Rock Company 2019
Campanian quintet crown their initial run with a concert album that plays to their strengths and exposes their Achilles’ heel.
With a lot of Irno water under the bridge and a 20th anniversary in sight, this band could have delivered a report from the road a long time ago, but it’s taken the Salerno ensemble four studio offerings to amass enough material to present to those who missed their shows. A festival in Zgierz, Poland, was a perfect opportunity to record the Italians’ set, though – one completely ignoring the group’s 2007 debut “Permanent Damage” while delivering most of “System Of Power” which had been laid down a decade later – and engage the uninitiated in a power metal play.
The band masterfully work with dynamics from the beginning, piling up relentless drumming upon orchestral keyboards on “Why?” and moving the groove to the background once Alessandro Granato’s vocals charge into the picture, and Carmine Vivo’s bass is left at the fore to accentuate the riff’s fluctuation and keep the drama stakes high, They somewhat lose the impetus in “Higher” as, in front of the crowd, multi-voiced choruses don’t hit as hard, yet Luca Sellitto’s guitar solos on this number sound jazzy enough to make the live cut interesting and lead “Love Was Never Meant To Be” beyond vaudeville, while electronic embroidery of “One In A Million” or “Must Be Blind” helps the quintet add delicate touches to the overall texture.
There’s simpler attack to “Perseverance” but its mix of primal rocking and showing off is alluring, whereas “Breaking Another String” feels too histrionic – unlike “Holding On”: the perfect example of the ensemble’s ability to transfer their melodic might to a stage. Call it “the price of eternity” – in the group’s own words – only the raw sonics of “Eyes Of The Warrior” serve the collective’s operatic intent the best, and if they’re willing to projecting such balance onto the future, it wouldn’t take a lot of stamina to reach the higher echelons of heavy champions.