‘Kingdom of Fear’ is the second self-released album from London-based Kiwis Agent. Having moved to London to progress their career in 2008, they have previously released two EP’s and a debut album, xpand/Contract.
‘Kingdom of Fear’ is produced by Paul Matthews, who has previously worked with fellow New Zealanders I am Giant.
‘Kingdom of Fear’ features thirteen tracks, or to put it another way, one catchy, prog influenced rock song after another. This album carries you along on a wave of sound that you can’t ignore. It makes a huge amount of noise, with Alex Alvarado’s drums coming to the forefront more than might be expected in the genre.
At the beginning of the album, ‘Dark Dreams’ and ‘Collecting Scars’ are driven
by drums and bass guitar. ‘Like You Never Left’ strips everything to its bare bones, just simple, quiet guitar and barely there vocals from James Donaldson forcing you to stop what you’re doing and listen. Those who do won’t be disappointed. ‘Vondelpark’ allows Donaldson to continue with his haunting, echoing vocals, but also brings the drums back to the forefront: the instrumental middle section starts quiet but builds and grows, hurtling you towards an epic end.
Three interludes throughout the album (‘Leadhenge’, ‘Intermezzo’ and ‘Lost in Transcience’) provide quiet moments in which to reflect on what you’ve already heard, and prepare yourself for more. The final track, ‘Vultures’ starts with bass-slapping of the highest order, infusing the track with funk, then moves into guitar driven rock of the highest order.
In short, ‘Kingdom of Fear’ will pick you up and drag you along, before it drops you, exhausted and thoroughly entertained at the end. My only complaint is that there isn’t more of it.
2. Dark Dreams
3. Collecting Scars
4. Made of Gold
7. Wilt the Garden
9. Kingdom of Fear
10. Like You Never Left
12. Lost in Transcience
Band line up: James Donaldson, vocals and guitar; Matt Flower, bass and backing vocals; Gerald Gill, guitars; Alex Alvarado, drums.