Forgotten Realm

Oblivion Knight

OBLIVION KNIGHT is a band that has not existed for over 30 years. Founded in […]
By Kevin Lewis
December 27, 2021
Oblivion Knight - Forgotten Realm album cover

OBLIVION KNIGHT is a band that has not existed for over 30 years. Founded in the mid-1980s as an early version of Power/Prog Metal, they "grew up" in central/south Texas and put out a couple of demos that were fairly well received at the time. Arkeyn Steel Records has blown the dust off the old demos and given them new life, releasing the remastered versions on October 29, 2021.

The recordings do not really sound all that great. There are some pretty rough patches. The intro song is a bit off timing, though I'm not sure if that is a lack of skill on the part of the mixer or the band. At only fifty-two seconds, this is what should have hooked me and made me want to really love this record or at least set up something epic for the next song. Instead, it feels like a song that stands alone. Off to the side. Hoping not to be noticed.

"The Eagle's Warning" is next, and it has some better stuff in it, but is still not spectacular. The guitar work is pretty impressive, the rhythm is good too. The transitions from one phrase to another are not well done. The overall impression I get is choppy. The vocals are one of the better points of this record, but the level of the vocalist is, at best, tier two. Maybe with coaching and practice he could harness the power he obviously has, but this is pretty raw.

Farther down the track list, a different vocalist takes over. "Clash With the Knight" has better vocal quality, but the recording is still rough. There are parts where the original was either damaged or just not done right in the first place. It sounds like listening to a vinyl with fuzz on the needle. The transition on the musical phrases is a bit better, but the band was also a few years older here. This is where the practice of the past few years must have paid off. The production quality is still lacking.

One of the better songs here is "Sword in Hand." The intro is very ballad-like and the transition to the heavy section is better. Again, I really wish they could have cleaned up the actual recording quality here. The master tapes were just not very good.

"Forgotten Realm" rounds out this album. Here is another slow intro, this one a little more doom-laden. The guitar work is really good, but the poor recording quality ruins what could have been a bright spot. The songwriting is not bad, maybe a little too ambitious for the skill level of the musicians. This band could have become really good. They were not there yet. I think a good producer have made them sound better and a great producer could have made them excellent, but that is not what they had here.

The re-recorded first demo with different personnel was infused with more guitar layering, but the quality of the recording was no better, so it really did not enhance anything. This is meant for the original fans of the band, and I understand why it is being re-released, but I just don't think the execution works. The original tapes are too rough, to unrefined, to be viable. This is for fans and fans only. I don't' remember these guys from "back in the day," so it just does not sound like anything I would collect.

5 / 10









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"Forgotten Realm" Track-listing:

1. Intro: Vision
2. The Eagle's Warning
3. Tales of Vindication
4. Millennium
5. Forgotten Realm
6. Clash with The Knight*
7. Sword in Hand*
8. Beyond the Gates*
9. The Omega*
10. Intro: Vision#
11. The Eagle's Warning#
12. Tales of Vindication#
13. Millennium#
14. Forgotten Realm#

Oblivion Knight Lineup:

Chris Collins - Vocals
Steve Sexton - Bass
Keith Ciaramello - Drums
Chris Camp - Guitar
Mike Soliz - Vocals*
Ken Ortiz - Drums*
Brian Kibekinski - Guitar#

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