Reviewed: April 2021
Released: 2021, No Remorse Records
Reviewer: Andrea Di Stasio
If your wildest dream as a child (but also as an adult) was to ride a dragon into battle, well you’ve come to the right place: “Entering the Abyss” is, without any doubt, the album for you.
Based on the Dragonlance saga, this second album from the Greek band Paladine is what any power/heavy power lover craves. It doesn’t surprise and it won’t change the concept of music, but it is a solid album that delivers what fans love and expect: a good mixture of virtuosity seasoned by an epic fantasy atmosphere.
Across the whole album, the guitars are absolute protagonists: they accompany well the vocal variations, painting the picture for each song while showing a high level of control and technique. This, however, can end up in repetitive patterns, which I personally don’t love, but, again, it fits the genre.
“Raistlin’s Ambition” sets the scene: the listener is introduced to the epic adventure through the narrator’s voice and creepy background noises: a mixture of clanging metal, howling wind and a low distant growl. Next is “War of the Lance”, where the low vocals of Nick Protonotarios shine: I loved the chorus and the harmonies, which enrich the sound, reinforcing the sense of epicness that the band wants to convey: definitely this second song is one of the highlights of the album.
The following three tracks contain some excellent elements: powerful drums and punctual guitars, but unfortunately they are not as strong as “War of the Lance”. The main reason is the repetitive pattern of the guitars and some moments in which the vocals are not at their best. In the second part of the album faster and heavier tracks showcase once more the technical skills of the musicians, but the vocals don’t fully convince me, which is a shame because, in the previous tracks, the low parts of Protonotarios’s voice sounded really good. I wish he could pursue lower melodic vocals more, in line with bands like Kamelot.
Suddenly “Sacrifice of a Hero” happens: an intriguing moody opening, clean relaxed guitars and excellent dynamics give life to a truly great tune in which the raw throaty vocals find their perfect fit. The trend continues with “The Return”, which starts with a beautiful orchestral atmosphere that soon turns into a blast of energy: Mpampis Tsolakis delivers a fantastic performance on drums, but really, he did it across the whole album.
With “River of Souls” we reach the end of the quest and it’s time to rest and enjoy the soothing last minute and a half of music, which seems stolen by a truly magical land.
“Entering the Abyss” is indeed a good album, clearly created by passionate and competent musicians, I just wish that they would stick a bit less to the “genre-script” because as a power album this is good, but it could have been really great. Nevertheless, I would recommend this album, and not even just to my “power lover friends”, as the band definitely deserves it.