Monday, April 11, 2016

CD Review: OVERTURES Artifacts

Sleazy Rider Records
From the opening strains of Repentance the new full length album by Overtures reflects its surrealistic cover art, showing they are not your average progressive/power metal band. The deviations from formula are extremely subtle, especially in the lead vocals of Michele Guaitoli and the keyboards and synthesizers of Paolo Campitelli and Luca Zanon. For their subtlety they make the album resonate of a waking dream, or a visit to an alien dimension, bringing the stuff of fantasy to breathing life. A fitting comparison is Queensryche on acid, though there is much more to this band. They have developed their style this far over the course of a demo, and EP and three full lengths. The first two were titled Rebirth and Entering The Maze. Those and the title of the new album signify a quest to find one’s own identity in the world of progressive and power metal. The lyrics are printed in the liner notes so you have more of an understanding of where Overtures are taking their work overall. The subtle keyboards and synths can be pictured as a distant dark tower that exists to be reached and conquered, so you might take the scepter and establish dominion over the landscape you found. While listening to these songs you can see the mountains, the trees and the sky above, almost like a madman’s vision of Lord Of The Rings with some Braveheart added for good measure. The first album to instill these images in me was Music From The Elder by Kiss. Granted it’s a least-favorite of the fans; for me it showed Kiss was as capable of an epic sword and sorcery tale as of good time rock and roll. I may have heard it at an impressionable age but I remember well how tangible the imagery was. Overtures formulates a world every bit as tangible, inviting you to stay a while and explore. The tight precision of the musicianship represents a determination to remain on this quest and the intricate guitar solos of Marco Palanga signify battles fought with warlike brigands and other assorted villains dwelling in this alien landscape. Toward the end of this adventure you may even meet a fairytale princess or two as vocalist Caterina Piccolo makes a surprise appearance with vocalist Marco Pastorino. The listening experience completed by choirs and string instruments will stay with you long after the album concludes, and will be more than enough to tide you over until the next album. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. Repentance
2. Artifacts
3. GO(L)D
4. As candles we burn
5. Profiled
6. Unshared worlds
7. My refuge
8. New dawn, new dusk
9. Teardrop
10. Angry Animals
11. Savior (Alternative, Bonus Track)

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