Overtures - Entering the maze 4/5
1. The maze
2. Under the northern star
3. Of nightmares
5. Empty trails
7. In the middle of nowhere
8. Programmed to serve
9. A different point of view
10. The oracle
You know when you come across an Italian metal band that what you’ll hear will be of a high consistency regardless of the genre, much like German metal bands and also American. The Italians just know how to create heavy metal with flair and extravagance; just listen to songs from such Italian metal bands like Rhapsody of Fire, Secret Sphere, Domine, Labyrinth and Thy Majestie to hear what I’m talking about.
While those abovementioned bands may be leading the charge in melodic power metal for Italy, one up and coming band, hailing from Gorizia are steadily moving their way closer to that first tier of top-notch Italian bands. I speak of the melodic power metal band Overtures, who was formed back in 2003 by vocalist Michele Guaitoli, bassist Luka Klanjscek, guitarists Marco Falanga/Daniele Piccolo and drummer Marko Klanjscek. In their 10 year history there has been just the 3 changes to the line-up; drummer Andrea Cum replaced Marko Klanjscek in 2007, while guitarist Adriano Crasnich replaced Daniele Piccolo in 2012. Guitarist Marco Falanga also left in 2012 but returned shortly after in 2013.
With a demo and 2 full-length releases already under their belts, Overtures are now ready to make that big leap forward with that all-important 3rd CD. Signed with Sleaszy Rider Records, a reputable Greek label, since their 2nd CD ‘Rebirth’, Overtures have now delivered their 3rd CD entitled ‘Entering the maze’. Helping out on the mastering side of things is well renowned Sascha Paeth (Avantasia/ex-Heaven’s Gate/ex-Luca Turilli), who has previously worked with a plethora of bands that includes Rhapsody of Fire, Kamelot, Epica, Brainstorm and Edguy just to name a few.
The decision for Michele to get Sascha Paeth is a great one, as Overtures’ band influences and overall sound are quite similar to that of the bands Sascha has both been in and produced/mastered for over the years. According to Guaitoli, he considers the new release ‘Entering the maze’ to be somewhat similar to that of bands like Kamelot, Symphony X, Rage and Iron Maiden, while I personally also hear influences from Vision Divine and Edguy/Avantasia too.
The quality and production of the new CD are both of a top range and was one of the first things I noticed, but also expected as high quality is Sascha Paeth’s middle name. Vocalist Michele Guaitoli is not only a passionate, powerful and quite versatile singer with great range, but he also has great talent in songwriting; and for ‘Entering the maze’, Michele was the main contributor in both lyrics and music. All the tracks on the CD are memorable and highly enjoyable to say the least; very well crafted and put together. Quite melodic and quick-paced too, I am very impressed with both the multi-layered facets of the songwriting and also the musicianship of the entire band on this CD; they have certainly stamped their presence and authority in the melodic power metal scene with this all-important 3rd CD.
Overall the entire CD is excellent; it is powerful, catchy and full of melodic power metal bombastic tracks that contain some great guitar riffs, hooks and solos. The drumming is superb on ‘Entering the maze’, where almost every track contains thundering double-bass pummeling to coincide with the sweeping riffs and melodic catchy vocals. Speaking of tracks, some highlights to mention here on ‘Entering the maze’ includes the excellent “Savior”, with its brisk tempo, catchy guitar riffs and with a sprinkle of prog metal to boot. Michele’s vocals on the track is a definite standout here, where he showcases his versatility and seemingly endless range.
More tracks include the opening track “The maze”, the emotional and melodic “Empty trails”, the energetic and powerful “Consequences”, the very melodic and catchy “Of nightmares” and last but certainly not least, the epic 9 minute finale “The oracle”, a massive track that is the opus of this CD. The track sums up the improvement, musicianship, songwriting and overall maturity Overtures have gained between this CD and the previous releases.
Michele said that this CD was personal to him, well I can definitely see the output of his work, he and the band have really gone all out here and I commend them for it. ‘Entering the maze’ is Overtures’ most consistent CD to date and if you are a fan of any of the bands mentioned in this review (and bands similar to them), then you should not hesitate to grab this release as you won’t be disappointed.
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