Skylark - Dragon's secrets 3.5/5

Reviewed: 9-23-05


1. The temple
2. Creature of the devil
3. The answers
4. Skylark
5. Waiting for the princess
6. Light
7. Princess of the snow
8. Dragon's secrets

Eddy Antonini and Skylark return with their follow–up to ‘After the storm’. On the debut, the production was terrible to the point where it took away from the listening experience. On ‘Dragon's secrets’, the production still isn't great, but it's not as bad either. This time instead of an incredibly muddy production, the bass is way too low to the point of being almost non existent. Singer Fabio Dozzo also improves dramatically here – he still is rough in many ways, but at least he stays in control unlike sometimes on the debut.

Skylark plays excellent neo–classical metal featuring metal guitars in the background with band leader Eddy Antonini's great keyboards up-front. All the tracks on this CD are very strong, highlighted by the almost 24 minute "Light" which features some female duet vocals for the first time on a Skylark CD. This is an excellent track that is reasonably focused, but also has some wide ranging songwriting. Other highlights are 2 uptempo tracks, "Creature of the devil" and "The answers”. There is also a new, re–done version of "Skylark", originally from the first CD. It’s not too often a band will put a version of a track on each of it’s first 2 CDs, but Skylark has done that here. The track which highlights the melodic beauty of Skylark is “Waiting for the princess”, which is largely an instrumental until the last 3rd which features soft singing. This is as beautiful as songwriting gets. The CD ends with over 10 minutes of instrumentals between 2 tracks. While this may seem boring and a poor way to end the CD, these tracks are very good and really highlight Antonini’s songwriting ability.

Eddy Antonini showed very good songwriting ability on the debut CD and he has refined it on this CD, with his songwriting becoming sharper and more consistent. There really is no limit to the quality of songs that Antonini can write. The only thing which continues to hold the band back is the production which, while better than the debut, simply isn’t good enough to hold up to the quality of the songwriting. Fabio Dozzo still can’t be considered a strength of the band, but is clearly better than he was on the debut. This is a very good CD and Skylark has the ability to make an even better CD with better production.




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