Review | King Zebra – Between The Shadows

Frontiers Music srl

Taking the scene by storm with their formidable EP in 2019 and consecutive ‘Survivors’ album in 2020, King Zebra is ready to strike again. ‘Between the Shadows’ features all the ingredients for some serious melodic rock bliss. And with former China singer Eric St. Michaels at the helm, the band gears up to cascade potent melodies and gigantic hooks.  

Shrugging riff takes us into the opening ,,Starlight”, with St. Michaels displaying his powerful mid-range. Slightly hoarse, powered up on the mids and lows, he adds the right dose of melodic appeal. Wonderful solo and powerful roaring drums pull it forward into the strutting, sleazy tinged, ,,Children of the Night”, with its dashing rock ‘n roll piano strokes and swinging guitars. Rousing, this is an anthemic live cracker with arena potential.


This blend of melodic rock and sleaze is explored constantly, without lacking the occasional AOR smoothness. The discharge is excellent with the melodic hammer ,,Love Lies” with memorable guitar hooks from Roman Lauer (lead) and Jerry Napitupulu. Ben Grimm’s thunderous bass growls bridge the gap between Manu Judge’s ponderous foundation. Breaking midway the song rouses into its swirling guitarsolo. ,,Wicked” is more guitar hinged, with raw boldness and fierce solos and licks in its loud opening. While ,,Dina” parades with seductive 80s prowess and close harmony vocal execution.

Harmonies in place, King Zebra meanders into melodic minefields, exploring memorable slick hooks and melodies. Like on the bass and guitar driven ,,With You Forever” and ,,Love Me Tonight” before roaring into the heavy melodic arena rocker ,,Out in the Wild”. The latter charged with multi layered harmonies and gigantic chorus, reminiscent to China’s best melodic tracks.


The harmonies classy, St. James kicks up the dirt, like on ,,Cyanide”, where he draws into Alice Cooper phrasing atop the Ratt-inducted offload of swagger and melodic sleaze.

Delving deeper into the early nineties hair metal sector King Zebra goes all in on the closing ,,Restless Revolution”. It is packed with raunchy guitars, heavy grooves and rousing choirs mixing Skid Row briskness and swagger with sticky Bon Jovi. The bluesy notes provided add to the band’s uniqueness in which St. Michaels is dominantly guarding the vocal outcome. Again, guitars dominate with wonderful melodies and solo, colorful enhanced gearing back acoustically pushing into its loud breakdown.


Dancing in a melodic minefield of cliché, St. Michaels and King Zebra manage to uphold a natural and honest stride. Not overdoing it, the band’s rousing hair metal choruses are triggering memories constantly yet manage to bring across a classy uniqueness. Heavy on the grooves, highly energetic on its slickness, King Zebra pushes forward with high likability making ‘Between the Shadows’ far from groundbreaking, but extremely entertaining radiating a bold stubborn but classy act.  

Release date: 12 April 2024



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