Mastercastle - Dangerous diamonds 3.5/5

Reviewed: 12-1-11


1. Another flower
2. Alone
3. Time 4 lovers
4. Icy moon
5. Au premiere coup
6. Dangerous diamonds
7. Take off
8. Blue diamond
9. Lovin' me
10. Sixth sun
11. Bitter & sweet

The phoenix has risen again, and a new event horizon is upon us, as the premiere Italian female fronted Mastercastle return with their 3rd solid effort - 'Dangerous diamonds'. Already they have penned better suites, showcasing more impassioned artistry, perhaps inspired under a stealth sun or icy moon.

The 3rd time is a charm as the music show signs of maturity, and just takes off with a heavier production, and more accessible songwriting. Their first 2 CDs are commendable, and the band is always learning from their mistakes, and willing to excel, surely lovin' every minute of it.

Multi-talented musician Pier Gonella's production values and passionate playing definitely are elevated to the next level. I am amazed that he can thrash so incessantly with Necrodeath, and then perform with a more neo-classical endeavour when he shreds with Mastercastle. Listening to him play is like hearing George Lynch, Luca Turilli, Michael Schenker, and Joe Satriani all balanced by a modern and caustic crunch.

Keeping with her penchant for lyrical themed releases, the gorgeous and engaging Giogia Gueglio has tailored each song to reflect a diamond like quality. These rustic underpinnings are reflected in each track - themselves each being a diamond in the rough. Although, as shiny as any diamond may be, blood diamonds cause war and conflict, and women who marry expect the biggest and best. No wonder diamonds are not made of metal. I will take rhodium or platinum any day!

The CD opener "Another flower" flows and blossoms affectionately, while "Icy moon" shifts and shuffles with each wave and roiling rapid telling tales of the high seas. The arabesque "Time 4 lovers" has that star-crossed intimacy shared by passengers on a train, while the wild spellbinding "Au premiere coup" mirrors its influence from famed artist Bruno Galbiati - painting a picturesque portrait of faith.

The title track plays out like a bawdy busk in broad daylight, and like any amorous inamorata, Giogia serenades her captor with a shiny incandescent sparkle. The spiritual spectrum of "Sixth sun" has a bit too much Mayan profanations and grim expectation, but 2012 is on the cusp, and self-fulfilling prophecies are imminent. The thrill ride instrumental verifies Pier's potential. Finally, the cautionary closer "Bitter & sweet" is a bite out of the big apple, that is New York.

If you are unfamiliar with this band and their style, and you enjoy artists like Magica, Crystal Viper, Edenbridge, Benedictum, Battle Beast, Huntress, etc., and you, perhaps are not too excited about the much hyped new Nightwish release, or if you feel that the new Evanescence is a bit too commercial, then you should indulge that lasting desire and spend some quality time alone with Mastercastle.




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