Skylark - Wings 1.5/5

Reviewed: 7-16-04


1. Rainbow in the dark
2. Summer of 2001
3. Another reason to believe
4. Belzebu 2
5. Faded fantasy
6. Last ride
7. A stupid song
8. When love and hate collide

There is a style of Italian power metal that some like, but others really don't care for. It's the symphonic power metal bands like Kaledon, Dark Horizon, Landguard, Heraldry and Skylark. With these we get some high falsetto vocals, lots of cool keyboards, and plenty of symphonic sounds. This style isn't as exciting as the more epic bands like Rhapsody, Holy Knights and Thy Majestie, nor as catchy as the more melodic bands like Sigma, Desdemona, Highlord, Vision Divine and Labyrinth. But I'm one that enjoys the style, and have always liked Skylark.

So what does this 6th CD 'Wings' from Skylark offer? Well, it's a slight disappointment for me. I've always liked their unique style of keyboard/harpsichord work, and though their guitars are never really powerful, they've always been catchy enough to satisfy my taste. 'Wings' is too light overall though, and there aren't as many interesting guitars or keyboards as I was expecting. I'm usually not one to complain about production, but being their 6th CD, I would have expected a better production than this (or at least a production that matches their previous CDs). They still manage to stay within the style of their previous CDs though, just maybe not with the same quality.

Track 1 "Rainbow in the dark" is a decent start with some keyboard excitement, but the low production quality shows already. Track 2 "Summer of 2001" is also average, and nothing that really gets me excited. Track 3 "Another reason to believe" is definitely my favorite song on the CD. It's written really well, and I enjoy slightly softer songs with nice melodies like this one. The problem though, is this is about as good as the CD gets. Track 4 "Belzebu 2" picks up a bit, and begins to remind me of previous Skylark material with some cool keyboard parts. Track 5 "Faded fantasy" is another decent song. Though light, there are some nice duets between the lead vocalist Fabio Dozzo and the new female vocalist Kiara. Track 6 "Last ride" does have some nice guitar and keyboard parts also, so there are still moments where we hear the Skylark we've known. Track 7 "A stupid song" is where the lighter sound of the overall CD really begins to show, and you realize you're hitting the end of the CD and haven't heard anything amazing. The last track "When love and hate collide" (Def Leppard cover) is nicely done by their new female vocalist Kiara, but it's a light song to end a consistently too light CD. There are some moments to satisfy, but a little more power and/or catchiness is definitely missing with this CD.

Despite my words, I still feel this is a decent release for those really into the band (me included), and Track 3 "Another reason to believe" is very memorable. They still have their unique style with a high number of changes in tempo, but this just isn't competitive with other symphonic power metal CDs out these days. It doesn't have the catchiness that their 'Divine gates' or 'The princess day' CDs have, nor does it match the magic of their 'After the storm' and 'Dragon's secrets' earlier CDs. I love Italian bands, but this was a little let down for me. I'll continue listening to Wonderland's awesome 's/t' CD or Shadows of Steel's 'Second floor', and occasionally will come back to 'Wings'.




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