shock (bassist) and drummer D. Hying met up later on. With this lineup, Kingscrossing played a lot of shows in the LA until an accident struck. They were ready to record a debut album in 2004 but was delayed due to drummer D. Hying who touched seriously wounded broke his pelvis in three places. Spoken of a developement...Shit always happen at the most unsuitable moments but Kingscrossing picked up the wire seven months later to continuing making Metal music.

Singer Greg Williams decided to call it quits and was replaced by ex-Cyrus Zain frontman Michael Adams (check out the CZ review right HERE please). Also, a second axe shredder joined the Kingscrossing ranks by the name of Richie Pagan (ex-Avatar / Original Sin). Finally, the time was right entering the studio again for the recordings a debut album, actually a remake of the 2004 delayed one, plus a few new tracks added. That job is done and meanwhile, the album is unleashed to take the world by storm and surprise! This independent release has eleven tracks on board that incredibly sound so damn good, i must confess that this album is definitely one of my favourite ones of 2006!

A US Metal thrill, a revelation or whatever, i've really been impressed to the extreme. Musically wise, Classic, US Metal in the vein of Vicious Rumoprs, Aska, Seven Witches, Icarus Witch, Phantom X, Eidolon...superb from beginning till the bitter end. Top-notch vocals of Michael Adams reminds me of killer singers such as Bobby Lucas (Overlorde, Exhibition, ex- Seven Witches), Ray Alder (Fates Warning, Engine, Redemption) and the almighty Geoff Tate (Queensryche). After a short, electronic introduction hell breaks loose with the song "Kingscrossing". I knew right from the start, this band was amazing in every way. A first, perfect US Metal song the way it should be.

More awesome songs on the way with the up-tempo pearls like: "Powersource", "C.I.F.E." and "Rapid Fire". Besides the more faster songs, Kingscrossing knows damn well how the bring variation elements to their music. Kick-ass breaks, magnificent skilled guitar duties and devastating drum / bass lines. Taking me higher are songs such as: "Stuck In A Hole", "Stalker", "Reflection". Let me be straight while saying that the entire album has such a positive impact on me, i'd like to call this piece something very special, something that fuilfills all my US Metal desires! One thing left to say, ORDER immediately or get the hell outta here.

TrueHeavy Metal revelation of 2006? To me, definitely yes!!! MY POINTS: 98 / 100



© 2007 Kingscrossing Music
Reviewed by Dave Palmer

I had never really heard of Kingscrossing before I was given this promo. I actually met guitarist Zack Grimm at a local gig I was at and found out that Kingscrossing hails from Las Vegas, Nevada. If I was to try to nail down the bands sound, I would put them somewhere in the Iron Maiden/Manowar type of power metal. Obviously with the name of the band, you know where the subject material will be drawn. In the package I was given, there was also a DVD with some footage or promotional videos shot of the bands live performance which was pretty cool I thought. The band seem ambitious and from what i can tell are having a fair amount of success on the circuit in Las Vegas. Good reason why. The band write some great riff oriented metal that is very traditional overall. You have the 'Wizard' intro that one might expect to go along with the very good title track and band name 'Kingscrossing'. This band is pretty consistent in their approach to songwriting. If you like the way things are progressing early on in the album, it's a good bet you'll probably like this album as a whole. Some of my personal favorites from the album would include the already mentioned title track 'Kingscrossing', 'Brainwashed' has a very cool vibe to it. 'United We Stand' for both the subject material and the cool sounding traditional metal sound that had me thinking back to the 80's. 'Stalker' has a good metal sound as well. 'Rapid Fire' rocks out with it's nice grind in the guitar work. This tune is not a cover of the Judas Priest classic. 'Battlescarred' is good and has a bit slower and chunky rhythm to it as well as a bit of a dark tone. Last but not least, 'For the Metal'. How could one not like a tune with a name like that. Even aside from the name it sounds really good and a bit retro.


This is a good traditional metal release. The band has put together a very good effort to please their fans as well as shop for larger distribution. This album will have appeal to fans who may not have heard this band but like stuff in the Iron Maiden or Manowar vein of metal. Musicianship is pretty good and I found the added dvd a fun watch as well. Definitely keep your eyes out for Kingscrossing and if you are ever in Las Vegas, go check 'em out!



SAME (45:55 min.)


