Released: 2002, Underground Symphony
Another godly power metal band from Italy! This five piece has been around for several years and this is their second of three releases. Vulture Paradise is an odd release because it is a two-disc set, one disc is four original tunes and the other is five cover tunes. Why not put them all on one?
Mesmerize are far less progressive than many of their modern countrymen, staying in a more traditional metal vein sans keyboards and orchestral influences. This is heads down metal with a strong 80’s influence ala Warlord and Tokyo Blade. It is easy to see why with the bands they choose to cover on disc two; Black Sabbath,
two versions of Tierrra Santa’s signature/name song, Tierra Santa, Sortilege and Warlord themselves.
This is supposedly more of an EP, contractual obligation type of release as the band left Underground Symphony and signed with Dragonheart, who released the bands third disc, OFF THE BEATEN PATH in 2002. It is nice to have as you can hear where they are coming from and going to. The obscure covers are cool but the four original are where this band shines. Opener ‘Vultures Paradise’ is as good as any traditional metal song you are going to want to hear. Even the production has a bit of a muted (by todays standards) tone adding to the overall appeal. Track three ‘Screams From A Dying World’ would fit nicely next to early Riot or Burning Starr cuts. The songs in general are not ripping-ly fast, neo-classical shred pieces but solid and sturdy mid-tempo grinders.
The singer, Folco Orlandini is already well known and respected in Italy with his talents being in demand. He has done session work and guest shots for Skylark, White Skull, Time Machine, Khali and a few others. His voice is clear and strong and not too high but he hits the high notes with ease.
Any adjective used in the flattering sense such as classic, traditional, solid
here will apply to Mesmerize. With so many bands messing with the metal sound to get recognized in a competitive genre it is nice to hear a band like Mesmerize that adheres to the archetypes of metal and do it well. Recommended!
I believe to my sheer delight that Underground Symphony has picked up some distribution (in Canada at least) so it might be easier to find. Check out my reviews of two other bands (Power Quest and Shadows of Steel) on this label and visit their site at http://www.mesmerize.it