White Skull - Will Of The Strong

White Skull - Will Of The Strong

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(CD, Dragonheart Records, 2017)

It's funny sometimes how the impression of a record can change after a few spins, when it starts to settle in. I really thought I was over my head when giving WHITE SKULL's “Will Of The Strong” a go for the review. Musically, it's grand, over the top and packed with every cliché in the book when it comes to Italian Power Metal. No doubt there, but one wouldn't want it any other way!

Dashing “Grace O' Malley” was the first one that settled in with the catchy vocal lines in the verse and bridge. And then, the resolution with the KAMELOT-esque chorus works great. I like the hockey-choirs shouting Grace and then the flowing response in a very melodic vocal line. The change from the mid-tempo riff in the intro as well as in the midsection just to heat things up in and build up to the chorus is fantastic. Again, packed with all ingredients possible, guitars, keyboards and horns, but it works. The thing that makes “Will Of The Strong” to stand out from other records is Federica “Sister” De Boni’s vocals; her register is fantastic. I really like it that there is filth and rasp in it, in both the low and the high-pitched notes. Without them, it would definitely have been too soft for my taste.

Even if WHITE SKULL have packed the registers full in most cases, there are things that make the songs pop out. There's still dynamics which make tempo changes stand out even more. Take “Lady Of Hope” for example; this one combines melody, melancholy with great fine details where this works. That there's edge and oomph in the guitars, even in the fastest passages is another element that appeals to me. Who can resist some guitar-hero fashion? In some cases, it reminds me Yngwie Malmsteen’s neo-classical but other it is more like coming from a video game. Just listen to the solo in “Metal Indian” (which by the way is my favorite song); there's some freaky things going on there but it makes it fun. And that's the impression I have about the record now, countless spins later. It is a fun record to listen to and it feels like WHITE SKULL are not dead serious all the time.

While listening to “Will Of The Strong”, I realized I've gotten far away from the world of Power Metal, a genre I used to call my favorite back in the day. But as always, when something's get popular, it tends to stagnate and the creativity is getting lost. WHITE SKULL have held their flag rather high throughout their career though but I must say that this one blows most of their other releases away. Maybe my newfound passion for the genre revise my grade here, but it sure is a creative, witty and first-class record.

7/10


Links:

www.WhiteSkull.Band
www.MySpace.Com/WhiteSkullBand
www.FaceBook.Com/White-Skull


Tracklist:

01. Endless Rage
02. Holy Warrior
03. Grace O' Malley
04. Will Of The Strong
05. Lady Of Hope
06. I Am Your Queen
07. Hope Has Wings
08. Metal Indian
09. Shieldmaiden
10. Sacrifice
11. Lay Over
12. Warrior Spirit


Lineup:

Federica Sister De Boni - Vocals
Tony Mad Fontò - Rhythm Guitars
Danilo Man Bar - Lead Guitars
Jo Raddi - Bass
Alessandro Muscio - Keyboards
Alex Mantiero - Drums