In the Light of Hope

Knights of Round

It's a rare occasion to come across a band whose methods and music you have […]
By Quinten Serna
July 27, 2019
Knights of Round - In the Light of Hope album cover

It's a rare occasion to come across a band whose methods and music you have absolutely no reference or analogue to, those few acts that defy convention not out of intention or disdain, but because convention itself has no presence in their stead, and this is-to myself at least-KNIGHTS OF ROUND. A Power Metal act from Tokyo, Japan KNIGHTS OF ROUND has its origins in 2003 under the name ODIN yet changed their name soon after.

Starting with a melodic and orchestral composition "The Dawn of Life" sets a mood for sullen and endearing a sojourn and light-hearted melody cascades darker motifs played out by horns before the entire song segues into "From Father to Son." Blaring in with a tom fill on the drums and relentless bass coupled with bouncing synth the song picks up in immediacy as the guitars come to match the speed and the verse settles in. The implementation of synth and strings with conventional instruments creates an interesting combination that cultivates a much grander soundscape which is itself not normally associated with the genre. The best example of this being the album's ending track "Anthem for Dreamers" which uses the odd instrument choice to craft multiple motifs, themes, and passages each with voicings unique to themselves which overall makes the song feel closer to a rhapsody or opus.

A unique aspect of the compositions is the diversity of the influences found with the tracks, as not only do influences from Enka music show up but also of Gaelic, Minstrel, and Baroque ideas as well, which of course aides the band's own motifs of chivalry and knighthood.  Unfortunately the most lacking section in the album is the vocal mix as it becomes clear immediately that they are anything but distinct, every single song-save for the instrumental-is nearly impossible to decipher due to how below the other instruments Caz:nie's voice is, which is attributed to mixing. Even songs that feature much lower instrument voicings such as "Hand in Hand" and "the Voyage" the singing is near indistinguishable which is made even more depressing as the delivery and vocal skill are both exceptional specifically the range and versatility of Caz:nie's voice.

Hushed tones do naught to define the ballads and anthems of KNIGHTS OF ROUND as "in the Light of Hope" delivers crushing Power Metal in a very odd and eclectic manner, and whilst the album and music in and of itself is not something that will captivate every listener it is nonetheless a unique specimen whose soundscape is powerful and esoteric.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








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"In the Light of Hope" Track-listing:

1. The Dawn of Life
2. From Father to Son
3. The Game of Life
4. Fight Destiny
5. You "The Creator"
6. Hand in Hand
7. Mystic Eyes
8. Before It's Too Late
9. The Voyage
10. Even if You'll Be Gone
11. Anthem for Dreamers

Knights of Round Lineup:

Caesar - Bass
Rihito - Drums
Yazin - Guitars
Ryusa - Guitars (Lead)
Caz:nie - Vocals

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