Mon 19th November 2012
[img "/incoming/250x250-Groan-DRoK-frontcover.jpg" right"]The Divine Right Of Kings is the band’s first album proper, which follows the well-received debut EP, and split CD with Vinum Sabbatum. This release sees Groan complete the transformation from a one-man bedroom project, to writing and recording as a complete unit, and the results are remarkable. It feels like a proper album, not a concept album, but tied together by common themes and has a great flow.
The album is jam packed with Riffs™ that both stomp, and gallop, with glorious abandon, and will have you pumping your fist in no time at all. It’s trousers off when you reach most of the choruses, and by the time the driving middle sections kick in, you’ll have your top off too, weeping at the sheer majesty of the guitar solos. Backing vocals that can only be assisted by tight jeans add colour throughout. Powerful stuff!
The epic moments that are threaded throughout the album make you feel like you’re at an Iron Maiden concert in South America. You can picture 80,000 rabid fans joining in with the “Woah Oh Ohs”. An ominous intro, that recalls the classic Black Sabbath track Black Sabbath from their self-titled debut album, with a spoken word passage from Mazz from the Book of Revelation about “Satan n shit” really sets the tone for the album, which is peppered with these moments.
The outro of the slower-paced Dissolution has Latin chanting, and the title track that bookends the album is an absolute EPIC, with more harmonised vocals that elevates it to the pantheon of 70s rock gods during the outro.
Some will have you believe that heavy metal is Serious Business, there is no room for mirth, or any kind of fun whatsoever according to the hallowed rules. I’m not talking outright parody like Steel Panther either, just that Groan seem to be taking some mild flak for the damning crime of injecting some goodtime boogie and a sly sense of humour into their doom and roll.
Mazz, the bombastic vocalist of Groan, expands on this “Do you think Bruce Dickinson did not have a smirk on face when dealing out his righteous words?”.
So keep that in mind when you’re subjected to the rant at the start of Magic Man, which preaches the joys of rock, mentioning the greats like Foghat, and encouraging you to “start a shitty rock and roll band”. Tongue is firmly in cheek here.
To conclude, this album is an absolute banger, full of driving riffs that sounds like a much more urgent Cathedral, and overflowing with hooks that reel you in, and wanting more. A serious contender for the impending year end Best Of lists