Released: 2004, Metal Blade
At times whole does not equal the sum of all the parts. Shining Fury are a relatively new entry into the Italian melodic metals sweepstakes, comprised of a number of members of other bands. I’d hate to say ‘super-group’ because in reality very few of these metal veterans are household names. Still, the band features past or present members of Athena and Eldritch, including Oleg Smirnoff of Vision Divine so they do have some pedigree and metal credibility.
It’s a shame however that these talented dudes choose such an unremarkable band to showcase their talents. The band name is cool (very metal) and the logo is quite acceptable. The title is dull (didn’t the band Conception have a CD called ‘Last Sunset’ ?) and the cover art is dull. Metal Blade probably didn’t give them lots to work with in terms of budget because there is only one page to the booklet, no lyrics and only one picture.
The sound is very typical second generation Italian progressive power metal with not much emphasis on power. They don’t really fall into the category of progressive nor neo-classical. They are quick but not super-fast in terms of riffs and drumming although the double kick purrs along nicely. This is pretty sweet with big melodies, not very abrasive at all. The guitar tone and singing are smooth and fluid as is the production, not really a kick in the balls but lots of high end. Not surprisingly the fast songs are my favorites cuts like ‘speed of Life’. There are a few nice surprises, a few guest stars and a very odd, out of place spoken word track called ‘Memories’. I expected it to be a sappy ballad but is actually quite disturbing. It is basically a dialogue of a couple having a really bad verbal fight that keeps getting meaner and meaner. This was not what I expected at all but it works well. Another surprise is a pop cover tune by an 80’s band called TOTO an odd choice but apparently the drummer of SF is related to a member of the band who originally did the song. I think I had heard it before but is was an unremarkable choice at best. I’d rather see them cover a metal song.
I hate to say it but I feel that Shining Fury while competent and enjoyable are not going to have an easy time to make it in a very large and competitive genre of melodic metal from Italy.