Released: 2012, Icewarrior Records
It has been seven long years since the last Pandaemonium album. I just sort of assumed they had broken up. This quartet was actually one of the bands in the wave first of Italian Power Metal bands in the mid to late 90’s. They haven’t been that productive as this is only their third album in 13 years but THE LAST PRAYER is a welcome addition to their catalogue.
Not too much has changed since the last album, no line-up changes, and they still use the services of artist Diego Ferrarin (White Skull, Holy Knights, Shadows Of Steel) for another great thematic album cover that matches the other two. They have made the jump from Underground Symphony to Icewarrior Records and the production is immaculate for the eleven song, 51 minute album.
As one of the originators of the epic, symphonic sound they do it extremely well as they set the template for many bands to come. Speed is prevalent in most of the songs, this type of Metal needs to be fast, drumming, guitars and lots of THE LAST PRAYER maintains a quick pace. The vocals are in the higher registers and there are some layered vocals with a really high female vocal to counter-point the lower tones of Daniel Reda.
There are plenty of additional musical treats to add depth and variation, to the songs; synthesizers, orchestral flourishes, choral vocal effects and the aforementioned female vocals. The solos if are a highlight and the bass performance of Lorenzo Zirilli is also a strong point, he does much more than hold down the bottom end. All the songs flow along with a great sense of pace and melody.
Some critics and cynics denigrate Italian Power Metal for not being ‘heavy’; enough (whatever that means), but if you enjoy speedy, passionate, well-played Metal with well-written songs, soaring atmosphere, clean vocals and lots of solos, then add THE LAST Prayer to your ‘must hear’ list.