Every once in a while a project emerges that leaves you scratching your head in amazement at the people involved and Enzo Donnarumma has amassed quite the supporting cast of musicians for this ambitious project centered on various prayers and Psalms.
For those who don’t know of Enzo Donnarumma, he is a Christian singer, songwriter, composer, and guitarist, currently lead singer in the band Messengers of God. In The Name Of The Father has been described as the “most ambitious Christian metal project ever made,” largely due to the ensemble of musicians participating. The guest musicians include Marty Friedman (ex-Megadeth), Kobi Farhi (Orphaned Land), Ralph Scheepers (Primal Fear), Mark Zonder (Fates Warning & Warlord ), Gary Wehrkamp (Shadow Gallery), Brian Ashland (Shadow Gallery), Amulyn (Whispers From Heaven) and Nicholas Leptos (Warlord). The album was mixed and mastered by Gary Wehrkamp at New Horizons Studio.
Trying to review this project, is a nearly impossible challenge, so maybe a simple description is what would serve best. Much of the lyrical content is Biblical scripture or traditional prayers, so one would be hard pressed to come up with criticisms there and the musicians involved are literally an all-star cast who performed up to their reputations, so here again criticism would be difficult. The album itself almost reminds me of a rock opera or Broadway show in terms of arrangements and orchestration. Vocals are strong and border on the dramatic and there is a good bit of underlying atmosphere to set the tone.
This is certainly a listening experience that one needs to go through to understand as words will not do it justice. Some will like the approach and some simply will not, and I can not figure out how to provide any real guidance. Production is very clean, performances are very strong, and the mixing and arrangements are very well done. My recommendation is to check out the video clip for “Anima Christi” and make your decision from there as it provides a great example of what can be found on In the Name of the Father.
Written by John Jackson
01. In the Name of The Father (intro with Israeli instruments – zourna, Duduk, Klezmer and folk percussions – me at vocalizations)
02. Psalm 63 (Original Psalm of David set to music – guest: Brian Ashland from Shadow Gallery)
03. The Lord’s Prayer (guest: Kobi Farhi from Orphaned Land)
04. Anima Christi (Original antique prayer set to music – guest: Kobi Farhi from Orphaned Land)
05. Glory be to the Father (Original prayer set to music – guest: Amulyn from Whisper From Heaven)
06. Benedictus (Original Zechariah’s hymne set to music – guests: Ralf scheepers & Nicholas Leptos from Warlord)
07. The Apostles Creed
08. Hail Holy Queen (guest: Marty Friedman)
09. Guardian Angel Prayer (Original prayer set to music – guests: Marty Friedman, Amulyn from Whisper From Heaven)
10. Psalm 3 (Original Psalm of David set to music – guest: Gary Wehrkamp from Shadow Gallery)
11. Hail Mary (Original Psalm of David set to music – guests: Marty Friedman, Mark Zonder from Fates Warning, Tina Gagliotta from Poemisia)
12. Maybe you (New lyrics – guests: Mark Zonder from Fates Warning, Nicholas Leptos from Warlord, Gary Wehrkamp-Brian Ashland from Shadow Gallery)
Record Label: Underground Symphony Records, Dec. 2015
Video below: ‘Anima Christi’ (feat. Kobi Farhi)