Lione - Conti - Lione - Conti

Lione - Conti cover
Lione - Conti
Lione - Conti
Frontiers Music Srl
2018
6.5
Average: 8 (3 votes)
Those guys at Frontiers Records seem to have a fun time, playing fantasy league football, only with musicians. They sort of couple vocalists that they work or can “get ahold of” and flesh out these projects with some “standard” contributors and instrumentalists they have on hand. Sometimes they come up with really praise-worthy material, sometimes even with amazing stuff, but more often with the exception of a few highlights, most of these “tailor made” projects seem to lack the spontaneity and real “band” chemistry. Sure enough, seasoned performers are unlikely to deliver subpar performances, but when the songwriting is not all that exciting the albums tend to be mediocre at best. While the coupling of two of the chaps (the main ones) that have sung in one of those numerous “Rhapsody” projects, that have been around in recent years, is predictably screaming for some fast paced power metal, getting Simone Mularoni (DGM) to do this, instead of say Magnus Karlsson or Timo Tolkki (who did the Russell Allen ones), who are better known for their power metal style first and foremost, creates a rather different beast… a more aggressive sounding prog influenced album, more in tune with Athena meets DGM via maybe Vision Divine here and there (other projects Fabio has lent vocals on in past years). It’s not exactly bad, far from it, as both Mularoni often comes up with interesting ideas and both vocalists are in top form, but not really playing on the strengths of its protagonists.
 
“Ascension”, which opens the album, is a light prog power metal tune, with sufficient space for both vocalists to show off, a catchy enough chorus and some nice soloing by Mularoni.
 
“Outcome” pushes the pedal to the metal “more”, but sort of gets stuck in a bit of a repetitive mode, not being bad per-se but not displaying great inspiration either.
 
“You’re Falling” was chosen as another single, a softer more melodic tune with a quite heavy guitar backbone however that sort of sticks out as does Conti’s slight struggle to emote while singing relatively lower than he usually does. His accent sort of shows, not in the most complimenting way, I’m afraid to report.
 
Things improve over with the next song, “Somebody Else”, that begins slowly and lowly to reach some bombastic crescendos later.
 
“Misbeliever” is 3 Italians doing Faux-Kamelot, even down to using “words” and mannerisms of the Americans. Fair copy and the “originals” have sort of seemingly exhausted the way in which to rearrange similar combinations of words before Manowar-sort-of fatigue sets in. You know this sounds like Veil Of Elisium or Center Of The Universe, or something else that tends to use those patented progressions.
 
“Destruction Show” passes with hardly making a big sensation, unlike “Glories” that allows Lione to show off, some of his quite heroic vocal qualities, supported by the purer, more angelic Conti. I must say that this is a little unfair on Conti, who’s quite a great vocalist, being pitted against a more seasoned, dramatic singer with more presence, as he rarely manages to get the spotlight, or at least, not be eclipsed by Lione, shortly thereafter, even when he does. He still holds out pretty well.
 
“Truth” is the more mid-tempo prog sort of tune, while “Gravity” again treads to close to VD/Kamelot territory. But also DGM, I would guess.
 
A good number is saved for last, with “Crosswinds” being an impressive, eastern flavored (expect a tad of MOM in there) tune with again ample space for vocal acrobatics a cool lead by Mularoni and some nice exchanges before it fizzles out rather abruptly, ending the album.
 
All in all, a pretty decent attempt to write specifically for some singer(s) that sort of falls a little short of actually making the sort of impression and having the effect its creators might have hoped for. A part 2 might take a while to be commissioned then, but as long as we’re around, we might get to see that. Much weirder stuff has seen the life of day.

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