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NIVIANE The Druid King

By Alex Yarborough, Orlando Contributor
Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 1:46 PM


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NIVIANE
The Druid King

2017 Pitch Black Records




“A forgotten path fraught with dangers, haunting voices lead you astray. Surrounded by faceless strangers, you find yourself in the court of the druid king…” NIVIANE (pronounced nih-vy-anne) is a power metal band from Sacramento, California, and is comprised of vocalist Norman Skinner (IMAGIKA, SKINNER, HELLSCREAM), guitarists Gary Tarplee and Mark Miner, bassist Rick Stallkamp, and drummer Noe Luna (SKINNER, 3 LUNAS).

The band’s debut release The Druid King has caught my ear with its dark, thrashy power metal with sci-fi/fantasy lyrics. I love bands that can tread that fine line between power metal and thrash, and NIVIANE do that well. The album opens with “The Berserker”, a fine warrior/Viking tale with grinding guitars and Skinner’s ardent vocals, which boost the song to another realm. “Adrestia” is a really cool song about the Greek goddess, whose power over the balance of good and evil makes her an interesting subject. Additional atmosphere in this song is provided via some keyboards from Aaron Robitsch (GRAVESHADOW). “Watch The Banners Fall” is a battle legend about two armies clashing. This track features some dramatic moments and a cool galloping guitar section with a perfect solo.

Check out Skinner’s vocals on “Into Twilight”, a brooding and melodically compelling track. This brings us to my favorite track, “Gladiator”. You can envision the hordes and hear them calling your name as you fight to live and die in the arena. This is simply a monster track from beginning to end, with a killer solo and serious bass action from Stallkamp. One of the heaviest tracks follows, the thrashy and grindingly fantastic “Arise Samurai”, which refers to the ritual of seppuku and the “death before dishonor” code the samurai lived by. “Elegy” is another winner, which features some of the most successful melodies and screams from Skinner. The emotion of the song is what makes it work so well. “March Of The Jötunn” tells the tale of the Norse giants with a galloping rhythm that I can’t help but bang my head along with.

The sounds of battle introduce “War Of Immortals”, the longest track here at 6:24 in length. The strength of the album rests in songs like this, which describe a war of good vs. evil and pummels you with the verse and bridge, then finishes you off with the chorus. Luna’s double bass drums accentuates the majority of the song. I love Skinner’s screams at the end also. “Heaven Overflow” is a fine metal tune about the afterlife. The album ends with the successful title track, which probably has my favorite lyrics of the entire album.

NIVIANE’s melodic elements as well as the science fiction and fantasy themes should appeal to fans of AMON AMARTH, ICED EARTH, IRON MAIDEN and many others. The album cover is another masterpiece by Dusan Markovic and is easily one of my favorites so far this year. The Druid King will be released this Fall through Pitch Black Records, so keep your eyes and ears open for NIVIANE, who I expect even bigger things from in the future!

4.3 Out Of 5.0

Grab your copy of The Druid King in the KNAC.COM More Store right HERE.


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