Signum Regis | Decennium Primum
Release Year: 2017
Genre: Progressive/Power/Melodic Metal
Mayo Petranin – Vocals
Ronnie König – Bass/Backing Vocals
Filip Koluš – Guitars
Ján Tupý – Keyboard/Backing Vocals
Jaro Jančula: – Drums
Unfold The Mystery
Damnatio Ad Bestias
Screaming For Justice
Kingdom Of Light
The Future King
Thunder And Rain
Train To Neverland
A Psalm Of Life
Writers Editorial Note
This particular review is in dedication of the lives lost and property damaged in South and South-East Texas USA due Hurricane Harvey. This album has many encouraging and uplifting messages. Trust me I went through Hurricane Harvey as well.
Power Metal has allowed and afforded many bands the true liberty of writing about just anything from a lyrical perspective. On top of its sheer majestic aesthetic instrumentally it allows the band a direct storyboard to its intended audience. This is why many power metal bands are booked during the European Metal Festivals, such as Wacken Open Air, High Voltage or Keep It True, in summer. The bands write such anthems that the audience does not only digest but actually sings those anthems back to the bands delivering them. This holds more truth and conviction when the songs have a deeper meaning of faith, political issues or just issues about life. This has held true for about a decade for Slovakian power metal powerhouse band Signum Regis.
In a area that has seen much upheaval and tribulation since the birth of The Roman Empire and Christianity over 2000 years ago through imperial conquest and barbaric bloodshed to being utterly dictated by modern Nazism and later Communism, comes a band that has been a light and beacon of some of the most uplifting and encouraging power metal for a decade plus. This being Signum Regis. Instead of swelling on their dark past they choose to use Jesus Christ and Christianity to bring hope to a otherwise turbulent world. Their brand new independently released Decennium Primum, which is Latin for The First Decade, brings this type of positive emotion to a world that seems to be fracturing before our very eyes.
Decennium Primum is one of those albums that grow on a person the more they listen to it. Even power metal fans that subscribe to more of the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy subjects or the horror and science fiction subjects that dominate the genre. Decennium Primum articulately explores subjects of the Old Testament and 1st Century AD Christian church. Although not a ‘Concept Album’, there is still a common thread or theme throughout the album. Decennium Primum is also the band’s fifth official studio album. Signum Regis come in the same vein of other Christian based power metal bands like Narnia, Golden Resurrection, Theocracy and Teremaze. However Signum Regis still have their own unique distinctive sound that keeps them from being clones of those bands I just mentioned. Decennium Primum is a total brilliant example of that. Now a inside look and highlights from every track on Signum Regis Decennium Primum .
Decennium Primum is basically a opening instrumental that serves as a very smooth and seamless transitional track to the following track Unfold The Mystery.
Unfold The Mystery is a straight away speed power metal track. It has very fast straight away traditional power metal riffs that are celebrated in the genre. The double blast beats and deep bass also set the tone for a fast yet coherent chord progression. The band start to establish high harmonies in the vocal. The lead vocal alongside the power metal atmosphere allow the lyrical content to breathe and shine through. The rhythm guitar and lead guitar interchange with very cunning timing. The guitar solo’s are also blended with beautiful atmospheric endorsements.
Damnatio Ad Bestias explodes with monstrous and blistering chord progressions both on the stringed sections and the rhythm sections. Mayo Petranin – Vocals reminds me of a cross between Jorn Lande and Russell Allen. His vocal certainly has a bite about that fits the instrumental quite well. The rhythm guitar and the lead guitar certainly develop a melodic relationship in regards of the composition. This track demonstrates the bands ability to make their point and move forward without the typical grandstanding that is often associated with progressive/power metal.
Screaming For Justice opens up with a little bit darker instrumental that shows the band’s heaviness. The band continues the beautiful display of harmony and how it perfectly compliments the melody within the instrumental. The band is starting to really establish the vocal harmonies as a major factor on the album with this track. They continue to remain spot on with their objective. The lyrical content is very uplifting giving light within the dark instrumental aesthetic. Filip Koluš – Guitars is becoming a one man twin attack on the guitar.
Kingdom Of Light opens up with a brief powerful guitar solo. That is followed by a break where the vocal is allowed to be spot-lighted where they can start to pull the listener into the story of the lyrical content. The break has a beautiful acoustic guitar creating a atmosphere that serves as a anchor for the track. This is all accompanied by deep rhythm section chord progressions. This track is also well written enough to be a single. It pops out like that. Plus the solo’s keep changing as to not bore the listener. All the instruments are allowed to breathe so the listener can hear every one distinctively.
The Future King explodes out of the first note with a deep groove laden rhythm guitar chord progression. Then the equally deep rhythm section melody comes in beautiful harmony with the stringed section. All of this blends very well to uplift the beautiful harmony vocally. The band continues with their very positive lyrical content. This is another track that would work as a single along with the previous song Kingdom Of Light.
Well Deserved opens up with another thunderous instrumental passage. The guitars are well tracked along with the rhythm section. The bands message continues on point with a spiritual message. The chord progressions are very brooding. The band displays its progressive side very heavily on this song. It does have a beautiful bass/drum rhythm section done so eloquently by Jaro Jančula: – Drums and Ronnie König – Bass/Backing Vocals.
Thunder And Rain opens up with a beautiful A-capella choir with the chorus first. This continues to display to the listener that the band will not be pigeonholed into the typically fast power metal opening. This track also opens up with a very anthemic consistency that is very celebrated in the progressive/power metal genre. The opener comes into the tradition of a band like Blind Guardian. Soon the song takes on familiar characteristics power metal territory. Fast blast beats and bass anchor the song while the stringed sections and vocals can provide the hook to reel in the listener. Once again even with only one guitarist in the band, Signum Regis overdubs the track deceptively allowing for there to be a appearance of a twin lead guitar arsenal.
Train To Neverland opens up with a very proper train sounding effect. From there it blisters the listener with high vocal harmonies that are carried by both the stringed section and deep bass/drum rhythm sections. This track has a very traditional quality in as much as there is the verse/bridge/chorus, that is sometimes lacking in the progressive power metal communities. The guitar solo’s and bass/rhythm sections keep the album grounded and on point. This also applies with the lyrical content.
A Psalm Of Life is the final song on the album. It opens up like a guitar players delight with the anthemic opening chord progression passage. This is a fast thought straight away power metal track. This song brings in all the personality that has been demonstrated with this album. There are some Iced Earth style rhythm guitars working on this one. The harmonies remain on point showing the bands ability to keep the attention of the listener. This is also properly the final arranged song on Decennium Primum.
I have admired Signum Regis from afar for the last 7 to 8 years. They are certainly a band that will continue to uphold the this type of progressive/power metal. They are also one of the many pillars of this brand of music. The band also knows how to keep the attention in a way where the listener has no acceptable reason to become bored or not interested in the product itself. On all those points above I am giving Signum Regis Decennium Primum a 4.5/5.