InnerSiege was founded in 2008. Their website says: “InnerSiege hails from Peoria, IL, USA and considers itself in the Euro Power Metal genre. Reviewers say they sound similar to Dream Evil, Hammerfall, Primal Fear, Iron Maiden and early Queensryche.” InnerSiege is: Jeremy Ray (vocals), Ravn Furfjord (bass), Kevin Grose (guitars), J.L. Prater (guitars), and Wade Helm (drums). These words, also from the band’s website, provide insight into the band’s history: “During a long two year recording process, the band suffered many setbacks. Their recording studio closing, a member getting called for active military duty in Afghanistan and two founding members leaving the band. The band replaced the departed members and continued on playing local and regional shows when they could.” Their album KINGDOM OF SHADOWS (2012) was released by Roxx Productions.
‘Warrior’ begins the album with blistering electric guitar work. Lyrically, it reflects on the spiritual darkness so prevalent today: “Living in this foreign land barely surviving/No real life from where I stand, none I can see/There’s evil everywhere, it’s far too much to bear/I’m praying for a way to save me from this place.” The song goes on to point to our sure hope in Christ: “A white horse You ride, sword and shield held high/You’ve come to save the day/Warrior.” ‘Fight On’ is another bona fide hard rocker. It paints a realistic picture of spiritual warfare: “Oppression’s victory has conquered many souls.../As long as there’s hope for tomorrow/I will not live in yesterday/As we face new horizons/We will fight on/The struggle is fierce, it’s all around me/A fight for all our lives.”
‘Dragon Rider’ is a real slam-knocker of a song. It shares these words of warning about our adversary, Satan: “He comes in the night to seek and destroy/He comes in the night wearing his cloak of darkness/Ever so patient, he lays in waiting/When will he strike?/You’ll never know till it’s too late/It’s too late when it’s over/It’s too late when you feel his breath on you.” The message of ‘Children of Winter’ will resonate with many Conservatives and Republicans: “I see the filth and decay/The smell of death it almost overwhelms me/And when my strength fades with the day/I hear the battle cry/I press on through the night.../Facing the shadows in this dark and evil world/Through it all, we will stand our ground.”
‘Control’ is a great song with blazing guitar work, that would fit well in a rock drama or a rock opera. It seems to be about the lure of sexual immorality: “I know your haunting voice so well/We’ve spent some time in unholy communion/Evil deeds that I’ll never tell/Behind the door in an unholy union/Each time I’m alone/She sings to me, she’s calling for me/That’s when it begins, I’ve lost all control.” ‘Abuser’ is a tragic headbanger that to me reflects on the dark side of porn: “I cry before You God/Why are You so far?/It seems You have forgotten me/I don’t know where You are/How does a little girl grow up and get this far/To wish she was not ‘beautiful’?.../Bound and gagged, he says I’m pretty/The lights flash as darkness surrounds me/The camera rolls until my abuser is through/My abuser is through.”
‘Excuses’ features guest growling vocals by Colt Caperrune, one of the album’s producers. This song exposes the tendency many of us have, not to take responsibility for our own actions and lives: “Others are blamed in all of your reasons/Passing the buck, that’s not worth a dime/It’s the same ol’ thing/It’s always that someone did you wrong/Down this road again with all of your reasons/Lines become blurred between truth and the lies/You’re such a victim/It’s never your fault for where you are.” ‘Free’ has Kristina Ray as a guest vocalist. The song rocks heavy and could really be addressed to either God or a human love interest: “A lonely heart, I walked alone/Then you rescued me/There I am, I stand in my sorrow/But you came to me/You were just what I needed/How did you ever know?/Now with you right beside me/Alone I am no more/Free, you set me free/Because of you I am free/Free, you came to me/Free, you give to me/All the love that I need.”
‘What Kind of Love?’ is a wonderful, quieter instrumental, with a splendid electric guitar lead. ‘Ultimate Sacrifice’ chugs right along for over six minutes. It starts by praising brave soldiers: “A man full of honor/Heeds the call of his country/And he is no doubt a hero/A man full of valor/Gives his life for a stranger/That horrible day at Ground Zero.” The song then points to Christ as the ultimate example of noble character: “Let me tell you of One/One who gave it all/While others gave some/He gave His life away/Never before in our time/The price had been so high/The Ultimate Sacrifice for you.”
KINGDOM OF SHADOWS is hands down one of the best metal albums in recent memory in the Christian market. It’s right up there with Stryper’s 2009 release MURDER BY PRIDE. Incredible electric guitar work and a vocal delivery similar to that of Deliverance’s Jimmy P. Brown II, propel this album to greatness. This is melodic power metal at its best. It is easy to see after listening to this album, why InnerSiege was on the same bill as Whitecross and King James at Switzerland’s recent Elements of Rock festival! I’m rating KINGDOM OF SHADOWS 90%. For more info visit www.innersiege.com and www.roxxproductions.com