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Articles Home » 2009 Articles » Kings Of Modesty - 2009 Hell Or Highwater
Kings Of Modesty - 2009 Hell Or Highwater

ARTIST: Kings Of Modesty
ALBUM: Hell Or Highwater
LABEL: Escape Music
YEAR: 2009


LINEUP: Jason Flinck - vocals * Samuel Hjelt - guitars * Mikael Hjelt - keyboards * Henkka Tuura - bass * Rane Simoinen - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Never Touched The Rainbow * 02 Hourglass * 03 Deep Down * 04 Staring Eyes * 05 Hell Or Highwater * 06 Suicidal Mission * 07 Once Upon A Time * 08 Tailspin * 09 We Will March Our Way * 10 Miracle 9 * 11 Two Hearts Collide



Recently signed to Escape Music is Finnish quartet Kings Of Modesty. Don't be thinking that these guys are newbies straight off the melodic hard rock production line out of Finland. Nosiree, this lot have been around in one shape or another since 1994, albeit with a different name (Face Of Modesty). Come 2005, Jason Flinck of Brother Firetribe joins as the lead singer, and the band have a new lease of life. In fact, I'll go as far to say that these guys border on melodic heavy metal with some proggish elements too. Certainly Kings Of Modesty operate at the heavier end of the scale, with fiery guitars courtesy of former Ancara guitarist Samuel Hjelt, double bass drums hammering away, and some unusual keyboard flavours.

The Songs
It's all stomping energy on the opener 'Never Touched The Rainbow', with Jason Flinck sounding like a young Graham Bonnet, and that's not because there are 'Rainbows' involved! Samuel Hjelt's riffs are coarse and grinding on 'Hourglass', taking liberty from the likes of TNT and Jorn Lande. An example of their unusual tempo and structural changes can be heard on 'Deep Down', which really does owe a debt of gratitude to Pagans Mind, particularly the vocal similarities. 'Starring Eyes' is a complex piece of work, with difference flavours and tempo, but it's held together by a very good chorus. The title track 'Hell Or Highwater' is aggressive metal with punching double bass drums, distorted vocals and razor sharp riffs. Squealing guitars introduce 'Suicide Mission', a solid and dark arrangement with the spaces filled up by dark melodies. Don't be put off, it's pretty good actually. The hard core metal takes a backseat with the exquisite 'Once Upon A Time', a gentler track (by their standards at least) it flows beautifully for the most part, Flinck soars on the chorus where the intensity picks up. As per the track title, 'Tailspin' is a surging slab of metal which reminded me of that first Dream Theater album 'When Dream And Day Unite' from 1989, particularly that fast riffing style of Hjelt, taking some notes out of John Petrucci's six-string book of tricks. Taking the orchestral route is 'We Will March Our Way', though only for a moment as the track shifts into aural overdrive. There are some nice moments on this one though.. 'Miracle' is a powerful track, with muscular guitar lines plus a ton of pinch harmonics added for extra effect. Cooling off their heels for the final track, 'Two Hearts Collide' is a ballad dominated by grand piano and acoustic guitar.

In Summary
There is enough of interest here to suggest these guys may find a strong base outside of their local Finland. They have a reputation as a good live band, and have been gigging regularly since 2007. Kings Of Modesty, in support of this album are out on the road with former Nightwish warbler Tarja Turinen, so if you are in a position to get out and see them live, tell Jason I sent ya!

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