Metal Overlord

Moshpit Mayhem

Sound Storm – Immortalia

Symphonic metal divides the metal family like almost no other part of the genre. Many people dismiss it, simply because they have never sat down and listened to it properly. Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce to you an Italian band that was brought to my attention recently, SOUND STORM.

If you like theatrical drama in your metal then this is the group for you. Their new album Immortalia gives you everything that a good Symphonic Metal album should. The orchestra, the operatic and metal vocals, the technical playing on this album is superb. If you like the heavier side of bands like Therion then go no further. Immortalia takes over where debut album, Twilight Opera, left off, all of the key Sound Storm traits are there, however the band have developed as songwriters and as musicians.

The album Starts with intro track Immortalia, an orchestral piece that builds and builds, then a minute in, the metal hits, in a duel with the operatic vocals, a good mood setting intro. Back To Life then kicks in with the dramatical intensity turned up. This gives way to a tuneful verse and a chorus that will have fists pumping in no time. There is something in this song for most metal fans, the guitar solo is simply fantastic.

The Curse Of the Moon turns the pace up a touch, then takes it back down, before hitting us with the hammer once again. The vocals are mainly clean, although sound excellent when mixed with the growling vocals of guitarist Valerio Sbriglione. Blood Of Maiden gives us more soprano, with special guest Ilaria Lucille De Santis showing what a magnificent voice she really has, you can envisage the vocalists duelling this out when live on stage.

Faraway starts off with ballad-like piano and guitar which builds and builds into a fully blown rock opera. The string section adding depth and quality to the song. There is also an excellent guitar/keyboard solo that has a progressive element to it. Excellent track. Promises starts as an all out heavy rocker, before the band grab it and give it the Sound Storm treatment. This is the most instant track on the album so far, special mention to drummer Federico Brignolo, whose feet are amazingly fast on the double bass drums.

Call Me Devil carries on the good work with some excelent melodic guitar lines. A middle part piano interlude builds nicely into a keyboard/guitar solo that gives the rack that extra bit quality. Seven Veils has a very strong Middle Eastern feel to it, without ever sounding cliched. Vocalist Philippe D’Orange comes to prominence on this song, this is an excellent song. The atmosphere within the song makes it very heavy.

Next up is Watching You Fading, a keyboard solo leads us into a spanish guitar sounding intro. This is a ballad of the highest order, this could easily be an international single. There will be many lighters held aloft if this is played live. The Drum intro of Wrath Of The Storm leaves you in no doubt that this song is from Planet Metal. The keyboards of Davide Cristofoli keep the song flowing, without ever taking over. The album ends with  The Portrait, the song is nine minutes long but never loses it’s way. Bassit Massimiliano Flak coming into his own with the time changes of the song especially around the six minute mark when the speed metal comes in.

All in all this is a very good album, if you are not a fan of the genre then there is still a hell of a lot to enjoy in this album. There is nothing here too overpowering, everything has its own level and it all fits in perfectly. If they come to England on a headlining tour then go to see them. A stage show to match the music would be truly epic.

Immortalia is released in Europe on August 28th, it will be a strong addition to any collection.