Rexoria – “Queen Of Light” (Pride & Joy Music)
Formed only 2 years ago, Rexoria are already well known on the Swedish circuit having toured with a dazzling range of bands including Crystal Viper, Hardcore Superstar, Slade, Backyard Babies, Entombed A.D and Battle Beast! Fronted by vocalist / keyboardist Frida Ohlin, nominee for the 2016’s The Rock Voice, the band have issued 2 EPs and now comes this impressive (and long awaited by many) debut that shows why they’re such a hit. Hugely catchy and easy to get into, Rexoria unashamedly play melodic power rock (i.e. heavier than AOR but not metal) with occasional folk bits and with a natural, old school sound that will appeal to a range of metal and traditional hard rock fans – cool! While being able to scream, Ohlin’s voice in the main is passionate and soulful which really adds to the effect of the already deep and emotional material, as are Jonas Gustavsson and Cristofer Svensson’s guitar work, which skillfully blends technical prowess with burning riff melodies to really bring to life the great songs on this album. In ‘Hurricane’ with its heavy opening, Ohlin’s soothing femme tones intertwine with the old school riffs to build the passion climatically and epically through soaring layered harmonies and some subtle double bass drumming from Martin Gustavsson. While on the medieval folk bliss of ‘Voice Of Heaven’ with its heart breaking guitar tones dancing with Ohlin’s melancholic tones, the emotional reach of the 11 tracks here cannot be understated. Along with the title track ‘Queen Of Light’ with its rough rocking tempo and yet another hugely catchy chorus, ‘Way To Die’ adds even more epic glory with its heavenly tones and some mesmerizing guitar work right across the number. Definitely worth its weight in every aspect, “Queen Of Light” is exactly that and Rexoria is undoubtedly a name waiting to be brought to the masses so let’s hope this happens soon!