Luca Turilli - The infinite wonders of creation 2.5/5

Reviewed: 6-30-06





Tracklist:

1. Secret of forgotten ages
2. Mother Nature
3. Angels of the winter dawn
4. Altitudes
5. The miracle of life
6. Silver moon
7. Cosmic revelation
8. Pyramids and stargates
9. Mystic and divine
10. The infinite wonders of creation


Rhapsody guitarist Luca Turilli's first 2 solo CDs were pretty excellent. 'King of the nordic twilight' pretty much sounded just like Rhapsody with a different singer (Olaf Hayer of Dionysus). The CD had a fantasy theme and was packed with ultra-fast power metal fused with classical and baroque music. His 2nd CD, 'Prophet of the last eclipse' had a different sci-fi vibe to it, and was an even stronger CD in my opinion, overall. I liked the Ayreonish synthy keyboards adding a futuristic tone to the classical power metal base. Now, Luca has returned with this 3rd solo CD, and it is very different from the first 2 CDs.

One big difference is that Olaf Hayer is joined with a female vocalist, Bridget Fogle. Far from being a backing vocalst, on the contrary, if anything Bridget gets the lion's share of the vocal duties on this CD. Hayer does the lead vocals on a few songs, with Fogle joining in on choruses and/or providing backup. But, there are several songs where Hayer is missing entirely. The good news is that Fogle is quite a good singer in her own right. She is able to mix a metal/rock style and change to a more operatic voice, which is completely fitting with the type of music Luca makes. Since Hayer is also an excellent power metal vocalist, this would seem to be a match made in heaven. But, things don't work out that way. It's hard to put my finger (or ear) on it exactly, but when these singers sing together, it just doesn't sound very good. It's not a matter of being out of key with each other (as far as my untrained ears can tell), but they just don't click at all together, and since many of the CD's (otherwise very good) choruses feature both of them, it's a big detriment to my enjoyment of the CD. This is a particular problem because in many cases the strong melodies of the choruses are the best parts of the CD.

The 2nd major difference on this CD is that it is much, MUCH more mellow than anything Luca has made before. There are absolutely no fast songs on this CD at all. This is quite a contrast to his other solo CDs and his band's as well. The songs are pretty much metal, but mired in a much slower tempo. Generally this works out ok, since as noted before, there are some very beautiful melodies in the choruses. My main problem with this CD is that it is overly littered with mellow ballads. Any one of these ballads is ok on their own, but they occur far to frequently for my tastes and it bogs down the CD tremendously.

Having said all that, I still generally enjoy the CD to a point. Luca has somewhat pushed the classical music into the background on this CD. Big choir parts tend to be the most up front classical influences on the songs. Generally, the other classical influences are relegated to background keyboards. Still, Luca knows melody, and often they are pretty compelling on this CD. The lyrics seem centered around Mother Nature and Luca's appreciation of it. If you're in the mood for some pretty and generally mellow metal music, you will probably get more out of this CD than I have. I'm left feeling concerned given that Rhapsody's last CD had way too much classical and not enough of the metal that maybe Luca is mellowing out in general. Time will tell.



JOHN




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