Reign Of Terror - Conquer & Divide

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Lion Music
Catalog Number: LMC066
Format: CD
Total Time: 65:06:00

Conquer & Divide is the fourth album of the band formed by guitar master Joe Stump and supersedes their previous release, Sacred Ground. Joe Stump is joined on this album by vocalist Mike Vescera and Matt Scurfield (ex-Event, drums) and Jay Rigney (ex-Event, bass), who form a powerful rhythm section. The keyboard parts on the album are done by guest musician Mats Olausson who also played with Yngwie Malmsteen. Joe Stump has released a few instrumental guitar albums and has an insanely intense guitar playing style, which is evident on this album.

The album balances in the middle of being a progressive metal album and a thrash metal album, especially in the opening title-track, "Conquer & Divide." Aggressive drumming, fast guitar riffs and haunting vocals is what this first track is about. The first half of the disc is extremely heavy, but "Forsaken" starts to sound a bit more progressive, with an excellent guitar riff and less aggressive and thrashy drumming. "Sign Of The Cross" shows the Deep Purple / Rainbow / Dio influences on Stump's guitar play. An excellent song. The instrumental "S?ance" and "The Meaning" show a more progressive side of this band and they have some good keyboard arrangements to support the excellent guitar sound (of Stump). The European version has one bonus track: "Lament," another instrumental with, again, superb guitar riffs and good keyboard play.

Conquer & Divide is an album with two faces: one mixing thrash and power metal and one much more progressive and it would be interesting to see what this band can do if they would explore their progressive side more, as in my opinion, they seem very good at it, even better than the power metal side. Joe Stump is truly a master on the guitar and he writes excellent songs. Vocals are not great, but not bad either. I miss the balance a bit in the songs, but I think The Reign Of Terror has delivered a very powerful metal album and are worthy of. Keep an eye on them as they could come up with more interesting albums.

Similar bands: Kamelot, Stratovarius

By the way, not to be confused with the Death Metal band of the same name (minus the Joe Stump part, of course). For the Leviathan edition (2002, 20022-2), it's Joe Stump's... for the Lion Music, just The... for the band name -ed.

[This review originally appeared June 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Conquer And Divide (6:28) / No Forgiving (6:04) / Mark Of The Devil (5:43) / No Limits (5:24) / Forsaken (7:40) / Sacrifice (5:38) / Sign Of The Cross (5:56) / Séance (5:35) / Bite The Bullet (5:03) / The Meaning (7:07) / Bonus Track: Lament (4:24)

Joe Stump - guitars
Michael Vecera - vocals
Jay Rigney - bass
Matt Scurfield - drums
Mats Olausson - keyboards

Joe Stump's Reign Of Terror - Light In The Sky (1995)
Joe Stump's Reign Of Terror - The Second Coming (1997)
Sacred Ground (2001)
Conquer And Divide (2003)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: May 29th 2005
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website:
Hits: 510
Language: english


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