Photo Credit: Andy Earl
Friday the 13th might be unlucky for some but for Reigning Days fans it brought the release of their debut album. Entitled Eclipse, the Devonshire rock trio’s debut has been released via Marshall Records and follows their 2016 self-titled EP.
Opening track Empire doesn’t give you much time to ease into Reigning Days’ sound, with a full-blown rock punch thrown at your face. The grittiness and raw guitar lines compliment hard-hitting lyrics in the chorus of “I am an empire, down on my knees” giving you a sense of power you didn’t previously know you had in you. Neither of the band’s latest singles, Gravity and Inhaler, let up on the thunderous rock; Gravity, however takes things down a notch or two, offering more focus on the vocals and bringing out a Biffy Clyro vibe to the track. Having received substantial attention from Daniel P Carter on the Radio 1 Rock Show it’s clear why Inhaler has become a very popular Reigning Days track. Chugging guitar lines swirl round in your ears as sultry vocals drive the track in an upwards direction.
When we hit Chemical, Thrones and All I Wanna Do it’s like we’ve reached a whole new world – one where this is an indie/indie-rock album instead of a rock album. Chemical takes the tempo right down, focusing more on melodies and delicately layered vocals; it stands out for being a bit, well, boring compared to the other tracks we’ve heard so far. It appears Thrones is the second indie-esque instalment but sadly fancy guitar work doesn’t cover up the lack of excitement within this track, whilst All I Wanna Do flaunts one of the catchiest guitar undertones on Eclipse. It’s definitely a rollercoaster album, but is that always a bad thing? Not in this case.
Moving onto better highlights, Friendly Fire is full of fast, furious drumlines and unexpected guitar riffs – there’s something alluring here keeping us fully hooked. It’s a breath of fresh air to return back to the big, brashy tracks which will cause chaos at their live shows. While we’re on the subject of album highlights we should mention Crazy Horse: reflective lyrics about being with someone who has a negative effect on you; a repetitive beat which will have you foot tapping; and experimental vocals fluttering in pitch, tempo, all layering to make it a busy but bold effort.
Heading towards the end, Self Destruct and Sound Of The Future are faced with the task of closing the album and making long-lasting, positive impressions. The first is a typical Reigning Days track with a heavy emphasis on guitar work, gaining momentum when matched with rock twinged vocals. Sound Of The Future is the last chance to give us something memorable, with a riffy, guitar-filled introduction which soon becomes a bit too familiar. We want something more, the sound of the future. Something fresh, exciting and new. Yes, musically this is a good track, but there’s something we’re longing to hear as the track goes on and we never get it.
There’s always one issue with full-length albums, in this case, one with 14 tracks: it soon becomes incredibly hard to distinguish between each track meaning, choosing a favourite and remembering those at the start. Musically Reigning Days know what they’re doing, they have the catchy choruses and slick guitar lines, but we want something more to make us come back. It’s not going to be groundbreaking, but everyone has to start somewhere and who knows where Eclipse will take them.
Standout Tracks: Friendly Fire, Crazy Horse
For Fans Of: Biffy Clyro, Muse, Royal Blood
Written by: Nicola Craig