An original power metal review of an unoriginal power metal album is, after 19 years of doing this show, a very difficult proposition.
So whilst you’ll hear nothing new in this review, you’ll also hear nothing new with Swedish power band Veonity. Their conceptual album, titled Into The Void, is their second release and it tells a dystopic space saga about a dying earth and a man who escapes the clutches of earth’s greed to begin a new life in space. Even as a sci-fi fan it’s not the most interesting or original of concepts but keeps the music charging ever forward as the protagonist encounters situations that the songs adequately reflect.
My initial concern was not the music but vocalist and guitarist Anders Skold – he has a raspy approach to his wannabe epic vocals and he reminded me of Ian Highhill from Finnish band Olympos Mons. The sticking point was that his vocals never really moved me but what I love about power metal is when they start throwing at you group vocals then I am like putty in their hands and they do manage to write some extremely catchy choruses and pre-choruses. These vocals are significantly different from Anders main vocals, in fact, they’re a lot higher, that it reflects positively on the overall experience.
What also helps is the music: it’s your basic twin guitar attack with lots of lead work and cutting riffs and Anders and second guitarist Samuel Lundstrom are great at providing that early Edguy and Dionysus sound with a touch of Iron Savior and Persuader. The keyboard work is basic but it’s playful and energetic and not as one dimensional as this review makes it out to be. It pretty much ticks every button for anybody but who loves driving guitar power metal and pounding drums. Will it appeal to a broad metal audience like a Helloween or Hammerfall? No. Will it appeal to power metal fans? Definitely.
Oh, one more thing, the production, by Ronny Milianowicz, the drummer from Dionysus and Shadowquest, is only slightly flawed, it lacked a little clarity on the home system. Nothing major, though, listening to it on the headphones and through the computer speakers it was pretty much par for the course.
Veonity from the album Into The Void with the track: Solar Storm
He is a truly gifted vocalist and with his exit from Rhapsody Of Fire, Fabio Lione went about crafting a new band baby by the name of Eternal Idol and they’ve just released their debut album called The Unrevealed Secret. That said, it’s not entirely Fabio’s vocals as it’s a dual vocal album with Giorgia Collelouori getting equal share on this symphonic rock album. And I don’t believe this was put together like other Frontiers Records dual vocal albums but if you have any affinity with the likes of Allen-Lande, Kiske-Someville, Nordic Union, Free Fall, and so on then strap yourselves in.
Whilst innovation is not high, quality will always win out and whether it’s the songs, the members, or the performances, I am very happy with this album. Most of the music, which is that combination of melodic metal, classic metal, and symphonic rock, was written by Nick Savio who also produced the album. Nick is primarily a guitarist and he used to play with Italian power metal band White Skull in the early days but after he left, he formed Hollow Haze with whom he released 6 albums, one of which featured Fabio Lione which was called Countdown to Revenge. Hence their collaboration here. Also in Hollow Haze is drummer Camilo Collelouori and Camilo also features here and it is his daughter, Giorgia who sings alongside Fabio. Also in the band is Secret Sphere bassist Andrea Buratto. Nick also plays the keyboards and with, I imagine, almost complete control, he has written some beautiful melodic metal that’s easy listening, engaging, yet slightly dark and in no way does this go through the motions. The closest comparisons to me are the mid-paced songs from Vision Divine’s 9 Degrees West Of The Moon mixed with the same songs from Athena’s A New Religion? There’s a few uptempo tracks but this easily matches the quality of the early Allen-Lande and Magnus Karlsson’s Free Fall. The two vocalists are exceptional – Fabio is Fabio – outstanding, and whilst he has more experience than Giorgia, he challenges her, and she responds in kind – sounds Amanda Somerville meets Ida Haukland.
Peter, as we don’t discuss our thoughts off-air before the show, I’m very keen to hear whether you got something out of it.
Nick is gifted writing highly polished and melodic guitar lines.
Eternal Idol from The Unrevealed Secret with the track: Awake In Orion.