Twilight Of Days
Till The End
The Way To Heaven's Gates
The Highest Tide
Touch My Heart
Lord Of Evil
Take My Life Away
End Of A Life
Making The History (Bonus)
ATHENA is an Italian Metal-band and despite the fact I'm Italian, too, I can't help, but I have to knock this record out. I was very intrigued with the band's previous release "A New Religion?" (with Fabio Lione on vocals), but this is very different and unexpected. In fact, gone are the Prog-flavour and the atmospheric vibe of that album. Now ATHENA plays 100% stereotyped Power Metal. It seems like all the personal sound of the band was lost or rather turned out (the wrong way, if you ask to me).
"Twilight Of Days" is based on a fantasy-concept about a king and his realm, but I'll pass on this since I consider it absolutely pointless to the album.
The music you can find on the disc consists prominently of corny Power Metal-guitar-riffs, symphonic keyboard-arrangements with piano inserts, and sing as high as you can vocals. The band is technically above average and especially the veteran Ross Lukather (DEATH SS, LABYRINTH) is a very talented drummer. But Lione-replacement, Francesco Neretti, is a disappointment. His voice is horribly flat, lacking feeling and charisma, and it's not powerful at all. I think the cause for this lies in his attempt to sing too high on every vocal line. In my opinion, his range is pretty limited in comparison with Lione's, he maybe could remain in his range and try to give personality to the songs, instead of going improperly shrill all the time. By the way, there are some interesting musical passages and tempo changes you can find while listening to the album, but it's nothing spectacular.
Sad to say, the already few good things on the album are ruined by its demo-quality production. The guitar sound is awful, tame and thin, turning even the best moments into a pile of crap. The drums recording is poor, but still decent on first listen, haplessly after like 6 or 7 songs you'll get tired of their sound. The keyboards sound really weird and at times they are too high in the mix. What the hell were they thinking when they recorded it? It's a fuckin' shame 'cos this could at least be a decent Power Metal-album on its own.
Bottom line: a totally wasted chance for the band, and a totally waste of time (and money) for the occasional listener.
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