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Palace Of The King - Valles Marineris album review

Blues rock made modern.

Palace Of The King Valles Marineris album cover

The band’s name might suggest something preposterously pretentious, but at their heart Palace Of The King really are simple, straightforward blues rockers.

The Aussies have something in common with Blues Pills, Graveyard and Crobot. They also have the occasional funk perspective, as on Black Cloud and Sick As A Dog, which bring to mind Betty Davis or Mother’s Finest. The Bridge Of The Gods doffs its riffs in the direction of Grand Funk Railroad, while Empire Of The Sun reeks of Humble Pie.

There’s a celebratory cohesion that puts Palace Of The King above and beyond being mundane blues rockers rehashing a faded past. Led by the thunderous vocals of Tim Henwood, who has the tone of a young Steve Marriott with hints of Chris Robinson, this band drive with unleashed joy. It helps that Sean Johnston adds expansive keyboard passages, but the overall impact is that of stylish individuals locked in a timeless embrace.

Malcolm Dome

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica, published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. He would later become a founding member of RAW rock magazine in 1988.

In the early 90s, Malcolm Dome was the Editor of Metal Forces magazine, and also involved in the horror film magazine Terror, before returning to Kerrang! for a spell. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He was actively involved in Total Rock Radio, which launched as Rock Radio Network in 1997, changing its name to Total Rock in 2000. In 2014 he joined the TeamRock online team as Archive Editor, uploading stories from all of our print titles and helping lay the foundation for what became Louder.

Dome was the author of many books on a host of bands from AC/DC to Led Zeppelin and Metallica, some of which he co-wrote with Prog Editor Jerry Ewing.