KINGDOM COME’S third album, put out in 1991, was essentially a Lenny Wolf solo album. The band had split in 1989 after their second album “In Your Face”. Wolf wrote, sang, played bass and produced “Hands Of Time”.
The timing couldn’t have been worse, by 1991 the major labels were looking for any excuse to get rid of bands that had ties to the 80’s. There was absolutely no push for the album and it basically sat there for their hardcore fans to pick up.
KINGDOM COME was accused of being a Led Zeppelin rip-off from the start and the label had no shame in presenting them that way either. For those of us who didn’t grow up with Zeppelin, but had been spoon fed their music on Rock radio, we had NO problem getting into KINGDOM COME. We didn’t care if Lenny Wolf sounded like Robert Plant… most of us at least. I do remember standing next to some dick at their concert who was booing them for ripping off the untouchable Led Zep. Personally, KINGDOM COME’S heavier approach is how I always wanted the Brits to sound. Now an unknown guy from Germany and some American dudes took the sound and updated it for the 80’s.
“Hands Of Time” was a big departure from the first two KINGDOM COME albums. Much more keyboards and strings and leaning towards Prog at times. Lenny Wolf grew up with the 60’s and 70’s music and he was paying tribute to his influences. And guess what? I LOVE this album and still consider it one of the more painfully underrated albums of the era.
Wolf did a GREAT job producing the album. The drums sounded like thunder, everything was really crisp and clean with great separation. It was the exact opposite of grunge, which certainly didn’t help the sales. The songs were epic in nature with massive hooks, but not too Pop sounding either.
There’s at least two singles that could have done well a few years earlier. “Stay” was just a great rock tune, probably the most accessible song on the album. “You’re Not The Only… I Know” was a fantastic acoustic-based mid-tempo ballad with just a killer chorus. Again, just a few years too late on that one.
“Blood On The Land”, “Should I”, “Cant Deny” and “Shot Down” were also great tracks for those who always wish bands like ASIA were heavier. You could call it Arena Rock that leans towards AOR at time, Melodic Hard Rock whatever you want to, it’s just well written and produced music.
Wolf was never appreciated like he should have been, for possibly the dumbest reason ever. He sounded too much like Robert Plant. Music has and always will be full of bands that have influences from the past, what I’ve not understood that instead of claiming they ripped off your idols, just enjoy that freaking music.
If you skipped this one back in the day go back and have a listen and appreciate the talents of Wolf. All I know is that the “Hands Of Time” have been kind to this album and it still holds up and great music.