Volturian – “Red Dragon”


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.

The album opens somewhat disappointingly with a two minute keyboard/electronic instrumental before launching directly into “Stay” which sets the tone for what is to come with Volturian’s brand of pop metal. For much of the song, the guitar chords ring out with Federica’s vocals over the top and that structure works really well for the band. The vocals do tend to be a bit too forward in the mix, however, which causes the guitars to get somewhat lost. The song does have a well-played guitar solo with some interesting touches keeping it from being a bit stale.

“Harley” has the first real strong appearance of Rossi’s bass carrying some of the verse sections along with Andrea Zannin’s drums coming through strong and clear. “Empty World” and “Torn Asunder” are the next two tracks with both opening in more a keyboard-driven manner, which almost seems to contradict the heavy nature of the song titles. “Torn Asunder” really embraces the pop influence in the opening of the song being devoid of guitars and them not being overly obvious in the rest of the song, making it one of the softest on the album. A strong bass line and heavier guitars open “Burn It Up” with Rossi’s bass line driving much of the verse sections as the band returns more toward a power metal approach. “Distant Caress” has the band going straight into pop territory in the absence of guitars. After “Bury Me” brings back some guitars into the mix the band goes full on the other way for “Freeze Me” which is the most metal track on the album but by this time the album is nearly over and those looking for heavier tracks may have moved on. Perhaps fittingly the album closes with another electronica song in “Descent”.

I really wanted to like Red Dragon and I did like Crimson as well as Federica Lanna’s earlier work in Sleeping Romance, but this release was missing most of the elements that kept Crimson from becoming a generic sounding pop metal release. Given how much I enjoyed Crimson, maybe my expectations were too high and I just don’t appreciate the direction the band has gone. Overall, production and perfromances are strong and Federica Lanna’s vocals shine as one would expect, so there is a lot to like in Red Dragon, just not a favorite for me.

Written by John Jackson

Rating: 7/10


  1. Rebirth
  2. Stay
  3. Harley
  4. Empty World
  5. Torn Asunder
  6. Burn it Up
  7. Distant Caress
  8. Bury Me
  9. Freeze
  10. Descent

Band Members
Federica Lanna: vocals
Federico Mondelli: guitars, keyboards
Massimiliano Rossi: bass
Andrea Zannin: drums

Release Date: May 20th. 2022

Record Label: Scarlet Records

2020: “Crimson” (review)
2022: “Red Dragon”

Weblinks: Facebook

Video for ‘Harley

Video for ‘Empty World’

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