Ambitions upped, Sicilian guitarist begins a game of power and, going the windy road, wins it hands down.
Instrumental intent is often a curse rather than a blessing, yet Antonello Giliberto fleshed out the mirage of 2013’s "The Mansion Of Lost Souls" with a lot of melody and muscle to make his third album a blissful metal ride. Working as a trio with John Macaluso on drums and Dino Fiorenza on bass who went down to the studio with the guitarist instead of taking the file-swapping route of today, Gilibarto lets rip and gets it tight so the result breathes life. From the oratorio sway of “Demeter” to the exquisite twang of “The Art Of Ending,” the bombast is served just right, as intricate interplay never gets in the way of a tuneful line, the busy rhythm section providing a fertile ground for six-string harmonies to bloom.
They spring off the title piece’s pregnant serenity that is shattered with a sharp riff rolling the harpsichord-spiked drama into baroque, but “Flying With The Dragon” takes a more predictable, if still cinematic, direction. Taking to a piano, Antonello sculpts a gauze arrangement for “Perfect Dream” to soar into a concerto paradise and hit the pearly gates with a heavy ram, while “Enigma Of Eternal Night” unfolds into an acoustically laced sensual reverie, and “Avalon’s Darkness” conjures up the vision, complete with the female bel canto, of the folk-tinctured Renaissance dance. That’s how far one’s memory can stretch, and it can swing to the future, too, so this journey must continue.