Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mastercastle-"Enfer (De La Bibliothèque Nationale)"

    Italian Power Metal band, Mastercastle, opens the gates to epic metal sounding lands with their new album, “Enfer (De La Bibliothèque Nationale).” This is the band’s fifth release to date and the album continues to display the band’s neoclassical influenced power metal style.
    Italy of course has been the home of many great neoclassical power metal bands, such as Rhapsody of Fire and Labyrinth. Mastercastle is right up there with that technical grandiose epic sounding style, but this band is more straight forward hard rock at times too. Guitarist Pier Gonella knows when to use his special shredding talents while still creating simple solid heavy riffs. I find on this album Mastercastle does not overwhelm me with endless blazing technicality, but thoughtfully incorporates it when needed. Also, the compositions are very uplifting and of course, very symphonic. Lead singer Giorgia Gueglio definitely helps add to the band’s massive melodic symphonic sound. Her voice is magnificent as it glides over the ripping instrumental jams. She delivers the music with plenty of emotion that makes the words take on an even greater meaning.
     The opening track, “The Castle,” begins with a very Helloween like introduction. The main riff is really heavy and has a catchy groove to it. Giorgia comes in with her clear melodic voice and gives the song a pleasant quality, yet still rocking hard. The riffs on this album constantly maintain a heavy tone and allow for the other more technical parts to take shape. Songs like “Let Me Out” and “Naked,” are just pure crushing power metal songs. Plenty of heavy dynamic style riffs, precision drumming and powerful vocals that offer a pleasant contrast to the more aggressive riffs. One song that really stands out on this album is, “Pirates.” The song is very uplifting and emphasizes the band’s fierce melodic approach. Towards the end of the song there is a fluid guitar solo that is played with tremendous feel and emotion.
    The second half of the album really does not differ that much from the first half. I think Giorgia’s voice helps keep the music sounding very consistent. The lyrics are very moving and the words are thoughtfully presented. There is a certain harmonic quality that this album conveys. “Straight to the Bone” and “Throne of Time” are solid tracks with very triumphant choruses and fierce lead guitar parts. The final song on this album, “Coming Bach,” is yet another example of Mastercastle’s high level of musicianship. During this instrumental piece, the band dazzles with technical brilliance and the progressions are very fluid.
    In the end, Mastercastle’s, “Enfer (De La Bibliothèque Nationale),” is an album full of fantastic neoclassical power metal moments. Most of the time I find this style of music to lack simple hard rock and classic metal stylings, but Mastercastle finds a way to maintain a world of technicality and heavy enjoyable simplicity. I would recommend this album for fans of fierce melodic epic music, because the sound is heavy yet there is a soothing melodic side to this music too. Definitely music I have to be in a certain mood for, but when I want some epic neoclassical power metal, I will immediately consider Mastercastle. For those who are really interested in this album, be prepared to enter into a castle full of neoclassical power metal wonder that can be found around every turn.

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