Album Review – From The Depth / Moments (2020)

Enjoy the new chapter in the career of this electrifying Italian Power Metal unity, celebrating relevant memories and episodes of everyday life while time passes by.

Punchy and aggressive, fans who have been waiting since the 2014 EP Perseverance are now rewarded with Moments, the sophomore full-length opus by Italian Power Metal unity From The Depth, presenting a series of personal occasions in the band members’ lives that they are reliving through their music, from hard times to the anniversary of the group forming back in 2008 in Parma, a city in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region. Recorded at Domination Studio and Angle Room Studio, mixed and mastered at Domination Studio, and featuring a classic artwork by Hungarian artist Péter Sallai (MORTPAINTGRAPHICS), Moments showcases all the maturity and refinement in this new chapter of a band currently comprised of Raffaele “Raffo” Albanese on vocals, Gianpiero Milione and Simone Martinelli on the guitars, Santo Clemenzi on bass and Cristiano Battini on drums. In the band’s own words, “Moments is a way to celebrate relevant memories and episodes of everyday life while time passes by. Each aspect of the production has been taken care of with extreme attention to detail from song structure to the final master; nothing has been left to chance and we did our best to get out the most from each session during songwriting.”

Futuristic and electrifying form the very first second, Immortal is a kick-ass hybrid of the music by Stratovarius, Nightwish and Gamma Ray with the band’s own Italian twist, with Gianpiero and Simone being utterly insane with their riffs, providing Raffo all he needs to shine on vocals. Then we have the faster and more ferocious Spread your Fire, a lesson in Power Metal by this Italian squad led by Cristiano’s pounding drums and the always melodious and sharp vocals by Raffo, also presenting some atmospheric passages, followed by Ten Years, another high-octane, melodic composition featuring their trademark riffs and solos and crisp background keys intertwined with the rumbling bass by Santo, with endless stamina flowing from all band members. After such high level of adrenaline, it’s time for a stunning semi-ballad by From The Depth titled Streets of Memory, where Raffo’s introspective vocal lines are nicely boosted by the smooth sound of the guitars and the groove from bass, sounding epic and imposing from start to finish. And the cinematic bridge Hypnos warms up our senses for the Symphonic Metal tune Forget and Survive, where the band brings a good amount of progressiveness to their sharp sonority with both Gianpiero and Simone embellishing the airwaves with their refined riffage and strident solos, being therefore tailored for admirers of the genre.

A medieval overture explodes into another symphonic and epic feast of Power Metal entitled Just Ice, with Santo and Cristiano making the earth shake with their thunderous kitchen, and showcasing a pleasant pace where Raffo gives another lecture with his soaring vocals during the song’s almost eight minutes of awesomeness. The band continues to crush our senses in Missed, a galloping, Stratovarius-inspired metal hymn perfect for headbanging together with the band where Cristiano is on fire with his beats, supported by all incendiary riffs, guitar and keyboard solos and rumbling bass punches. In other words,  you’ll certainly feel energized after listening to it, while endless groove and an enfolding atmosphere are the main ingredients in the modernized A Matter of Time, uniting the classic sound of Symphonic and Power Metal with nuances from more contemporary styles. And lastly, the band offers us all Somewhere, a delicate piano ballad where Raffo steals the spotlight with his deep vocals. Although I love ballads, I personally think they should have ended the album with a more gripping tune, but of course this one has its good moments such as the embracing ambience crafted by the sound of keys and bass.

In a nutshell, From The Depth have truly mastered the art of Symphonic and Power Metal in their newborn spawn, positioning them as one of the driving forces of the genre not only in their homeland, but all over our Heavy Metal world. Hence, if you want to show your support to those unstoppable Italian metallers, go check what they’re up to on Facebook and on Instagram, subscribe to their YouTube channel and search for them on Spotify to listen to more of their thrilling creations, and above all that, grab your copy of Moments from the Rockshots Records webstore or from Apple Music, letting the magical sounds and epic passages crafted by Raffo, Gianpiero, Simone, Santo and Cristiano penetrate deep inside your mind and soul in the name of Heavy Metal, providing you some amazing musical moments in your everyday life.

Best moments of the album: Immortal, Spread your Fire and Missed.

Worst moments of the album: Somewhere.

Released in 2020 Rockshots Records

Track listing
1. Immortal 4:55
2. Spread your Fire 4:55
3. Ten Years 5:09
4. Streets of Memory 4:20
5. Hypnos 1:51
6. Forget and Survive 4:48
7. Just Ice 7:46
8. Missed 4:51
9. A Matter of Time 5:47
10. Somewhere 4:22

Band members
Raffaele “Raffo” Albanese – vocals, choir vocals, guitars on “Streets of Memory”
Gianpiero Milione – guitars
Simone Martinelli – guitars
Santo Clemenzi – bass, choir vocals
Cristiano Battini – drums

Guest musicians
Davide Castro – keyboards on “Immortal”, “Spread your Fire”, “Ten Years”, “Streets of Memory”, “A Matter of Time” and “Somewhere”
Andrea De Paoli – keyboards on “Ten Years”, “Forget and Survive”, “Missed” and “A Matter of Time”
Oreste Giacomini – keyboards on “Immortal”
Roberto Tiranti, Giacomo Voli, Angelo Guidetti, Marco Spitale, Stefano Nusperli, Marco Olmedi, Ros Crash, Jennifer Ferretti – choir vocals

Album Review – Preludio Ancestral / Oblivion (2018)

A magnificent opus of epic-painted Power Metal with symphonic arrangements and amazing guitar work, where various guest musicians help give form to an album that will be a delight for any lover of the genre.

