As soon as I heard the guitarist for “Thy Majestie” was on board I snapped at the chance to see what his little side project would entail; with an unknown vocalist and the drummer for Crimson Wind along for the ride, this trio of musicians would follow their well trodden Italian Power Metal path and deliver upon another epic to send you soaring. Fans of the style typified by Rhapsody – or anything with Luca Turilli involved for that matter – and Vision Divine will find much to their liking, taking the prominent synth work, high paced guitars and high pitched “Fabio Leone”- like vocals and mixing it with just a touch of Progressive Metal, seeing them switch between their usual high speed guitar work and slower, softer, melancholic, atmospheric passages with a fluidity that puts them in the upper echelon’s of their genre class.
Little did I know that this would not be this groups first foray into this side-project but a second attempt, releasing their debut in 2002 before abandoning the project shortly after. Wasting absolutely no time, they get to business in showcasing exactly what it is they have to offer; the vocals always leave themselves somewhere to build up to, gradually increasing in intensity and getting higher in pitch and energy as each track progresses. The guitars, too, leave little to be desired in providing a constant flurry of notes in one of his many riffs, precision chord progressions and neo-classical solo’s. Beyond all this, however, is the use of keyboards; not just using drab keyboards in the background, he often can be heard contributing his own riffs, delivering his own solo’s, working his way into the compositions to lend snappy orchestral passages and never becoming too prominent as to smother the rest of the instrumentation.
Their greatest accomplishment, however, is perhaps in creating something equal to those artists who have been performing and perfecting the style for years with just three members investing their creativity into the project. Their fundamental flaw is in only doing it ‘as well;’ there’s nothing that really makes them stand out, either for better or for worse. There are some excellent displays of guitar work in the shredded solo’s and excellent use of atmospheric keyboard lines, but nothing that feels distinct enough to separate themselves from the others who have made a career from such a style; there’s nothing that grips or enthrals you, it never has you on the edge of your seat and all too quickly fades into the background. Tracks end and new ones begin and you barely notice that the piece has changed at all, in some cases seeming to end so abruptly that it feels unfinished, ended only for fear of outstaying it’s welcome. There’s some incredible talent in this project but they’ve tried to play it all too safe, and unless you’re looking for something to tide you over until the next ‘Turilli’ project, that makes it incredibly difficult to recommend.
Highlights: Mistery, Wasted Time
About the Author
Position: Reviewer, Ranter, Reluctant Co-Editor
Location: London, England
Genre Preferences: Progressive, Avant-Garde, Experimental, Technical, Djent, Trad, Black
Favourite Artists: Adagio, Anthem, Baroness, Chthonic, Death Angel, Decadence, Fjoergyn, Gargoyle (Jpn), Haken, Kalevala, Leprous, Lucifugum, Pin-Up Went Down, Plus-Tech Squeeze Box, Project Hate MCMXCIX, Redemption, Sigh, Sikth, Tesseract, Thy Catafalque, Von Hertzen Brothers, Zigoku Quartet
Having held an internet presence using this alias for over a decade now, odds are if you've come across the name in the past it was myself. As for my musical history I suppose it's appropriate to say I arrived on my obsession backwards, for years holding little more than disdain and derision for a genre so seemingly obsessed with pointless brutality over composition; the likes of Deftones, Korn and Slipknot that serves as an introduction for so many flooding my musical palette, deterring my interests and yielding my only interpretation of what the genre involved. Ironically, it was Cannibal Corpse's “Vile” that first corrected me; played at high volume at a youth club by an elder metal fan angrily pushing the bleeding ears of the Green Day fans away from the stereo. I left that day clutching borrowed copies of Children of Bodom's “Hatebreeder,” the aforementioned Cannibal Corpse album, Metallica's “Cunning Stunts” on VHS and a whole new musical interest.
Arriving at a number of forums, I soaked up knowledge like a sponge, progressing through the stages of opinionated idiot to an arrogant elitist on a crusade before finally calming down, chronicling the last four years of my journey of discovery with self-published reviews. In the decade since my initial discovery, my tastes have mellowed and expanded to encompass most of the metal genre and beyond, constantly in search of something new and exciting, always seeking to expand my own musical knowledge. Black Metal with a Didgeridoo? Death Metal Disco? Trance Metal? Sign me up. I also have a strange obsession regarding the music of Asia, but I can't explain that one.
I have long since devoted far too much of my time writing - much to the amusement of my family who note the science-obsessed child now does far more writing than the English Lit. student - and have been self-publishing reviews since 2008; archives of music reviews can be found here and Film can be found here, though since joining Axis both have largely become defunct. I'm a keen globetrotter and, too, document my travels here, on an old blog originally designed to publish a novel that was abandoned due to time constraints.