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Palace Of The King: White Bird/Burn The Sky

Where the wild things still are.

Making a defiant return to a time when giant guitar riffs stalked the land and their flared-denim disciples cowered in cavernous bass bins, Palace Of The King have extracted enough of that era’s DNA to clone the style with some genetic modification to meet current standards.

The six-piece band from Australia gleefully follow the commandments on their debut album. At the beginning of each track the two guitarists sort out a riff and then one hammers it while the other sets the pace; anything from medium fast to grinding slow.

Then it’s over to singer Tim Henwood whose tortured high straining vocals are a manic version of Bon Scott. But he screeches a good chorus which in turn is the cue for more boisterous guitars.

Variations are strictly rationed - the title track has an epic soundtrack feel and Devil’s Daughter has an unexpectedly jaunty swing. But otherwise it’s unadulterated head-banging nirvana./o:p

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.