According to the comprehensive website 'The Encyclopedia Metallum -The Metal Archives', there are 5,279 metal bands (past and present) that call Italy home. That heady number factors in all sub-categories within the genre from the progressive symphonic metal bands like Dream Theater and Symphony X which I review from time-to-time, to the Thrash, Doom, Death, Black, Industrial, and Speed Metal that I avoid at all costs.
The debut album "Eye" from Ashes Of Chaos - a heavy metal band from Rimini, Italy - occasionally pushes the parameters of my comfort level perilously close to the red line. Nothing will have me reaching for the eject button quicker than screeching or growling vocals. And there were brief moments on the disc when I came close to hitting that button - but thankfully those moments were few... and afterward I was glad I stuck with it.
The music is as powerful and aggressive as a charging rhino. And the musicians delivers all the prog/metal accoutrements aficionados have come to expect - laser light-speed arpeggios from guitar and keyboards, and a powerhouse rhythm section that measures 9.5 on the Richter scale.
The line-up includes: Alexios Ciancio (Vocals), Mike Crinella (Guitars, backing vocals), Stefano Galassi (Bass), Francesco Gabrielli (Drums, backing vocals) and Giorgio Gori (keyboards).
"Eye" is a concept album - and the occasional grating vocals were used for effect - essential to the tale and the characters in it.
"Eye" is an epic sci-fi tale of mass extinction set in our not too distant future, as a massive meteorite is on course to collide with Earth. To prevent panic the people in authority suppress the details of the impending doom from the population, while they retreat to the safety of underground shelters. The main character of the album manages to survive the holocaust in a bunker, then spends the remainder of the album struggling to survive in the post-apocalyptic world.
"Eye" is recommended for those with an appreciation for metals bands like Pain Of Salvation, Angra, Opeth, Symphony X, Rhapsody, Dream Theater, Tool, and Mastodon.
Reviewed by Joseph Shingler on March 9th, 2014