Released: 2000, Encore
This is by far and away the best thing Paul Di’Anno has ever put his name too and yes, that includes Maiden! This solo release is better than Praying Mantis, Killers, Battlezone and all that stuff. For those of you who don’t know Paul has strong ties to Brazil and this is a sort of pet project of his. Di’Anno (the band) is a foray into traditional/power metal backed with Brazilian dudes.
Nomad is odd in the fact that it is four Brazlian musicians with Paul as a front man. In fact the guitarist, Paulo Turin who has collaborated with Di’Anno in Battlezone, wrote all the music. The drumming, which is magnificent, was provided by none other than ex-Hangar, current Angra skin-beater, Aquiles Priester. The bass is played by ex-Angra, current Karma member Felipe Andreoli and the keyboards were provided by Fabrizio Di Sarno also of Karma. And to round off the musical chairs, guitarist Chico Dehira has also played with Karma as well. To summarize Paul hired a lot of very talented, respected, but still slightly unknown Brazilian dudes to back him up. All that talent translates into a killer album.
Musically I feel this is Paul strongest effort yet. He sings so clearly and so powerfully, I did not truly believe that it was him at first. The mildly annoying staccato Anselmo-like cadence of his later Killers material is nowhere to be found, just clarity and power. I’ve even heard comparisons of his vocals on this CD to that of Halford which maybe is a stretch but his performance on the moving power ballad ‘The Living Dead’ makes me weep tears of frustration and joy. Joy because he is so talented and thi sis delight to hear and frustration that he has wasted that voice for so long! Maybe he just doesn’t like singing in a high clear register in a power metal setting. I sincerely hope he continues to sing in this style.
There is a fair amount of aggression on this CD lyrically and musically. The one–two punch of the first two tracks, ‘Madman in the Attic’ and ‘War Machine’ will have you reeling back on your heels. The aforementioned power ballad is as good as Halford’s ‘Silent Scream’ in my mind and the title cut is excellent as well. There is a cut called P.O.V. 2000, (Point of View) and the ‘2000’ tag leads me to believe that it is a remake but I’m not sure who did the original.
Paul Di’Anno writes the lyrics and as often with his material his lyrical prowess is truly sub-standard. The sentiment is uninspired and the constant ‘fuck this, fuck that, fuck you’ wears thin. It works in the environment of the band Killers where the causal swearing is one of the elements of the band but in this band is seems…well...contrived and ultimately unnecessary. It’s not that I’m against swearing but it does add anything to the song and Paul relies on those words like ‘fuck and ‘shit’ to get across anger in an unconvincing manner. Slipknot falls into he same trap, thinking that swearing is somehow shocking or scary and both rely too heavily on that style instead of trying to actually write something a little more innovative.
Overall this is a solid if somewhat uneventful traditional, bordering on power metal album. This is highly recommended for Di’ Anno fans and a worthy purchase for most metal fans for it’s curio value and adherence to the principles of the genre. It has a good cover with a sword and a couple of snake-dragons in the wasteland, good clear production, and tight performances by the hired guns. It comes with lyrics, photos, credits and so on. Originally released by Brazil’s Encore label in 2000, the good people at Crash have licensed and re-issued this previously rare gem and for that, I thank them! You can visit their web-site at http://www.crashmusicinc.com.