PALACE OF THE KING – VALLES MARINERIS
Release Date: 29 July 2016
℗ 2016 Devil’s Music Records
- Let the Blood Run Free
- Beyond the Valley
- Black Cloud
- The Bridge of the Gods
- We Are the Vampires
- Empire of the Sun
- Sick as a Dog
- River of Fire
- Throw Me to the Wolves
- Into the Black
Palace of The King released their latest album on the 29th July, 2016 and a smidgen later elsewhere and I have to throw my hands straight in the air from the outset. This album is thoroughly astonishing from start to finish. It really is that simple. For those familiar with previous releases, you will understand what a confusing observation that really is from your truly. After all, a recording from a band that is made up of such a wealth of individual experience, professionalism and knowledge, complete with brilliant prior recordings, you would expect the superb. You would be forgiven for inquiring with a hearty…’yeah, what’s new?’ Well, I’ll simply offer my own observations in retort.
Right from the soulful introduction at the masterful hands of Sean Johnson, guiding us willingly into Let The Blood Run Free, you can immediately spot the difference with this release. To be more specific, the days of ‘they sound like’ are gone. I have enjoyed attributing prior comparisons to the POTK sound and the masters of days gone by, based solely on the skill of the former. The love child of this one and that. My own observations between elements of Led Zepplin and perhaps a little of the might Uriah Heep creeping through. But those references hereby vanish into the annals of history. This album is Palace Of the King and no other. So music lovers of the world, prepare yourselves for a fantastical journey to the abyss of a Martian trench, or something just as dissimilar to the norm. The soul-infused groove is beyond comparison to any other and represents a significant refinement. An archetype of sound homogenisation crafted into a new, unique sound that is Palace Of The King. The opener also celebrates the individual protagonist’s contributions in sensational style. The solos, the vocals, the bass solo to complement the rhythmic majesty. It’s all too much. I’ll take a break to return my respiratory rate before moving on to attempt to reference track two. This album is quite simply, that exciting and brilliantly crafted.
Beyond The Valley alters the pace for us marginally, but the groove, my god the groove, just when you swaying in harmonic accompaniment, Tim interrupts with a powerful delivery of the lyrics, thereby adding the hard rock element that with their splendid refinement, have created a sound POTK just own outright. For those fortunate enough to have witnessed POTK live, you can’t help but visualise Tim Henwood’ sensational stage tambourine toting swagger with the sound jingles in your aural canals. In fact, as you travel through Black Cloud, The Bridge of the Gods and We Are The Vampires, it becomes apparent that POTK have managed to harness the magnificence of their live performances and transfer the excitement to your lounge room. Those who have witnessed the glorious spectacle that is a Palace of The King performance will know just exactly the sensations. That live grandeur is now enhanced greatly with the line-up addition of magnificent Travis Dragani at the kit.
Empire Of The Sun has more swagger than a Hollywood pimp as its struts and grooves its way through your aural canals and brings a smile to the dial.
Sick As A Dog reminds the listener of this band’s determination to refine their sound and explore new possibilities with each release. Probably a timely point to reveal that this track has been around quite a while, which makes the concept of their current plans all the more exciting. Those who know this group of consummate professionals, dedicated to their brand and products, are never sitting still. Always creating and refining. River Of Fire is further evidence of their commitment to perfection.
Throw Me To The Wolves and Into The Black complete the collection in a marvellously cohesive fashion bringing about a splendidly pleasing sensation and sense of satisfaction brought on by the realisation that this is rock and roll. The essential time-tested elements brought together as if in homage to earlier protagonists, but incomparable to anyone other than Palace Of the King. This is a benchmark release for the band that will launch them into further refinement and celebration of their crisp rock n roll sound. In point of fact that’s already been the agenda for some time. Watch out for what’s next from POTK. This album belongs in the collection of every proud Australian and raw rock fan.
This is one of those elusive and rare albums so sensational in musical quality, progressive development, construction and brilliant sequencing, that you are immediately and uncontrollably excited for another release. Now…Please. But in the meantime, the result of a creation of this magnitude will surely be admirers filling the halls of live performances. The opportunity to witness the unique qualities of this astoundingly talented outfit while they remain, for the moment, within our grasp. This is the result of truly brilliant individual musicians collectively creating from their heart and soul.