King Company are an international hard rock/melodic metal outfit of whom I knew very little until very recently. But I’m always ready to take a punt on music such as this, so when Sentinel Daily reviews editor Gavin Strickmann suggested I have a listen to the band I took up the challenge readily.

And, I have to say, after a bit of a getting-to-know you period, I haven’t been disappointed. Unusually for a band who make a big deal of big choruses, the refrains all across Queen of Hearts take a bit of a while to worm their way into your affections. But when you do, they’ll be bothering you at all hours of the day for a long time to come.

The less heavy material is generally the most successful; Big ballads Stars and Living the Dream are both near-perfect examples of modern metal whimpery, but occasionally the more rocking material makes it’s presence known forcefully. The riffy Learn to Fly highlights the chops of axepert Antti Wirman to great effect, as does the next track Berlin, which has a real classic hair metal feel to it, especially in Wirman’s Sykesesque shred on the solo. The monolithic riffage of closing track Arrival also has a lumbering, portentious whiff of the ghosts of giants past, and fans of 1987-era Whitesnake will allow themselves a wry smile as they listen.

King Company are doing nothing new here. And the fact that the melodic metal market is so saturated with high quality yet relatively faceless acts all angling for the same fan dollar makes their task of actually drawing attention to themselves doubly difficult. Tracks like the anthemic King for Tonight are superb calling cards, but whether they carry enough heft to make themselves heard over the competition is a moot point. Here’s hoping!

Queen of Hearts is out now on Frontiers Music.