Originally released last year digitally in slightly different form, Slovak metallers Signum Regis have revamped Flag Of Hope to album length with a few odds n’ends for an expanded 2021 release.

Although the title track is a strident rocker that features guest appearances from such august power metal names as former Yngwie vocalist Göran Edman and Theocracy‘s Matt Smith, it’s actually the opening track, Given Up For Lost, that makes most impact here with it’s urgent rhythms and strident performances.

Elsewhere the band faithfully reproduce Angra‘s Stand Away, which gives their own vocalist Jota Fortinho a chance to shine which he grabs with both hands. Similarly the neat instrumental Voyage To The Distant Shores sees guitarist Filip Koluš given space to bust out his jazzy chops; The band throw in another instrumental track by way of a bonus in the shape of their reading of Ave Maria, which perhaps doesn’t arrest the ears quite so much but is sincerely rendered nonetheless.

Solid rockers Tune of War and Amorenda (itself another semi-instrumental) round things out; like many of these type of releases, save for the real highlights there seems to be little appeal for listeners not overly familiar with the band. If you’re interested in starting a listening relationship with Signum Regis I’d recommend their Decennium Primum opus from 2017. If you’re already a fan then you may want this to round out your collection – and to give a lift up to the band’s sagging coffers, naturally – but beyond that I’d probably suggest waiting for the band’s next full-length outing.

Flag of Hope releases again in expanded form on May 14th.