Externalizing their images, Milano team verge into bold experimentation.
Except for blues inflections, the muscle-flexing of 2013’s "Reflections" was staged in a traditional heavy environment. That album’s successor, as its title suggests, is less occupied with looking at oneself so, while “The 7th Seal” runs through oratorio rage and spills onto a prog page, with a violin lining, there’s a sly deceit in opener “Cyrax” that, instead of mortal kombat, introduces jazz-rock to the riff wireframe. Rendering the music three-dimensional, a little bit of vocal hysteria fits the fusion of Paolo Musazzi and Filippo Ferrari’s axes and Larsen Premoli’s ivories just fine, and when they go into a full funky mode on bonus cut “Phunkrax,” a whole new vista is unfolding for the band.
On the other end of a fun spectrum lies the operatic duet of “These Greenvalleys” where Marco Cantoni shares vocal space with Evelyn Iuliano, although “Oedipus Rex” surprisingly features a bebop piano. Yet the three-part “Shine Through Darkness” plays out the regular theatrical drama as defined by the power metal rulebook, as if to anchor all these wonderful deviations and not to let it loose completely. But that’s what it takes for heroes to shine – wearing iron might get tiresome, and it’s not the way to go for these experimentalists.