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Thursday, 8 December 2016

Reviews: Eternal Idol, Dario Mollo's Crossbones, Hevidence

Eternal Idol: The Unrevealed Secret (Frontiers)

For many who love their metal like they love their TV shows, full of Dragons and battles then Italian legends Rhapsody(Of Fire) or whatever they are called now, are pretty near the top of the list in terms of genre leaders their cinematic fantasy power metal has been around since the dawn of scene in the early 90's. In that time the band has split, reformed, split again and are now Lione has left the Of Fire version and they have come together one last time and are about to do their farewell tour as the original Rhapsody.

Those familiar with the band will already know what a great singer Fabio Lione is and with four active bands, six former bands and having guested on over 30 projects, if any metal band worth their salt needs a vocalist Fabio seems the man to go too. So then now he has settled down again and formed Eternal Idol with members of Hollow Haze a band he once fronted but are now led by Giorgia Colleluori who along with guitarist/keys Nick Savio and drummer Camillo Colleluori are all part of Eternal Idol, this means that you get the best of both worlds as Lione's and Colleluori's vocals work in glorious tandem atop the symphonic musical backing.

Giorgia has a powerful rock delivery different to the multitude of operatic singers in this genre her vocal is a revelation, while Fabio has his normal wide style. The Unrevealed Secret is good symphonic metal project there are heavyweight rockers like Another Night Comes In and more melodic tracks such as Awake In Orion as well as the emotive Is The Answer Far From God? it's everything you could want from a symphonic metal album, nothing new but well delivered. 7/10

Dario Mollo's Crossbones (Frontiers)

Dario Mollo has been known for projects involving Tony Martin and Glen Hughes, the Italian guitarist knows how to pick a vocalist and now he has aligned himself with Carl Sentance of Persian Risk and most recently Nazareth. Sentance has stunning Bruce Dickinson-like voice and gives the songs his full range especially on the strutting opener Red. He was recommended for the job by Don Airey and this high praise is rewarded by a great performance throughout the album. The Crossbones project is an homage to Mollo's first band Crossbones and takes him back to the driving hard rock he stared his career with, Rainbow and Whitesnake being the major influences.

Along the way he has brought back original Crossbones drummer Ezio Secomandi who plays for his life on this record as the beating heart of the band. Mollo's guitar playing is fantastic as usual with touches of Blackmore throughout he riffs when he needs to and cuts in with impressive guitar fireworks as the tracks peak. Augmenting him are the bass and keys/organs of long term collaborator Dario Patti who takes the Hughes/JPJ and Jon Lord role all at once. Sentance is the perfect foil for the guitar moving between soaring and snarling on the title track and giving it the full Coverdale on ballad Gates Of Time. A great hard rock record sitting near the top of Mollo's other projects, this has to last longer than one album! 8/10

Hevidence: Nobody's Fault (Frontiers)

Before you put on the debut record from Hevidence on you might want to listen to all of the albums by Alcatrazz, Yngwie Malmsteen' Rising Force, Impellitteri, Dokken, MSG and Racer X. If you see a pattern arising then congratulations Sherlock as all of these band feature classically trained shredders in a band situation. Diego Reali is such a shredder having been the six string wizard for Italian progressive act DGM until 2005.

Since then he has tried his hand at various styles but has always returned to classic hard rock/metal of his youth, Hevidence is the second incarnation of a solo band (that used to be called Evidence) and it's an album that could quite easily slot into any of the band outings by Malmsteen, Vai, Gilbert or Mr Scary himself George Lynch, the neoclassical guitars are the focal point of this record Reali shreds and shreds hard double tapping with panache and playing those arpeggios from hell.

What stops this being sheer guitar porn though is that this is an album full of songs, from Dig In The Night through to All I Ever Needed the showing off never gets in the way of the songwriting, even the instrumental is constructed well rather than just being nonsensical soloing. As good as Reali is he would be nothing without a strong supporting cast (which can be said of any of the bands mentioned).

Luckily the bass and drums of Andrea Arcangeli and Emiliano Bonini are equally solid and skilled as every guitar hero needs a vocalist to match Corrado Quoiani does an ample job behind the mic. For any fans of neoclassical guitar playing and songs that range from swaggering hard rock to thundering power metal then Hevidence will be on your Christmas list for sure! 7/10

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