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Embrace of Souls - The Number of Destiny - 92%

Edmund Sackbauer, May 29th, 2021
Written based on this version: 2021, CD, Elevate Records (Digipak, Limited edition)

Embrace of Souls are a pretty newish project from Italy, consisting of members or several other more or less prominent bands. Calling them some kind of super group might diminish their status as we are not talking about a randomly casted bunch of musicians. Instead these five gentlemen sound like a perfectly attuned combo and a natural fit and their debut full length “The Number of Destiny” is one of the finest slabs of Italian power/prog I have heard within the past few years. Consisting of 11 tracks plus intro and an astonishing running time of 77 minutes there is a lot of music to sit through and it speaks for the band’s experience and songwriting skills that while there might be one or two cuts that might be average most of them scratch that itch for fans of Secret Sphere, Vision Divine etc. in a perfect way.

It would not be a traditional Italian influenced melodic power metal album without blistering and boisterous guitar solos throughout nearly each track on the album, with exemption of the calmer pieces. I do believe that lead guitarist Giovanni is very much underrated, as his work is an important factor of the music and his playing is tireless and dedicated. The same can be said for vocalist Giacomo Voli, who is a traditional Italian metal styled singer, delivering in emotional and definitely exuberant style. I really like his work with Rhapsody of Fire, despite the critics he got from a part of the fanbase.

After the obligatory intro the album gets off to a flyer with the first song titled “New Hope”. Quite speedy and ferocious in nature, the double bass gets a pummeling, while the track is a fine way to start the album. Further fast tracks can be found throughout the record, as well as some mid-tempo stompers but also a ballad like “In The Castle”. Giacomo shows his perfectly versatile voice in great fashion and always hits the right notes. Symphonic elements and piano parts are distributed over the full length, making sure that the epic factor is kept high the whole time. Embrace of Souls offer a more dynamic listen compared to some of the other power and progressive metal groups out there, as they bridge the gap between power, progressive, and symphonic metal from one song to the next with ease.

Throughout the album Embrace of Souls managed to present balanced soaring and entrancing melodies with that appropriately heavier edge. Songs like “From the Sky” explode with high flying guitars and faster tempos that showcase the band’s heavier edge and prominent power metal side, while in other moments some more proggy tendencies find the way into the overall songwriting. The drumming is always on point, with Michele Olmi from Chronosfear dictating the play as tight as a clockwork. He knows when to ramp things up at the right moments. Generally speaking the talent on showcase here is impressive and it is great to witness such skillful musicians belting out great music together.

The production is also great, not too overblown but crystal clear and transparent. Fans of rawer metal might have preferred a more dynamic sound and a bit of grit, but for a European melodic power metal record “The Number of Destiny” keeps the genre’s standards with ease. There is a nicely done digipak released by Elevate Records so fans of this style and the bands mentioned above can place a blind order. Easily recommended.