Darker Than Leather

Knights Of The Realm

With the reemergence of old school and classic hard rock and heavy metal, it’s easy for bands to take the easy road and mimic what worked in the 80’s, so every time I review an album from a band that promises to “deliver new and fresh metal” I am a little skeptical. KNIGHTS OF THE REALM has made that claim with their latest release “Darker than Leather”, so let’s see if they can make me a believer.
July 10, 2024

The love for classic heavy metal is the driving force behind Sweden’s KNIGHTS OF THE REALM whose musical journey has been marked by personal and collective challenges, providing fertile ground for introspection and artistic growth that is reflected on their latest release “Darker than Leather” (May 24, 2024) that promises to deliver a fusion of melodic heaviness reminiscent of the NWOBHM era, enriched with contemporary elements that resonates deeply with both traditional metal aficionados and a new generation of listeners and following up the success of their self-titled debut album in 2021, which garnered widespread acclaim and secured their position as rising stars in the industry, KNIGHTS OF THE REALM have positioned themselves to ascended to even greater heights.

The opening three tracks “Hell Can Wait”, “Killer Machine” and ”Burn” immediately validate their claim to deliver “melodic heaviness reminiscent of the NWOBHM era, enriched with contemporary elements” administering a concise fury of metallic thunder, yet has a strong brash feel to it as well driven home by the crotch grabbing lyrics, “First turn on the ignition, hear the engine roar, on a rock’n’roll mission, pedal to the floor, all valves and pistons are burning hot, the wheels of metal are glowing in the night”. “Love Hunter” is a chanting, anthem laced chorus that is fueled by searing vocals taking partnership with ripping guitar riffs and a thunderous backbeat that tramples anything in its way. “Aim and Kill” and “Stand Up Stand Tall” both continue our venture into old school headbanging with hard rocking, raw riffs and a vigorous and assaulting backbeat feverously coupled with strong, enthusiastically engaging vocals. We end the album just as strong as we began with “Power of Evil” unleashing a sonic and electrifying rampage keeping the pedal to the metal with slamming riffs and blistering melodies.

“Darker than Leather” is not a ground breaking album, what it is though is a true good time rocking, old school metal album. I guarantee the sound, the guitar work and the heavy duty riffage all will rekindle fond memories of some of your favorite metal bands from the 80’s but KNIGHTS OF THE REALM brings it home with a fresh, contemporary flavor of their own.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








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"Darker Than Leather" Track-listing:


1. Hell Can Wait

2. Killer Machine

3. Burn

4. The Dark

5. Another Kind of Thunder

6. Love Hunter

7. Turn Off the Lights

8. Aim and Kill

9. Stand Up Stand Tall

10. Mean Machine

11. Power of Evil


Knights Of The Realm Lineup:


Magnus “Megalomagus” Henriksson – guitar, bass

Lars “The Hammer” Skold – drums

Marcus “Mean Machine” von Boisman  – vocals

Mats Rydstrom - bass


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