Das selbstbetitelte Album dieser Band um Axeman Zack Grimm stammt aus 2006 und datiert ursprünglich doch viel länger zurück. Hintergrund ist, dass die in Las Vegas beheimatete und sich im traditionellen Metal heimisch fühlende Combo nach ihrer Gründung 2002 (Zack hatte erst kurz zuvor seine Band Steel Life in Arizona aufgelöst und war nach Vegas gezogen) beschlossen eine CD zu veröffentlichen. Anfang 2005 wurde „Kingscrossing“ eingespielt und erhielt schon vorab gute bis sehr gute Kritiken. Da aber Sänger Greg Williams bald darauf seine letzte Show mit Kingscrossing spielte, holte Zack kurzentschlossen Michael Adams als neuen Fronter sowie zusätzlich Richie Pagan als zweiten Gitarrero an Bord. In dieser Formation wurde das Debüt neu eingespielt und veröffentlicht. Das Ergebnis ist eine gute Dreiviertelstunde feinen, Eighties-inspirierten Metals. Ohne das Kingscrossing mit einer anderen Kapelle vergleichbar wären, spielen sie in einer musikalischen Liga mit Bands wie Iron Maiden, Manowar, Queensryche, Omen, Dio (vgl. den Track „Angels In The Night“) oder Fifth Angel. Leider finden sich nicht alle der 11 Tracks in den oberen Regionen wieder. Während beispielsweise der Opener „Kingscrossing“ mit viel Melodie, toller Gitarrenarbeit und einem hörbar trainierten Sänger nach vorne peitscht, das folgende „Powersource“ sogar noch einen Ticken flotter ist und „L.I.F.E.“ mit einer tollen Gesangsmelodie und starkem Refrain zu begeistern weiß, muss man mit den durchschnittlichen „Nightmares“ und „Reflections“ einen Rückschritt hinnehmen. Nichtsdestotrotz ein überdurchschnittliches Album.

8/10 - SBr



Kingscrossing – S/t CD (Independent)
Review by Dimitris Starakis

Kingscrossing is the brainchild of guitarist Zak Grimm and was formed in 2002, when he moved to Las Vegas, right after he disbanded his previous project "Steele Life". Ex-Aftershock members, including singer Greg Williams, bass player Rob Shock and drummer D. Hying completed the band's line-up. They recorded their debut CD in 2005, but there's a big difference with the copy I'm holding now in my hands. The band decided to re-record the CD, since vocalist Greg Williams left on March 2006 and this incident led the band to try a new approach on the already performed songs. New singer named Michael Adams (ex Cyrus Zain) and also second guitarist Rich Pagan (ex Avatar, Spend, Original Sin) joined the band, so and this line-up the "new version" came out. Kingscrossing perform solid and really powerful Heavy / Power Metal, the American Way! Don't expect keyboards or any other additional sounds here, it's only pure sounding Metal here that rules! The self-titled track that opens the CD is their most melodic and hymn-like moment, while the rest of it includes mostly powerful, mid-tempo songs, with precise vocals and combined guitar leads from the two guitarists. In songs like "Powersource" the double guitar leads prove my previous sentence! I also enjoyed "Angels In The Night" (short but great riff!), "Stalker" (melody returns here, while power is never absent!) and "Rapid Fire". Kingscrossing's intention was to create an album with an atmosphere that can travel anyone back to the glorious 80's and I think that they couldn't have done it better! Check their profile in order to buy their CD:


