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Derdian - New era pt.l 2/5

Reviewed: 9-9-05


1. Incipit
2. Beyond the gate
3. Eternal light
4. Nocturnal fires
5. Anubi's call
6. Incitement
7. Screams of agony
8. Where I can fly
9. Crystal lake
10. Entering the cage
11. Cage of light

After complaining about the lack of recent Italian power metal releases in my review for the 2nd Dark Horizon CD 'Dark light's shades', I now have an Italian symphonic power metal band come my way. In line with fellow Italians Dragonhammer, Kaledon, Dark Horizon and Magnalucius from Chile, we now have Derdian and their full-length debut 'New era pt.l'. I also get a Shadows of Steel vibe, but that can mostly be attributed to the vocals of Joe (with no last name given) being very similar to Wild Steel. But while Derdian's definitely in one of my favorite styles, I'm left with mixed feelings with this CD; I'm glad to see another Italian band enter the power metal genre, but in every way I've found this debut to be average.

The CD starts out in good fashion, as the highly epic intro "Incipit" is very powerful and contains a strong choir (this element is not really heard after this song though). This leads to the fast-paced track 2 "Beyond the gate" and then track 3 "Eternal light" where unfortunately the standard/average Italian production is heard and the songs overall are nothing that really get me too excited. The fast pace is continued with track 4 "Nocturnal fires" though, and this song is better, probably the best on the CD. While the mid-paced track 5 "Anubi's call" has its moments, it's another song that really doesn't impress me. Track 6 "Incitement" is a bit all over the place (both musically and vocally) and track 7 "Screams of agony" is just decent. But the slow track 8 "Where I can fly" is actually quite good, features a nice guitar solo, and is a break from the previous faster songs. Track 9 "Crystal lake" continues the onslaught of average tracks, but does have some nice guitar and keyboard parts sparatically. Track 10 "Entering the cage" is a short, but nicely done, instrumental that leads to the final track "Cage of light", which is more of the same, and just like the majority of the CD, lacks great songwriting and leaves me looking forward to the next 'Dark light's shade' spin.

Derdian's overall sound will be very familiar to anyone into the Italian symphonic power metal style, but this ends up being part of the problem with this CD. The music, vocals and tempo have all been heard before, and unfortunately much better, especially with 2nd CDs from Dark Horizon and Dragonhammer. The CD is certainly listenable and those who are satisfied with the Dark Horizon, Magnalucius and Kaledon debuts will find this CD fits right in. But Dark Horizon and Dragonhammer have shown me what Italian symphonic power metal bands are capable of, and that happens to be much more than Derdian has offered thus far.




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