It seems like only yesterday we were saying goodbye to 2017 and ushering in a new calendar year. Some went to parties, others got drunk and puked at their local bar. Me — always trying to be different — I was sick at home and fell asleep before the ball dropped. We all had one thing in common; the anticipation of new metal tuneage. Now that we’re at the end of January, I can safely say that most of us are not disappointed thus far. Many blogs, especially this one, have highlighted and reviewed some terrific metal in January. Many of those blogs, however, left power metal out of the equation. That’s where I come in.
I’m gonna be honest, I’m not that great of a reviewer. So instead I decided I wanted to highlight a great power metal record from the past month. I’ve been called a power metal guru by many people so I’m quite confident to gush over an album knowing that others would like it as well. This lovable sub-genre gets verbally beaten up quite a bit and I don’t want to be a part of that. So, it’s all nice words from me. Okay, enough intro yapping from me. Time to reveal my favorite power metal album for January 2018!
Lione/Conti – Lione/Conti (Frontiers Music SRL)
Two of the greatest voices in Power Metal joined forces to release a truly spectacular album that will be the class of this sub-genre for years to come. Not only are Fabio Lione (Rhapsody, Angra, Steel Seal, etc.) and Alessandro Conti (Trick or Treat, Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody) such talented voices — and Italian like yours truly — but their unique singing styles compliment each other in such astounding ways. Factor in the musical and lyrical prowess of Simone Mularoni (DGM) and you have an incredible symphonic power metal offering. Lione/Conti is the perfect way to start off Power Metal’s 2018 campaign.
The album starts off in grand fashion with “Ascension.” Fabio Lione begins with his soft – yet strong voice as the first verse is calm and soothing. By the time the chorus hits, Lione shows he is in perfect form and delivers a magnificent performance. Not to be outdone, Alessandro Conti comes in and belts out his massive range and enormous passion. Musically speaking, “Ascension” is such a perfect introduction for this album. “Outcome” and “You’re Falling” continue the mid to high tempo pace and strong passionate vocal performances that we expect from these two singing wizards. However, “Outcome” is my personal favorite track on the record because of Mularoni’s powerful guitar work and the fast-paced drumming of Marco Lanciotti. Later, things slow down on “Somebody Else,” ballads are a divisive issue but this tune gives an emotional punch without putting you to sleep. Lione and Conti’s voices are tailor-made for a song such as this.
The first four songs show both singers can work and successfully coexist together. Now it’s time for Lione and Conti to shine on their own, and shine they do, in a bright “I need sunglasses for this” kind of way. Conti goes first and puts Fabio on notice with his tremendous performance on “Misbeliever” which is a high-tempo track with amazing guitar work and symphonic mastery. Conti delivers a superb performance that will make this song an easy fan favorite. Can Lione counter with his own flawless solo performance? What a silly question, of course he can and he does on “Destruction Show” which is the perfect style of song for Lione to bust a vocal move. His ability to tell a story is incredible and he shows that perfectly. These two Italian stallions join forces again for “Glories and Truth” only to separate with Conti leading the song “Gravity” and Lione finishing the album off in grand fashion with “Crosswinds.”
January was a slow month for Power Metal but the final week redeemed itself with good albums from great bands, such as Rebellion and Victorius. And we can’t forget Master Sword who blessed our ears with their debut on the second day of January. At the end of the day, Lione/Conti took the lead and never relinquished it with their self-titled debut. This may be their first offering under the name, but Lione and Conti used their veteran experience and gave the Power Metal world a beauty. Thanks for reading everyone. See you next month.
HAIL to you all!