KINGSCROSSING: Kingscrossing
von Roland Ludwig

Das Intro zur eröffnenden Bandhymne führt mit seinem Synthiegeflacker acht Sekunden lang in die Irre, bevor Zack Grimm und Richie Pagan, die beiden Kingscrossing-Gitarristen, das Zepter übernehmen und es für die nächsten 45:49 Minuten nicht wieder abgeben. Kingscrossing sind pure metallische Traditionalisten, ohne jedoch allzustark ins Repetieren bekannter Klischees zu verfallen, wenn man mal davon absieht, daß der Einfall zu Songtiteln wie "Brainwashed", "Nightmares" oder "Rapid Fire" auch schon anderen Bands gekommen ist. Das Quintett bewohnt die Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika, und das hört man ihrer Musik auch deutlich an, denn die ist relativ stark vom klassischen US-Metal der Achtziger und Frühneunziger geprägt (wenngleich man nicht verhehlen sollte, daß der wiederum starke Inspirationen aus Europa bezogen hatte). Zwei Eckpfeiler kann man gleich mit den beiden Openern abstecken: Während "Kingscrossing", ein im schnelleren Midtempo werkelnder Song, ein klein wenig an Jacobs Dream erinnert (zugegeben: die gehören nicht zur o.g. zeitlichen Periode, sondern sind ihrerseits schon Einflußnehmer der zweiten Generation), kommt das speedige "Powersource" mit phasenweise deutlicher Iced Earth-Schlagseite daher, die dann im Hauptsolo aber wiederum eine kleine Neigung gen Jacobs Dream unternimmt und in wenigen Momenten gar auf gute alte Iron Maiden-Traditionen zurückverweist, von denen man bei Jacobs Dream und Iced Earth aber auch den einen oder anderen Einflußstrang nachvollziehen konnte, so daß hier nicht mehr so genau zu unterscheiden ist, ob sich Kingscrossing als Schüler oder schon als Enkelschüler positionieren. In den folgenden neun Songs treten Jacobs Dream dann ein klein wenig in den Hintergrund (wenngleich sie im Gitarrensound zumindest latent omnipräsent mitmischen), während der Iced Earth-Einfluß erhalten bleibt (man höre sich nur mal das Intro von "Reflections" an und hole die "Burnt Offerings"-CD wieder aus dem Langzeitgedächtnis hervor, oder man lausche mal der harmonischen Gestaltung des ersten Solos in "Rapid Fire" bei etwa 1:30 und des zweiten Solos eine Minute später), ergänzt aber noch durch die eine oder andere weitere Band - so haben sich die Kingscrossing-Gitarristen in "Bed Of Nails" gar das Hauptthema von Iron Butterflys "In A Gadda Da Vida" zur leichten Abwandlung vorgenommen. Die Leadarbeit teilen sich die beiden konsequent, so daß Kingscrossing zur mittlerweile recht seltenen Spezies von Bands gehören, die zwei wirklich fähige Leadgitarristen in der Mannschaft haben - nur leider macht die Truppe hier und da noch zu wenig aus dieser Konstellation. Wo die mehrfach erwähnten Iced Earth zu Zeiten ihrer ersten beiden Scheiben ein Feuerwerk an gitarristischen Einfällen verbrieten, mit beglückender Wirkung Akustikeinschübe plazierten und trotzdem noch saustarke Riffs positionierten (deren bestes man in "Mystical End" findet), konzentrieren sich Kingscrossing auf die alte Schule, also Riffing im Song und Leads im Solo, ohne großartige Variationen dieser Struktur zuzulassen. Das ist ein wenig schade, denn aufgrund der stilistischen Ähnlichkeit zieht man auch im kompositorischen Bereich Parallelen, und da schneidet Jon Schaffers Einfallsreichtum, der indes stets im songdienlichen Rahmen blieb, doch etwas besser ab. Das soll indes nicht bedeuten, daß Kingscrossing nun langweilen würden, auch an Abwechslung gebricht es ihnen keineswegs, wie etwa "Nightmares" deutlich macht, dessen Strophenpart mit seiner verschroben-verschleppten Rhythmik eine Weile braucht, bis man sich an ihn gewöhnt hat und sich den Song ohne ihn letztlich gar nicht mehr vorstellen kann. Das etwas eigenartige Arrangement des Songs (und auch einiger anderer) verweist wiederum in Richtung Jacobs Dream, die sich auf ihrem selbstbetitelten Album auch nicht darum scherten, ob die Metalgemeinde nach dem Hauptsolo nun unbedingt noch einmal eine Refrainwiederholung erwartet. Trotzdem soll nicht verschwiegen werden, daß hier und da (vor allem im Mittelteil des Albums) der zündende Gedanke ausbleibt, die entscheidende Idee, die aus einem soliden Metalsong einen unsterblichen Geistesblitz macht, bisweilen durch Abwesenheit glänzt und man sich auch nach mehrmaligem Hören an gar nicht mehr so viel erinnern kann. Ein hervorragender Sänger würde da vielleicht noch etwas herausreißen, aber auch über einen solchen verfügen Kingscrossing nicht: Michael Adams macht seine Sache keineswegs schlecht, kann sich aber mit ausgewiesenen Könnern wie David Taylor oder eben der kompletten Mannschaft, die bisher das Iced Earth-Mikro innegehabt hat, nicht messen, agiert viel zu unauffällig und mit recht eingeschränktem stimmlichen Spektrum, ist allerdings auch von der sonst guten, transparenten wie druckvollen Produktion, für die Fast-Alleinkomponist Zack Grimm auch mit verantwortlich zeichnet, einen Tick zu weit in den Hintergrund gestellt worden. So haben wir eine Dreiviertelstunde zweifellos guten traditionellen Metals vor uns, der aber den Eindruck nicht wegwischen kann, bisweilen noch ein wenig zu stark mit angezogener Handbremse zu fahren und das Können seiner Schöpfer noch nicht allumfassend zur Schau zu stellen. Auf das nächste Album darf man daher schon gespannt sein, während Anhänger der beiden am häufigsten in diesem Review genannten Vergleichsbands auch mit dem Erwerb dieser CD, den man hierzulande z.B. via realisieren kann, keinesfalls einen Fehler begehen. 

