Jul 202022

Here we have a power metal band from Harwich, England formed in 2019 who wear silly hobbit costumes that fortunately can make up that deficit by actually being able to deliver on their musical skills. These guys got the thumbs up from Dragonforce’s Herman Li If that’s any indication of what you will be stepping into on this album. There is a sense right from the start this is in a way a concept album. Its fantasy narrative entwined with musical heart. I will be honest in that I myself are not a huge concept album fan nor a fantasy metal fan but I love good solid music that can hold ones attention and that sticks in your head long after the music has finished. You need to know that “The Saberlight Chronicles ” is a release that unfolds in a mythical story form of self-worth, self-discovery and the quest for courage, The Songs are dramatic and catchy.

So the music and lyrics of such an album hold equal importance, as a concept type album (my opinion) there is a fine balance between the music and lyrics and how they are delivered to serve equal impact yet the vocals require absolute clarity in order for the listener to absorb the full treatment of what’s been delivered. Something easily remembered is clearly delivered.

So let’s get in to the album and see if it meets those criteria as per my standards. “UNTIL THE FIRE DIES” starts off with an enchanted introduction that leads to something that reminded me watching Gummi Bears as a kid. Very catchy vocally and musically with sing a long chorus,

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Volturian – “Red Dragon”

 Posted by on June 29, 2022 at 15:13  No Responses »
Jun 292022

After two years, Volturian return with Red Dragon, the follow up album to their debut Crimson, and veer even further toward the pop metal side of things compared to the edgier, heavier symphonic metal of their first release.

If one goes back far enough, at this point almost 10 years, there was another band, Sleeping Romance, that featured the incredible vocals of Federica Lanna. In Volturian, Federica joins Federico Mondelli (Frozen Crown) in a new project that combines Federica’s vocals with symphonic metal elements and a good bit of electronic music with distinct pop sensibilities. Finding information on foreign bands more than a month before their album drops is a bit of challenge. What we do know is that in addition to Federico, bass player Massimiliano Rossi is also from Frozen Crown and for Red Dragon, the band added Andrea Zannin on drums. Immediately on listening to Red Dragon it becomes apparent the band has been able to spend more time on the mixing and mastering than on Crimson with everything seeming crisper allowing subtlety in the overall sound to be better appreciated.

In the big picture, the overall approach to songwriting and composition is not terribly different than on Crimson with the band choosing the same blend of hard rock and pop metal with electronic elements mostly in support of Federica’s vocals, which remain equally impressive as in the past. To me, the bass of Massimiliano Rossi seems to play a bigger role in many of the songs compared to the first album with several like “Harley”, “Empty World”, “Burn it Up”, and “Bury Me” showcasing the low end.

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Mar 182022

“Red Dragon” is the second studio-album for the Italian modern ‘female fronted’ metal band Volturian. Featuring mastermind Federico Mondelli (Be The Wolf, Frozen Crown, Nocturna) and frontwoman / vocalist Federica Lanna. A mix of melancholic metal, poppy goth and electronic layers (Depeche Mode-alike). For fans of: Within Temptation, Evanescence, Delain, Temperance, Leaves’ Eyes and Lacuna Coil.

The second Volturian effort is a truly inspired and stylish rendering of the modern ‘female fronted’ metal blueprint. A blend of the gothic & melancholic feeling of the exceptional debut “Crimson” (2020) with an even more refined pop vein and some extra subtle electronic layers. Each “Red Dragon” song displays a very contemporary sound, intriguing arrangements and charming sonic dynamics; not to mention the always masterful Federico Mondelli trademark songwriting. Graced by the heartful interpretation of frontwoman Federica Lanna, lyrically and aesthetically inspired by Thomas Harris’ “Red Dragon” (the novel who gave birth to the Hannibal Lecter myth) and Alan Moore and Frank Miller’s graphic novels, the new Volturian record will wrap the listeners into a warm blanket to open their eyes in a thrilling scarlet light.

“Red Dragon” will be released on May 20th 2022 via Scarlet Records.

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Nightland – “The Great Nothing”

 Posted by on November 19, 2021 at 17:46  No Responses »
Nov 192021

Orchestral arrangements and death metal combine on The Great Nothing by the Italian band Nightland on their third full-length release.

Nightland came on to the symphonic death metal scene in 2011 with the ep Knights of the Dark Empire followed with the ep In Solemn Rise in 2012. The band really started to make a presence in 2015 with their first full-length album, Obsession, and then supported Fleshgod Apocalypse during a European tour in 2017. In 2019, the band released Umbra Astra Luna‘ and now, The Great Nothing’. The album was been mixed and mastered by Simone Mularoni at Domination Studio in San Marino.

Album reviews bring back so many memories of bands long forgotten…thankfully the internet can help. Long ago (late 90’s) there was a band on Rowe Productions with vocals much like those in Nightland and for the life of me, I could not remember the band. A couple of searches later and through the magic of google, I found Ethereal Scourge and knew instantly that was the band I was thinking of, but just on a vocal level. Ludovico Cioffi’s vocals are rough, near growled death metal in style, while the band employs clean vocals for choruses and the two work very well together. The first track “The Conjunctin of Benetnash” provides a warm welcoming view into what is to come on the album. The nearly 7 minute long track starts out with some clean guitar picking before the full band comes in very loudly over the top of the sustained opening rhythm, which eventually heads into distortion. From an arrangement perspective, there are a lot of elements going on which one would expect in a symphonic metal band and then when you add in the raspy, shouted death metal vocals reminiscent of Ethereal Scourge and Becoming the Archetype, you have an idea of the full sound. Production and mixing is great with everything being heard in the mix and the vocals having an almost otherworldly, majestic aspect to them, both the clean and the death metal ones.

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Jan 292021

Italian metal band, Secret Rule, have released a brand new single for ‘Mother Earth‘ – the band’s first material as a preview of the upcoming new album in 2021. The full video for the song to be released next week on the 4th of February. ‘Mother Earth‘ can be ordered here.

The song is an alchemy of metal and groove guided by the powerful voice of the singer Angela Di Vincenzo. The vocalist Angela Di Vincenzo says: “‘Mother Earth’ wants to be a scream going out directly from the center of the Earth, from its heart towards humans. The band refers to the track as “A punch in the stomach!” It’s time to open our eyes and our ears!! Our planet is screaming!

Secret Rule is a rock-metal band, formed at the beginning of 2014. The sound is a mix of powerful rhythms and catchy melodies with a little touch of electronic and symphonic inserts. In six years, Secret Rule conquered their space in the Worldwide metal scene. The band is fronted by the powerful and crystal clear vocals from Angela Di Vincenzo, masterminded by lead guitarist Andy Menario, with accurate bass playing by Michele Raspanti and the powerful drumming from Sebastiano Dolzani. Their shows offer a lot of energy and a total impact between metal music and awesome melodies.

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