May 282019
 

For the instrumentalist, one of the bigger challenges is to create an own identity. At face value, the lead singer gives a band its identity, since his/her look and voice is one of a kind. He/she is instantly recognisable. Antonello Giliberto’s tone is his identity. When he solo’s, it’s like Paganini’s violin, technically thrilling yet maintaining strong melody. His love for the classics, like Johann Sebastian Bach and Yngwie Malmsteen (yes, I dare elevate Yngwie to that most celebrated category of classical composer) inform his compositions. When you read Giliberto’s biography, it is clear that he is a guitar scholar, having studied at Accademia di Chitarra Moderna, a Sicilian academy specialising in modern guitar. He has a keen interest in the expressive qualities of the guitar, as he’s attended workshops with Kee Marcello and Mattias IA Eklundh, amongst others. I was likewise pleased to learn that he contributed guitar on three of Gabriels’ epic “Fist of the Seven Stars: Act 2”, reviewed earlier.

His choral arrangements are impressive, and I enjoy his strong leaning towards neoclassical metal. “Wrath of the Northmen” stands out for me in this regard. There is a great appreciation of dynamics, as the musical crescendo towards the 5 minute mark dissolves into the peaceful ebb and flow of an ocean. I also enjoyed the contrast between choir and electric guitar in “Iron Shadows in the Moon”, and it’s amazing how well symphonic brass and distorted electric guitar work together. Neoclassical metal for the win!
While these instrumental tracks evoke grand, mythical battles, marked by triumph in most cases, I do long for a story to tie it all together. To return to the old masters; maybe it’s about establishing a theme, which is then developed in movements, like in a concerto? Like when certain melodies are handed from guitar to keyboard to violin, each instrument deconstructing those melodies and reconfiguring them into a grander whole from song to song. This is a wish, not a criticism. “The Strategy of Chaos” is damn near perfect in its musical articulation, and with the added talents of Dino Fiorenza on bass, Salvo Grasso on drums, and special guest Gabriels contributing fiery keyboard solos, you’re in for sheer listening pleasure!

“The Strategy of Chaos” scores 9/10.

Written by Karakul

Track list:
01. The Strategy of Chaos
02. Threat and Redemption
03. Before the Battle
04. Beata Beatrix the Beautiful Vision
05. Artemisia’s Revenge
06. The Depths of My Soul
07. Wrath of the Northmen
08. Iron Shadows in the Moon
09. Forgotten Mists
10. Secrets from the Past
11. Alone in the Empty Space
12. Odissea Veneziana (Bonus Track)

Band members:
Antonello Giliberto – Guitar and keyboards
Dino Fiorenza – Bass guitar
Salvo Grasso – Drums
Gabriels – Keyboards

Studio albums/EPs:
The Mansion of Lost Souls (full-length, 2013)
Journey Through My Memory (full-length, 2015)
The Strategy of Chaos (full-length, 2019)

Release Date: April 30th. 2019

Record label: Minotauro Records

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