ReinXeed - Higher
Rivel Records
Symphonic / Neoclassical Power Metal
10 songs (50:50)
Release year: 2009
Rivel Records
Reviewed by Kyle
Archive review

As a sort of collector of obscure and little-known power metal, I sometimes tend to get so wrapped up in discovering new bands that I forget to check up on my previous discoveries. Reinxeed from Sweden was one of the more promising new power metal acts in recent years, and though I knew that the band had a new album called Higher out at the point when I reviewed their 2008 debut The Light in 2009, I overlooked it as I didn’t expect the band to have evolved much in such a short amount of time between albums. Now that I’ve finally taken the time to listen to their sophomore effort, I can tell you that my prediction was indeed correct; however, Reinxeed here has truly pushed the boundaries of their sound, making Higher a highly consistent album, with tons of speedy tracks and superb melodies. For the power metal fan that can’t get enough of the fast ‘n’ cheesy side of the genre, this one is absolutely impossible to resist.

With Higher, this incredibly talented foursome is at the absolute height of their powers. Reinxeed mastermind Tommy Johansson belts out notes as if the world is coming to an end (thankfully he stays further away from super high notes here, using them only sparingly), also providing neoclassical guitar work and symphonic keyboard arrangements that give Higher a feel that is epic to the bone. He and his fellow bandmates (Kerry Lundberg, Christer Viklund, and Mattias Lindberg) power through the album’s fifty minute running time with relative ease, creating some melodic metal anthems that, while definitely flowery, are also very well written. Vocal melodies are top notch, and the way the instruments sometimes meld together – such as the perfect combination of neoclassical lead guitar licks and punchy drumming in Higher’s title track – is downright impressive. Johansson, who has acquired moderate fame on Youtube thanks to several metal covers of TV themes and pop songs, translates that talent here on a few tracks, skillfully incorporating the main themes of Dragonheart and Jurassic Park into Star Shine and Reality, respectfully. Combine this skill for cleverly writing songs with solid production and effective lyrics that deal with fantasy and Christianity, and you have an album that is incredibly easy to get into and difficult to stop listening to.

Despite the fact that all the songs share much in common, there’s a surprising amount of variety to be found on Higher. From the unique melodies of Haunted Mansion to the uber-happy Star Shine to the widdly, galloping masterpiece that is Fantasia, it’d be quite a feat to become bored with this album. Though Always be There is a bit boring, every other song here is top-notch; even the hair-metal ballad Light of the World is quite good! However, when you take a step back and look at things, it’s difficult to classify Reinxeed as anything other than a standard melodic / symphonic power metal band, albeit an incredibly good one. But if you’re the type that loves some grandiose power metal that isn’t afraid to crank the tempo up to max and lay on the cheese rather thickly, then Higher is absolutely for you. There may not be much to say about Higher in this review – it’s an immensely entertaining album, though not a very deep one – but it’s difficult to find flaw in, and it’s a record that many a power metal fan should be proud to have a space in their collection reserved for. Freedom Call, Heavenly, and Stratovarius lovers everywhere, Higher has your name stamped all over it.

Killing Songs :
All except Always be There.
Kyle quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by ReinXeed that we have reviewed:
ReinXeed - 1912 reviewed by Chris and quoted 77 / 100
ReinXeed - The Light reviewed by Kyle and quoted 79 / 100
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