My tastes in metal run the gamut from thrash, melodic, traditional, etc, but my two favorite genres of heavy metal would be Prog and Power metal. There seems to be a resurgence of symphonic power metal coming from Italy with amazing new releases from Holy Knights, Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody,Thy Majestie, Vision Divine, and now…Sound Storm. The symphonic power metallers hailing from Turin, Italy are set to release their new album “Immortalia” on August 28th their first for their new label Scarlet Records Recorded, mixed and mastered at Metal House Studio by Ettore Rigotti (Disarmonia Mundi). According to the band’s bio, Immortalia is a stunning concept album on the quest for eternal life, an amazing journey through literature, poetry and history, a collection of songs linked together by the common theme of the immortality of the soul. The fantasy artwork was handled by Felipe Machado Franco, who has also contributed artwork for Blind Guardian and Rhapsody Of Fire.
The music on Immortalia is theatrical, operatic, symphonic, dark, and heavy, with touches of middle eastern instrumentation ( check out the song Seven Veils). Their style is an amalgamation of bands such as Nightwish, Kamelot, Sons of Seasons, and Rhapsody of Fire. Fronted by powerhouse vocalist Philippe D’Orange, who has an amazing vocal range and theatricality about him. Dare I say he belongs in the upper echelon of Italian power metal vocalists with the recognizable surnames of Lione and Luppi.
After the short intro title track, things kick into high gear with the ultra melodic speed metal bombast of Back to Life which features some amazing fretwork from Valerio Sbriglione, the technical and fast as lightning drumming of Federico Brignolo and a memorable refrain. On hard driving cinematic Curse of the Moon keyboardist/pianist Davide Cristofoli shows his incredible chops and orchestration while D’Orange reaches for the stratosphere with his piercing screams. Combining thrash-like rhythms and the superb soprano of female vocalist Ilaria Lucille De Santis, Blood of Maiden is sung in Italian (not unlike a traditional opera) and English.
The track Faraway has a nice Nightwish-esque vibe to it while maintaining the Sound Storm originality. The next song Promises reminds me of Sons of Seasons in both music and vocal approach. This is not really a criticism as I enjoy SoS music as well. The opening arpeggio/keyboard harmonies by Sbriglion and Cristofoli bring to mind early Yngwie Malmsteen euro-metal sound. The slow and epic feel of Watching You Fading has a nice acoustic flamenco style guitar work and passionate vocals from D’Orange with a wonderful payoff on the chorus worthy of an arena filled with lighters waving to and fro. The powerful and majestic fury of Wrath of the Storm crashes through like a force of nature with elements of black metal and a more aggressive yet melodic vocal approach by D’Orange. The conclusion to the album is The Portrait , another tour de force of cinematic metal, rapid-fire drums, a heavy rhythm and a melodic chorus. In the final analysis, Immortalia is a finely crafted, well-written and executed power metal work of art. While the symphonic elements do tend to overpower the melodies making it hard to differentiate some songs from others, it is still an incredible achievement and should gain them a lot of notoriety within the symphonic power metal community.
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