"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Kingdom Come - "Rendered Waters" (CD)

Kingdom Come - "Rendered Waters" CD cover image

"Rendered Waters" track listing:

1. Can't Deny (4:05)
2. The Wind (3:46)
3. Blue Trees (3:21)
4. Should I ( 6:24)
5. I've Been Trying (3:34)
6. Pushing Hard (5:13)
7. Seventeen (4:34)
8. Is It Fair Enough (4:08)
9. Living Out Of Touch (4:05)
10. Don't Remember (3:05)
11. Break Down The Wall (4:22)

Reviewed by on June 23, 2011

"'… after so many years, it's a letdown to have a new album simply be remastering of old material.'"

Kingdom Come was a band that appeared on the scene in the late 80’s, when hair metal was already on its way out. But their familiar glam styled guitar riffs and high pitched shrieks garnered them lots of radio play and a good fan base. Though they never made it to any Top 10 Hair Metal Bands list, their music wasn't much different than that being produced by the big names of the genre. Then suddenly grunge took over the music scene, and bands like Kingdom Come virtually disappeared. Now the band is back with a new album called "Rendered Waters," though most of the tracks aren't really new.

There are only three new songs on "Rendered Waters." The rest of the tracks are revisited, and though they pretty much stick to the same formula as the original versions, there are slight variations. In some cases this is good, and in some it's not so good, but after so many years, it's a letdown to have a new album simply be remastering of old material. Greatest Hits albums are fine, and new material is fine, but as the saying goes, if it ain't broke don’t fix it, and for the most part Kingdom Come's original songs weren't broken.

In the case of the opener "Can’t Deny," the changes are for the better. The intro is longer than the original, though they cut out some of the repetition found in the original song. The tempo still remains about the same, and while in the 80’s this was perceived as upbeat, by today's standards it seems a bit slow. Still, Lenny Wolf's vocals on this one are strong.

The first new song, "Blue Trees," is really nothing special. It's standard glam metal with heavy riffs, but it's also the shortest track. The band didn't pack much punch in this brief amount of time. The next track, "Should I," has some nice sleazy guitar and bass work in the intro, but quickly falls into sounding like something off a Dio tribute album. For some fans this is really good, but since the goal of the band was to make their songs sound more relevant, I think they may have failed.

I do like the new track "Is It Fair Enough." The minor chords give it a depth lacking in the other songs, and though the tempo is slower, the guitar breakdown is pretty impressive without relying too much on hair metal shred techniques. Admittedly, Wolf's vocals are a bit strained on this track, but you do have to give a band certain allowances after 20 years. The followup track is an improved version of "Living Out Of Touch," and though there aren't many changes, Eric Foerster's guitar work is heavier. This is a good southern rock, sleazy track that meshes some of the traditional sounds of hair metal with a little heavier, more modern sound.

The closing track is "Break Down The Wall," and those who still like glam metal will love this as an album closer. It's unapologetic hair metal at its best, with a mid-level, sing along tempo, wailing vocals, and an overall feel that's a mix of Van Halen and Cheap Trick. This is probably the best track on the album, and an excellent choice as closer.

When it's all said and done, Kingdom Come has released an album in "Rendered Waters" that is enjoyable. Most of the tracks are a good listen, but the decision to rework old material rather than focusing on new may leave a lot of listeners in the cold.

Highs: There aren't any bad tracks, and the guitar work, though still glam in style, is heavier than the original versions of most of the songs.

Lows: The decision to re-release old songs and modify them rather than offer new material seems unwise.

Bottom line: Kingdom Come revisits old tracks and offers a few new samplings, but fans of the hair metal act may not be keen about their favorite tunes being modified.

Rated 3.0 out of 5 skulls
3.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)