Adelaide thrashers Alium are relatively new to the Australian metal scene, having yet to play …
The world of symphonic power metal is a strange one, a universe where strangely similar but widely different styles of music entwine with results that are in equal measure preposterous and pompous, regardless of the actual outcome.
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Zero Gravity (Rebirth and Evolution) rekindles the partnership between musician/producer/composer Luca Turilli and vocalist Fabio Lione, who together with Alex Staropoli were virtually the inventors of this genre in their original band Rhapsody. A rebirth, then, this is, but the only real evolution is a divergence away from an obsession with dragons and high fantasy as they instead concentrate on the type of existential and metaphysical themes bands like Epica have recently explored.
Turilli doesn’t hold back in highlighting his abilities as a shredder, but even his most spectacular soloing is overpowered by the sheer pomposity of strings, synths, choirs and anything else he and Lione can pile into the vehicle
For those familiar with this duo’s body of work, Zero Gravity will offer no real surprises, except that Turilli seems to have increased the level of orchestration and symphonics even more—and that’s really saying something. With the dense but shiny production that reduces the speedy, chugging riffs to little more than an undercurrent and the over-dramatic arrangements, Zero Gravity is more a symphony than metal. Certainly, Turilli doesn’t hold back in highlighting his abilities as a shredder, but even his most spectacular soloing is overpowered by the sheer pomposity of strings, synths, choirs and anything else he and Lione can pile into the vehicle. For his own part, Lione is hard to fault, a voice of incredible range that never stretches beyond its capabilities, best displayed by the piano-driven Amata Immortale late in the piece. That and the preceding track Multidimensional, with its heavier reliance on guitar, probably serve as true highlights on an album pandering strictly for fans. In essence, it almost seems like Turilli heard Epica’s The Holographic Principle and wondered how he could make his own version, but even more overblown. He has succeeded.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Amata Immortale, Multidimensional, I Am
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Nightwish, Epica, Rhapsody of Fire