Italian Power Metal continues to reign supreme with dozens and dozens of quality releases coming out every year. New 2012 albums by established veterans like Elvenking, Rhapsody, Skylark, Thy Majestie, Vision Divine and White Skull are making waves. However, we at Metal-Rules.com are dedicated to bringing our loyal readers information on the latest bands so, accordingly are going to do a quick review round-up of five albums by the following newer Italian bands: Another Destiny Project, Holy Knights, Mirrormaze, Sound Storm, Wind Rose. Please feel free to check out all the bands in this feature.
Hailing from the incredibly prolific Metal city of Turin, Italy, Sound Storm is one of dozens of neo-classic, symphonic Power Metal bands from the immediate area including Highlord and Airborn. Let’s not forget the Gods Of Metal festival is held there as well! IMMORTALIA is the second album following their debut in 2009 and Scarlet saw enough potential in this young quintet to offer them a deal. I think Scarlet’s investment was a wise choice because Sound Storm are a truly fantastic band.
Firmly entrenched in the aforementioned genre, Sound Storm has a number of excellent attributes going for them in a competitive field of talent bands. One of the bands most noticeable assets is the passionate and aggressive vocals delivery of Phillipe D’Orange. He has a mid-range tone that is very reminiscent of Daniel Heiman or even Jan Grefstad of Saint Deamon. There is grit and power in his voice and his delivery portrays a sense of energy with clear enunciation and some just wicked screams. He is backed up by many others voices in the form of pounding choirs and some excellent soprano style vocals. It’s very operatic indeed!
The pace of the whole is very fast, almost on hyper-drive with tons and tons of bombastic orchestration, as well as choirs. Sound Storm follows a template developed by Rhapsody but adapt the fastest heaviest, most over the top components. The neo-classical styling’s are all over the map, making for an exhilarating sonic journey. Despite all the extra musical influences Sound Storm never sacrifice the speed and heaviness. It’s a pretty intense listen. When the band does slow down, it is only for a brief interlude, with maybe some stings or an acoustic piano, as heard halfway through ‘Call Me Devil’, before tearing off again. There is a very nice Arabian musical motif running through the song ‘Seven Veils’ adding even more of a global sensibility to this cosmopolitan band. The solos are over the top and the guitar tone is always upfront.
IMMORTALIA has an intensity and power that recalls the better moments of Rhapsody, Lost Horizon and Pathfinder. It is a very dense listen from start to finish with an enormous wall of sound that is very captivating. It’s a wonderful album that I will enjoy for years to come.
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