Metal has long had a deep-rooted affection for science fiction, and nowhere is this clearer than in melodic death metal. While the genre is still very much an active part of the future, there are still many that long for the dizzying heights of the 90s, where melodeath evolved into a formidable beast. Speaking of evolution, one such group who bring back that same excitement of the 90s are The Last Reign, whose second album Evolution spins a grandiose tale of a concept album, four years in the making.

Each of the members are veterans in and out of their native Buffalo, New York metal scene. Vocalist Adam Svensson brings a melodeath pedigree from Fireborn and Dragonwind, while guitarist Brian Platter, bassist Joe Maggio, and drummer Vince Mayer add a wealth of knowledge from rock, punk, and metal – including local metalcore legends Herod in Platter’s case. Even though three quarters of the lineup are new to the band as of 2019, the guys have gelled together seamlessly, as can be heard across Evolution’s 55-minute runtime.

Leading his merry band, Platter is a whirlwind of earworm melodies and riffs that draw from his (and the rest of the band’s) clear love of 90s melodeath. Let this not be seen as a clone of those that came before, though – this is appreciation not appropriation. There is plenty of diversity within the confines of the genre, as well; “The Hourglass” delves into proggy realms, while “No Horizon” zips off into the distance, Mors Principium Est’s Andy Gillion at the helm to deliver a frenetic solo. “Ironclad Torment” and “Evolution of a Dying Race”, meanwhile, highlight one of the band’s other strengths, which are thundering breakdowns and scream-along choruses amply aided by the punchy drumming. Svensson’s vocals sit pretty atop the mix, a blend of In Flames’ high shrieks (circa first four records) and Soilwork’s lows that weave Evolution’s narrative.

It goes deeper than the music, however. In the band’s own words, the record is “about the world’s resources being long depleted sending the human race on a quest for an uncertain future.” While this album can certainly be enjoyed on its own, those who wish to dive further into the plot can enjoy the Evolution’s novelization by lyricist and ex-vocalist Mike Marlinski, entitled Evolution of a Dying Race. In any case, The Last Reign are proof that melodeath of the old school is alive and well, with a widescreen vision and maturity that befits the individual members’ experience.

The Last Reign are:

  • Adam Svensson – vocals
  • Brian Platter – guitars
  • Joe Maggio – bass
  • Vince Mayer – drums

Track listing:

  • 1. Genesis
  • 2. Evolution of a Dying Race
  • 3. Annihilation of the Ancients
  • 4. Ironclad Torment
  • 5. The Hourglass
  • 6. Fallen Dark
  • 7. No Horizon
  • 8. Terminal Threshold
  • 9. The Storm
  • 10. Devoid
  • 11. Luminosity
  • 12. Architects of Genocide

About The Author

Founder

Raymond Melendez is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief for Local San Diego Metal website sdmetal.com. Besides Heavy Metal music, Raymond is also a movie buff and Craft Beer enthusiast. Which is why he is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Popular Movie Review website 'MovieFloss.com' and Co-Founder of Craft Beer website 'BeerAlien.com'.

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