For Queen and Metal

1. Into the Night
2. Nightfall
3. Mystical Nights
4. For Queen and Metal
5. Lady Fantasy
6. Nocturnal Thoughts
7. Secret of the Blind Man
8. Majesty
9. Rebel to Rebel
10. Screaming for Mercy
11. Dark Fairy

Keely Larreina - lead vocals
Rex Zeco - guitar & b. vox + spoken voice
Alan Rawson - guitar & backing vocals
Steven Steele - bass & backing vocals
Daniel Kells - keyboards & backing vocals
William Blodyn - drums

Abuse of Power (2003)
Hear Their Cries (2008)

Marcel Coenen on Nightfalls 2nd solo and Screaming for Mercy

Produced by Philip Weinhold and Rex Zeco, assisted by Daniel Kells and William Blodyn
Mixed by Tony De Block
Cover artwork by Jan Yrlund /Darkgrove Design

Released 24/2-2012
Reviewed 18/2-2012


Epiphyllum oxypetalum, that is Night Queen the flower which might be easily confused with the belgian band that has compounded the words which also according to an unconfirmed source is the name of a bat as well which explains the bat in the logo. I have been searching the net for a bat species called Nightqueen but came up with nothing but then again, maybe the source have more info than the web can provide and I am no expert on bats either. Anyway, Nightqueen is a name that ought to indicate that they are a female fronted band much like Epica, Arch Enemy or Warlock, which they are. This of course is the Nuclear Blast classification of music fronted by women while Massacre goes for a more specific classification in their approach and calls this particular kind of female fronted metal “Symphonic, Epic Power Metal” which is a bit of a daft description that often refers to dragon metal bands like Rhapsody (of Fire) and their likes. And the cover art is quite an uneventful cover that doesn’t really do anything and the same goes for the album name, I am just allergic to bands that have metal in their name, fortunately I had not seen the name before starting to write this review.

Musically it is rather typical guitar riffs and rhythm section for the heavy metal genre, much like we have heard ever since the heavy metal gained in popularity. This is then spiced up with a little pepper and a pinch of salt which of course means a little symphonic with a pinch of atmospheric touches for those of you who do not understand parables. Female fronted it is as well, with a woman who has a rather powerful voice with much authority, a reviewer compared her with Doro Pesch of Doro and Warlock which I think is just a tad inaccurate, sure it is not operatic soprano vocals but not all women singing rock music sound like Doro and this girl sounds more like she who sings in Battle Beast than Doro in my opinion. Then again, its all in how we all see things and someone else probably can namedrop another singer. The album has eleven tracks and it plays for little over 55 minutes and in those tracks there is a decent variation of the songs.

Interesting is one word to describe the music of this band, cautious is another as their guitar work along with rhythm section is a rather typical one for the genre. The thing making this album feel a bit more interesting is the atmospheric parts and the symphonic touches which creates a better feel in that album also the female vocals add to it being a good album even though she is most of the time feeling a bit uninterested while singing. I think that she probably isn’t uninterested but maybe the uneventful vocals are due to the uneventful metal framework on which this album is built. It is a solid album and it is a good listen, it has some great undertones in the symphonic and you could even call it epic if you like.

Still, I think this band despite a very good debut album could have done a lot better had they dared to step out of the rather typical metal foundation. Because of the good atmosphere and vocals there is much potential but despite those the band still sound quite typical and the album doesn’t really leave any lasting impression on me. Some songs are a little better than the others like the video track Lady Fantasy, Secrets of a Blind Man has some really good touches and Rebel to Rebel, they are good but it still feels like they are slightly lacking despite this, the feeling is that it could have been better and that is a feeling that follows me through the entire album.

Still, no matter, it is a good debut and a promising one which I hope can lead to the band moving a little bit away from doing the traditional metal foundation, not by much but by enough for them to really complement the symphonic and atmospheric touches that they offer. So in the the end I think this is a very good debut album, promises a bit more than it could keep but still good entertainment for the over fifty minutes it lasts.




Label: Massacre Records
Three similar bands: Battle Beast/Doro/Edenbridge
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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Previous reviews:
Epica - Requiem for the Indifferent
Story of Jade - The Damned Next Door
Beaten to Death - Xes and Strokes

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