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All in all a strong heavy-power metal album, with a lot of 80's influences fused together with modern and progressive ideas as well.
”Execution” is Renato Tribuzy’s (ex-Thoten) solo project. Besides Tribuzy’s very talented main band the album features an all star heavy metal team of guest musicians:
Vocals: Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden, solo), Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween, Avantasia, Place Vendome, solo), Ralf Scheepers (ex-Gamma Ray, Primal Fear), Mat Sinner (Sinner, Primal Fear)
Bass: Chris Dale (Bruce Dickinson)
Guitars: Kiko Loureiro (Angra), Roy Z (Bruce Dickinson), Roland Grapow (ex-Helloween, Masterplan)
In all honesty this is probably the best heavy metal album I ‘ve listened to in the past 7 years. The musicianship is very tight; down tuned and melodic guitar riffs, creative guitar leads, mindblowing guitar solos, strong and varying drumming, low-middle-high range vocal parts and catchy choruses characterize almost all of the tracks.
I'm not a big fan of lead vocalists Renato Tribuzy's voice (although some of you may have no problem), which is a raw mixture of Ralf Scheepers and Bruce Dickinson, but thinner and more aggressive. His vocals didn’t impress me…what really impressed me in this album was the powerful songwriting, the clean production, the staggering guitar work and most of all the guest appearances of Bruce Dickinson and Michael Kiske!
In my opinion the strongest tracks of the album are 'The Beast In The Light', sang by Dickinson and 'Absolution', sang by Kiske. The main reason for this being the fact that both singers give an outstanding performance. These 2 tracks also stand out, especially vocally, because both Dickinson and Kiske are some of the best vocalists in the metal genre and as a result their voices really make a difference when compared to the relative amateur Renato Tribuzy.
'Beast In The Light' is a modern heavy metal anthem which is reminiscent of Dickinson's new album (Tyranny of Souls) and could easily fit in that record. The guitar riffs are really melodic reminding of a cross between Dickinson's latest solo efforts and Iron Maiden. Bruce is at his usual best vocally and as Tribuzy puts an edge to his voice the song comes out really great and catchy. The mixture of a strong rhythm, a great chorus and a nice guitar solo make this the second best track of Execution.
'Absolution' is the epic track of the album exciding 9 minutes of playing time. The song is filled with tempo-time changes and contains a mixture of Brazilian rhythms in the balladry intro, a mid tempo heavy metal middle part and a power metal climax towards the end! The strong and catchy chorus truly makes this track a standout aswell. Michael Kiske really amazes here with his clean and emotional delivery, while achieving to show off his lower, middle and high ranges due to the many tempo changes. Also Roland Grapow contributes one of the best guitar solos of the record backed by strong riffing and great drumming. In my book Absolution is the best and most complex track of the album and together with Beast In the Light is worth the price of the record.
'Execution' is also a track worth mentioning. The self titled mini-epic starts off with some thrash/power metal riffage, fast paced drumming and short lead/solo guitar parts. Tribuzy’s vocals remind of Hetfield during the verses and Halford during the catchy chorus. A beautiful acoustic interlude commences after the 3 minute mark providing a wonderful Metallica-like break. Onwards a brilliant slow paced twin and single guitar solo is played until the 4:45 minute mark, where thrashy guitar riffs and double bass drumming pick up the speed of the song once more. Another highlight here.
'Divine Disgrace' is one of the most atmospheric and progressive tracks together with Absolution. It commences with acoustic guitars, kind of reminding of Judas Priest and low tone melancholic vocals. It soon kicks in into high gear with Judas Priest/Halford like riffs, melodic leads and vocals. The tempo is mid paced throughout and the vocals high pitched and aggressive sounding. This track also features some amazing drum breaks, double bass passages, riff progressions and some of the albums best guitar solos.
If Tribuzy's vocals were more to my liking then I would easily declare ''Execution'' the best heavy/power metal album since the year 2000! The musicianship and songwriting are so tight, imaginative and strong that literally bury other newer releases...
(Originally written for http://www.epinions.com website)