Mixed emotions for the third album by Gathering of Kings; a band that remains quite productive but once again they couldn’t match the quality level of their sensational debut album. The good thing is that “Enigmatic” is a step up compared to the disappointing sophomore effort (“Discovery”) that was released a couple of years ago. For those who are not aware of what’s going on in the Gathering of Kings world, let me just say that this is a “project turned to regular band” where many special guests come together with a steady line up through an ever-revolving door of musicians. Just imagine a melodic rock version of Avantasia where Victor Olsson plays the part of Tobias Sammet when it comes down to composing and producing the album.
“Enigmatic” is not a bad record…not, at all. But it’s nothing extraordinary, either. The special guests (Apollo Papathanasio, Rick Altzi, Tobias Jannson etc.) don’t save the day…at least, in such a manner where someone would be inclined to invest on the new record by the Swedish outfit. Having said that, the overall approach and production is ultra-professional while the paradox is that the best cut on the album is “How The Mighty Have Fallen”; an epic tune that has more in common with the aforementioned Avantasia than with the familiar style of Gathering of Kings.
I am sure that all the melodic rock completists (if there are any nowadays) will buy “Enigmatic” regardless of any review or quality level. On the other hand, the vast majority will pass without any afterthought. That’s my personal point of view. But I am sure that Gathering of Kings are capable of far better things. They had proved it in the past.
Highlight: Yet another stunning cover artwork.