Following Tokyo Blade’s recent album Dark Revolution, founder member Andy Boulton and his other project The Last Renegades has released Valley Of The Kings. This is a collaboration between Andy and Irish vocalist “Aio” (Adrian O’Shaughnessy), musically a mix of hard rock and ’80s classic metal with historical imagery lyrics, really strong and entertaining.

The band have harnessed a symphonic sound that dips its feet into the wet concrete of classic sounds and is unafraid to tear pages from the Celtic rock foundations of Thin Lizzy and Wild Frontier-era Gary Moore.

THE LAST RENEGADES – Valley of the Kings

This disc of molten wax is a dense collection of songs that are complex and strangely contemporary.  The template may be classic hard rock, but the influences are diverse and the guitar work is a heady throwback to days gone by.

They kick off proceedings with the ambitious and lengthy “Colonel Kill.”  Boulton‘s guitar dominates the digital dreamscape.  The singing of Aio echoes greats like Glenn Hughes with the drums and bass gelling the complex tapestry together.  The lengths of the songs tend to be over five minutes, but they are supremely memorable.

I do gravitate to the finesse of songs like “300 Strong” (always a sucker for great vocal harmonies) and the brooding mood of “My Yesterdays“.  They are MVP’s for this thoughtful and classy release.

The whole record is a real album, not just a collection of singles and listening to it in order tends to make for an experience that generally gets lost in the world of digital streaming.  However, it is not a record for those with short attention spans.  It works precisely because it doesn’t offer instant gratification.  The slow burn is what intrigues.  I have listened to it a good few times and haven’t written about it sooner as I needed to fully digest what quality craft it is.

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