Formed back in 2005 by guitarist Leonardo Gatti in San Miguel, a city in the northwest region of Greater Buenos Aires located around 30km from the City of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Symphonic Power Metal band Preludio Ancestral has been making a name for themselves since their inception with a steady flow of high-quality releases, starting with the EP Silencio and the full-length album Hacia lo Inmortal, both in 2012, followed by the 2013 EP Putrefaction, the 2015 album Kybalion, and the 2016 album El Misterio de la Pasión Divina, gaining strong recognition not only in their native country, where they even opened for acts like Rhapsody of Fire and Stratovarius, but also everywhere where the epicness and electricity of Power Metal are admired.

Now in 2018 the band comprised of the aforementioned Leo Gatti on the guitars and keyboards, Ari Katajamäki on bass and Diego Camaño on drums are set to release a brand new album titled Oblivion, a magnificent opus of epic-painted Power Metal with symphonic arrangements and an awesome guitar work, where various guest musicians hailing from different parts of Argentina and Europe give form to an album that will be a delight for any lover of the genre. As a matter of fact, due to the fact that almost every song of the album has a different lead singer, Oblivion feels like three or four album in one, with the music always remaining fresh and captivating throughout its 10 distinct songs (or 12 if you purchase the special Japanese edition of the album).

Presagio is a cinematic intro that takes you to the world of Preludio Ancestral, where the flammable sound of the guitar by Leo and the unstoppable beats by Diego are joined by Alessio Perardi on vocals in King of Silence, a classic Melodic Power Metal tune the likes of Dragonforce and Stratovarius; followed by Storm, a Power Metal extravaganza led by the intricate drums by Diego with Enzo Donnarumma taking the vocal duties, while Leo and Ari bring tons of melody and feeling to the musicality. And Alessio is back on vocals for a fast and harmonious exhibit of modern-day Melodic Metal named Fear of Falling, showcasing all elements we love in this type of music. Furthermore, Ari is simply fantastic with his bass, smashing his strings mercilessly while guest keyboardist Gabliel Crisafulli embellishes the overall sound with his kick-ass solo.

With Fran Vázquez on vocals, Preludio Ancestral offer a mid-tempo, melodic tune titled Ready to Rock, leaning towards the darker and deeper metal crafted by icons such as Dio and Saxon. Moreover, can you feel those beats pounding inside your mind? Moving on with the album, the title-track Oblivion, featuring Juan Pablo Kilberg on vocals, could be part of a concept album due to its initial narration and pace, morphing into straightforward Power Metal the likes of Helloween and the early days of Sonata Arctica, with Juan Pablo also delivering a crisp guitar solo to make things even more epic. Then it’s time to slow things down a bit with a power ballad titled Universal Love, presenting more of the voice of Alessio Perardi, passionate solos by Leo and a dense background, but unfortunately with the overall result falling flat after a while.

In Reflection in the Wind they get back to a faster and more slashing musicality, presenting a solid instrumental base by Leo, Ari and Diego that sets the perfect stage for Kimmo Perämäki to thrive on vocals. This is one of those songs to sing along with the band wherever you are, not to mention another spectacular keyboard solo by Gabliel Crisafulli. In Dust World, a classic mid-tempo tune led by the powerful riffs by Leo, Alessio Perardi returns for one last breath of his potent vocals, while Ari and Diego keep the atmosphere as thunderous as it can be, before the closing act in Oblivion, titled Metal Walls, brings Daniel García on vocals in what can be considered the most modernized of all tracks, displaying elements from distinguished styles such as Alternative, Industrial, Dark Metal and Hard Rock, and let me tall you that the final result is above all expectations, in special due to the amazing job done by Leo on keyboards.

In summary, Oblivion (available for a full listen on Spotify) will not only cement the name of Preludio Ancestral as one of the best and most professional bands from this new wave of Symphonic and Power Metal in their homeland, but it will also help the band spread their wings and reach higher grounds in the world of heavy music. And if you wan to show your honest support to such up-and-coming act, simply go check their Facebook page and YouTube channel for news and other shenanigans, and purchase Oblivion through the band’s own BandCamp page, through the Xtreem Music webstore, through the Spiritual Beast webstore, or on Amazon. May the power of Heavy Metal be with Preludio Ancestral anywhere they go, and may other bands from Argentina and South America follow their steps and deliver more metal music to fans tired of having bad and fake music shoveled down their throats by their local TV shows, radio stations, and websites.

Best moments of the album: King of Silence, Fear of Falling and Reflection in the Wind.

Worst moments of the album: Universal Love.

Released in 2018 Fighter Records/Spiritual Beast

Track listing
1. Presagio 1:04
2. King of Silence 3:49
3. Storm 4:02
4. Fear of Falling 4:30
5. Ready to Rock 3:45
6. Oblivion 5:07
7. Universal Love 4:24
8. Reflection in the Wind 3:31
9. Dust World 4:49
10. Metal Walls 5:35 

Japanese Edition bonus tracks
11. Like A Star (New Version) 3:31
12. No Man’s Land 3:27

Band members
Leonardo Gatti – guitars, keyboards
Ari Katajamäki – bass
Diego Camaño – drums

Guest musicians
Alessio Perardi – vocals on “King of Silence”, “Dust World”, “Fear of Falling” and “Universal Love”
Fran Vázquez – vocals on “Ready to Rock”
Daniel García – vocals on “Metal Walls”
Juan Pablo Kilberg – vocals on “Oblivion”
Raffaele Raffo Albanese – vocals on “No Man’s Land”
Kimmo Perämäki – vocals on “Reflection in the Wind”
Enzo Donnarumma – vocals on “Storm”
Gabliel Crisafulli – keyboards solos on “Oblivion”, “Reflection in the Wind” and “Fear of Falling”
Juan Pablo Kilberg – guitar solos on “Oblivion”
José Paz – keyboards on “Presagio”