Tuesday, February 1, 2011

MISTHERIA: "Dragon Fire"

Rating: 7/10

Label: LionMusic 2010

Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Mistheria is the name of the rather mysterious classical trained pianist, keyboardist, keytarist, organist (he sure likes his ivory and ebony) and composer of bombastic melodic heavy metal. The Italian born musician is located in Zagreb/Croatia nowadays and he's been working with the likes of Bruce Dickinson, Neil Zaza, Rob Rock, etc. in the past. "Dragon Fire" - his latest release at LionMusic Records and the CD features the following great cast of lead vocalists: Rob Rock, John West, Mark Boals, Titta 'Look' Tani, and Lance King.

Mistheria hired John Macaluso (ARK, Riot, Yngwie Malmsteen, Powermad, TNT, Spread Eagle, Starbreaker, etc) as the drummer of this particular CD and the man entered the studio to record the whole album in one day? one day!! That's hardly impressive, you say? Well... perhaps not, if you've just recorded a 'back-to-basic' Punk-Rock album. However, these compositions are more... ehem, dare I say "advanced"? Not quite as easy to recall, especially considering he didn't receive demoed versions for practicing up until at the very last moment. Excellent drumming and on top of this - neo-classical arrangements as well as a very definite influence from symphonic and classical music (well, that's also neo-classical metal, no?), this is obviously most notable within the smashing work and keyboards by Mr.Mistheria.

The different styles of vocals provided by the singers mentioned above, might at first glance seem a bit odd put side by side, but it actually works greatly in Mistheria's favor to have a variety of top notch performances on this record. In fact, "Dragon Fire" refuses to lay back with the typical albums of the genre (even if the Mark Boals' track is very similar in sound to the Yngwie material) as Mistheria explores other musical styles and avenues with an eager enthusiasm. Yeah, "Dragon Fire" would/could have been reviewed months ago (at the same time as I did the "All About The Album" article), however, I did not receive a review copy until just recently... so, there ya' go. Classy, but-hardly-groundbreaking, neo-classical hard rock.


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