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Spellblast
Nineteen
April 2014
Released: 2014, N/A
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Erich

Receiving an album from an Italian band that plays power metal is no surprise, and certainly Spellblast falls into this category. NINETEEN marks the band’s third album and a discarding of the previous two albums folk elements. NINETEEN seeks to mark its own path in a crowded subgenre, thus listeners will find the album to be more muscular, while less symphonic and technical then typical proto-Italian power metal ala Rhapsody of Fire, Labyrinth and others. Also serving as a distinguishing factor is the album’s concept story, which is derived from Stephen King’s The Dark Tower saga. Paired with Demons and Wizards TOUCHED BY THE CRIMSON KING, the two albums make for interesting but separate approaches to what is an epic tale.



Regarding the story, the band does it justice in thirteen tracks of dedicated and passionate mid-paced power metal. There are symphonic elements, but they are more subdued than you would expect from power metal. Daniele Scavoni is the deliverer of tales, singing in a comfortable range that leans more towards Germanic power metal vocals than Italian. Musically, the band keeps things varied with catchy riffs and memorable passages, while interspersing Sergio Leone inspired Spaghetti western music in a few tracks. One such tune is the excellent instrumental “Highway To Lud” that recalls Roland The Gunslinger’s journey to that decayed Mid-World city from the book The Wastelands. Other tunes lean much closer to progressive territory, as is the case with “Programmed To Serve”, a tune with an unmistakable Blind Guardian influence. The signature track though is the powerfully melodic “Eyes Of The Void”, a song that demonstrates a perfect balance of chugging riffs, keyboards, and a catchy chorus.



Considering that the band is unsigned and the album is self-produced by guitarist Luca Arzuffi, it sounds fantastic. While most of the ground here is familiar and well-traveled, the songs are memorable and strong. A few more up tempo tunes would have been welcome, as the novels themselves practically beg for some heavy and uncompromising parts (Roland challenging Cort, The Battle of Jericho Hill and others!). Unfortunately, Spellblast does not offer anything fast or very heavy but they do deliver some variety on the usual Italian style of power metal and as a result, NINETEEN is a worthy album. Fans of The Dark Tower, Blind Guardian, and Elvenking should find Spellblast a worthwhile discovery.
Track Listing

1. Banished

2. Eyes in the Void

3. Highway to Lud

4. A World That Has Move on

5. The Reaping

6. Into Demon's Nest

7. Blind Rage

8. Shattered Mind

9. Until the End

10. We Ride

11. Programmed to Serve

12. Endless Journey

13. The Calling

Lineup

Luca Arzuffi - Guitars
Xavier Rota - Bass
Daniele Scavoni - Vocals
Michele ''Mikymetal'' Olmi - Drums & Percussions

Other reviews

» Battlecry
by Erich

» Nineteen
by Erich


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