It is hard to believe, but it’s been seven (!) long years since we last heard from Italian power metal pioneers Labyrinth. Back in 2010 they not only reunited with original guitarist Olaf Thorsen, they also released what many considered to be a return-to-form album with RETURN TO HEAVEN DENIED PT. II. After that, the wheels seemingly fell off and the band disappeared. After recruiting a new rhythm section and keyboard player, the band is finally back in action.
ARCHITECTURE OF A GOD is the band’s 8th full-length album and it see the band still at the peak of their power. Labyrinth’s brand of power metal has always been a curious mix of double-bass thunder, saccharine balladry, and progressive style. This album is no different and contains all the band’s trademarks, from speed attacks (“Stardust and Ashes”), to textured quiet moments (“Those Days”), and full-on prog workouts (title track). There’s something here for fans of all corners of the Labyrinth sound.
As for the band, the musicianship remains top-notch. Thorsen and Cantarelli’s guitar work is particularly notable, as they steal the show in just about every song. As well, long-time front man Roberto Tiranti remains a distinctive voice that can easily handle the varying emotions of the band’s music. Of course, my personal favorites are the more aggressive, speedy cuts like “Take On My Legacy”, but also of note is the band’s cover of pop-dance instrumental hit “Children” which is cleverly arranged into a surprisingly effective, pounding metal song.
They may have kept us waiting for seven years, but with ARCHITECTURE OF A GOD, Labyrinth ensured the wait was worth it. This is a must-have for the band’s legion of fans.
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