|Genre||Neoclassical Power Metal|
|Release Date||30 April 2019|
If you’re at all like me, you’ve been left with a bit of a void in your soul since seeing the awe-inspiring badassery of Avengers: Endgame. You’ve probably been looking to get your next colossal action fix but have had no luck in doing so. Never fear, however, because the gods (or rather, the Italians) have delivered unto us an instrumental metal soundtrack of epic, Earth-shattering proportions. As the third installment to guitarist/composer Antonello Giliberto’s solo project, The Strategy of Chaos bellows with a massive intensity from the very beginning of the opening track until the until the god damn grand finale that is ‘Odissea Veneziana’.
Accompanying Antonello on this perilous journey are bassist Dino Fiorenza, who has played with the likes of Zakk Wilde, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteem, and Paul Gilbert, with Salvo Grasso (who’s a fucking musical monster, by the way) on the drums. Both are bandmates in the Christian power/prog outfit Metatrone. Delivering support for keyboard solos and piano is Gabriele Crisafulli, who lends his hand in ‘Threat and Redemption’, ‘Wrath of the Northmen’, and ‘The Depths of My Soul’. Beside these exceptional musicians are loads of booming orchestrations and chanting choirs.
Within this epic shell are many layers of variety. There are numerous intense dark songs and some more typically uplifting power metal bangers, but there are also many beautiful and mournful moments, such as the ones in ‘Forgotten Mists’, the ballad ‘Beata Beatrix the Beautiful Vision’, and ‘Alone in the Empty Space’ (in which there is some truly tasteful Spanish guitar lines). The violin takes the stage in many of these softer sections, which adds a deeper and sadder effect.
There’s not a whole lot wrong with this album considering how tricky it is to make a decent instrumental album, nonetheless one that has a central theme of such tremendous grandeur. At times, the orchestrations are too plentiful and drown out some of the other instruments, but this is rare. Additionally, some of the transitions are weak (especially between ‘Iron Shadows in the Moon’ and ‘Forgotten Mists’) and the orchestral arpeggiations are pretty predictable, but in the grand scope of the album, they don’t take away too much from the music.
If this album (and project) were previously unknown to you, do yourself a favour and check out what Antonello Giliberto is capable of. Not only can he shred like a madman, but he can fashion lively, memorable guitar melodies, as well as an incredible record. The sick drum beats, virtuoso guitar and key solos, and rich background parts create a soundtrack that is practically alive. This is a must-listen for fans of Yngwie Malmsteen, Galneryus, the soundtrack scores of Two Steps from Hell, and epic fantasy movies.
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