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Both Militarily and Musically Distinguished - 84%

bayern, September 13th, 2021

Hm, never knew about the existence of this act until a few months ago… well, I haven’t mapped the entire Italian music kaleidoscope yet, but I should; otherwise, I’ll keep missing on some really good stuff. I was hit initially by the “Hellbringer” demo, the band’s first creation, a really nice atmospheric, also quite complex on occasion, nod at the US 80’s power metal heritage, the lofty music accompanied by highly emotional high-strung vocals that frequently went for the banshee-like pathos, that one only accessible previously by the most distinguished siren in metal, Living Death’s Toto Bergmann.

No idea how the 1999 demo sounds like, but by the time the latter got released, almost the entire line-up, save for the drummer Sergio Ciccoli and the new vocalist Christian Bartolacci, were already parading as another outfit, Centvrion, a retro power/speed/thrash formation that has been competing with the ex-colleagues from the Scala Mercalli enterprise all this time. To these ears the repertoire here seems to be the more consistently satisfying, providing an attractive power/speed metal conglomerate that hasn’t faltered throughout the four full-length instalments.

We’re looking into the last outing so far, one that follows the formula established by its predecessors, probably a bit more epic-decorated as evident from the somewhat pompous keyboard-driven all-instrumental intro “The Crossing on the Sea“. However, the moment the sweeping steel gallops of “The 1000 (Calatafimi Battle)” commence, the listener will grab the horse’s stirrup tighter cause this is going to be a dynamic journey, with speed metal breezers (“Honest Brigands”) frequently checking the audience’s readiness to ride, the mid-paced power metal side of the album (“Be Strong”, “Tolentino 1815”) offering plenty of catchy hooks, heavy rhythms, and last but not least supremely memorable choruses, those courtesy of Christian Bartolacci, the vocalist who replaced the banshee from the debut demo shortly after the latter’s release, this guy possessing another high-strung but more composed tenor, singing his heart and soul all around, a major reason why this band’s discography simply can’t sink without a trace. Another galloping delight (“White Death”) serves a dose of unchecked aggression to the appetizing roster, bordering on thrash, bringing a gust of vehemence with it, reflected in the razor-sharp riffs on “Whisper of the Night”, the lyrical escapades on the semi-balladic “Anita” a contrasting but fine finale to a rousing slab of battle-like hymns.

It’s also interesting to note the band’s interest in their history, the war and battle moments from it, in particular, a penchant also prompting them to dress like soldiers from Guiseppe Garibaldi’s army for both photo sessions and video clips, their edgy bouncy musical approach nicely reflecting this admirable historical stance. It’s also probably worth mentioning the presence of a female bass player, the name Giusy Bettei, a beautiful lass whose burps (on the bass) march vociferously right next to the lively riff-patterns. It’s a fairly enjoyable fare, the band’s musings both music and text-wise… hopefully this independence they’ve achieved here would compel them for more such exploits, primarily for the glory of the classic metal circuit.