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Ice Vajal
Review by Eamon O'Connor 

This is a very interesting release, for by looks alone one would expect galloping US metal along the lines of say GOTHIC KNIGHTS or RITUAL STEEL, with piering vocals and tales of yore, not so however. This band reminds me a lot of ICED EARTH musically, METAL CHURCH at Human Factor-era and underground LA metal band ARMED FORCES' No Guts No Glory. This is traditionally sound and stand outs are the title cut and Powersource the mighty pouning Angels Of Light and the shreder Stalker. There is a obvious dose of originality here as sonically they manage to maintain the warmth of 80's metal while managing to master an air of the contemporary. A worthwhile purchase and a band with a furture is definatley to be found here. I certainly look forward to seing and hearing more from these guys. 

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The first of three American bands today was KINGSCROSSING, a traditional heavy / power metal quintet hailing from Las Vegas, Nevada. Although the band has been around since 2002, it wasn’t until January 2007 that they released their selftitled debut CD. That was mainly due to replacing the original vocalist and adding a second guitarist in 2006. Apart from a gig in Berlin the day before, this was KINGSCROSSING’s maiden European gig. And they sure managed to convince quite a few people with their versatile form of medieval themed metal today. For all I know the band may well have played their debut CD in its entirety, and no new stuff at all. The songs that I remember for sure are Kingscrossing, Nightmares, Reflections, Angels In The Night, Stalker, Bed Of Nails and Rapid Fire. And whereas I had discovered a couple of ‘weaker’ songs on the CD, it all sounded so much better and heavier live. A very fine first encounter for sure, and I’m looking forward to more material and gigs in the future!

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Kingscrossing Sword Brothers Festival 6

Nach diesem furiosen Auftakt und einer kleinen Bierpause enterten die Amis von KINGS CROSSING die Bühne. Musikalisch zwar vom selben Schlag wie ihre Vorgänger, aber mit einer weit professionelleren Attitüde bretterte das Quintett umgehend los. Das führte zunächst zu verhaltenen Reaktionen und man merkte förmlich, wie die meisten versuchten sich auf den Wechsel der Windrichtung einzuschießen, hier war Schluss mit lustig und es wurde Ernst. Doch die Band schaffte es, das Publikum innerhalb eines Songs auf ihre Wellenlänge einzuschwören und dann gab es kein Halten mehr. Ein nun schon bis hinters Mischpult gefüllter Saal klinkte kollektiv aus und so wurden die Riffgewitter und Doublebass-Attacken gnadenlos abgefangen und mit Euphorie zurückgeworfen. Und wenn dann rein optisch noch alles passt (der Gitarrist hätte vom Aussehen und Statur locker mit Eomir von Rohan mithalten können), dann schlägt das Metalheart Saltos im Duzend. Herrlich!

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Kingscrossing Sword Brothers Festival 6 

Folgen die Amerikaner KINGSCROSSING. Der Kumpel-Attitüde ihrer Vorband setzen die Jungs mehr Professionalität entgegen, was anfangs zu eher verhaltenen Reaktionen und konzentriertem Lauschen führt. Doch dann bricht auch hier das Eis! US-Powermetal mit Iced Earth-Touch in leicht hymnischen Gewand fällt hier, im Herzen des Schwertbruders eigenem Land, auf fruchtbaren Acker, Gitarrist Zack Grimm spart nicht mit Kajaalstift und tollen Solos, Rob Shock ist schon jetzt heißer Kandidat zum bösest guckenden Bassisten des Festivals und die Meute tobt – herrlich!
Woanders wird gerade am Christ-Stollen genuckelt, als die Bühne für die „Larynx O Doom“, „Guitars Of Power And Chaos“, den „Bass Of Tyrany“ und die „Drums Of War“ vorbereitet werden! Kurz: SKELATOR kommen. Sowohl optisch, als auch musikalisch könnte man leicht auf die Idee kommen, diese wahren Helden wahrer Wahrhaftigkeit dem Stiefelförmigen Kontinent zuzuordnen, doch Pusteblume! Skelator kommen ebenfalls aus den US of A und beweisen, das man auch dort weiß, wie guter Powermetal zu klingen hat! Dem Festivalmotto entsprechend schwenkt der „Larynx Of Doom“ (Sänger Jason Conde-Houston) sein Schwert durch die Lüfte und hinterlässt nach einem einstündigen, gut-klassigen, wenn auch nicht eindrucksvollen Gig zufriedene Gesichter.
Spätestens jetzt ist die Aufwärmphase abgeschlossen, was auch am gut gefüllten Jugendzentrum abzulesen ist! Auf der Toilette scherzt und posed Icy Steel-Sänger Stefano Galeano mit den Fans herum, Kingscrossing „crossen“ auch ständig durch die Hallen und überhaupt trifft man hier ständig irgendwelche Musiker, die gerade noch auf der Bühne gestanden haben – so muss das sein! Hoch die Schwerter, Pommesgabel gestreckt und Prost – auf den Metal! 

To read the whole concert review follow this link

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