Album Review: Green King - Hidden Beyond Time
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings
Recorded at Beach House rehearsal studio and at Dullas sauna cabin in 2020, ‘Hidden Beyond Time’ is the debut release from Finnish metallers band Green King. Originally formed as a side project, the band has morphed into a band that plays a traditional style of heavy metal, incorporating chugging riffs, guitar harmonies and a classic lates 70s/early 80s vibe.
‘Hidden Beyond Time’ is a short blast, 34 minutes in length and overall is a reasonable yet uninspiring listen. I’m not over enthused about the vocal quality of Eliel Salomaa whose gruff delivery is limited to the extent that it detracts substantially from the songs. Although the band play fluid traditional metal, his voice seems to really struggle on virtually every song. For example, The Maiden-esque ‘Godkiller’ presents as a decent, chugging metal song, but is weakened by the vocals. They are strained and this is to the detriment of the song. The same thing happened on ‘Steel to Ice’, which again sees the vocals shouted with such force that they add nothing. This is a shame as the band are tight and play solidly through the six tracks that are served up (two are intros). They draw deeply from the Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and NWOBHM stable, and although one wonders whether there is much of a market for such styles today, what they do they do well.
The brooding darkness of the chugging ‘Tervakiituri’ is marred by a dreadful vocal performance, possibly the worst on the album. Green King do finish with a classically epic track. The eight-minute ‘Lifetakers’ which ebbs and flows to culminate in a gentle acoustic outro.
When you mention the words Green King, it’s the UK pub chain that comes to mind. And much like their pubs, this album is average but nothing special. Unlike UK pubs, in the world of metal there is a vast array of music to choose from. Would I choose a Green King pub? No. And similarly, although I’ve listened to Green King, there isn’t enough here to persuade me to return.