The combination of big riffs, driving rhythms, thick yet lithe bass lines and rich vocal melodies has made for some of the greatest music of all time, and in the hands of Kings Of Mercia this recipe is intoxicating. Best known as the founding guitarist for Fates Warning, Jim Matheos is incapable of stifling his creativity. In early 2021, he started working on the songs that would become Kings Of Mercia's self-titled debut album, bringing his distinct style yet doing something a little different. Churning out songs, Matheos' next concern was to find the musicians who would help him realize the material, and his first priority was a vocalist. Enter FM vocalist Steve Overland. The combination of Matheos' riffs and Overland's vocals makes for perfect bedfellows. Behind the kit for the record is the legendary Simon Phillips (ex-Toto, Derek Sherinian), one of Matheos' favorite drummers. Rounding out the group is bassist Joey Vera - Matheos' Fates Warning bandmate - who brings his trademark style and professionalism to the table. With these players involved it was an easy, stress-free process throughout, making music for the love of it, and coming up with something that sounds familiar yet new, expanding the repertoire of all involved. This means songs like the half-acoustic ballad, half-swaggering "Too Far Gone" or the beautiful "Everyday Angels", and the soaring "Wrecking Ball", which opens the record on a high note, all brought to life in dynamic style. The hardest part of the whole process was coming up with a name for the band. It made sense to self-title the record due to it being the band's debut, and given how much life there is in the songs it would not be surprising if it did not become the first of many, the combination of those involved creating something special, and with Matheos' permanent creative hunger you may well be hearing a lot more from Kings Of Mercia.