After a five year absence, WHITE SKULL have returned to the Power Metal scene, with the Italian group putting together their 11th studio album, Will Of The Strong. The band continue their long standing partnership with Dragonheart Records, and the new record comes a year before the group’s 30th anniversary – a remarkable achievement in the modern music industry.
Will Of The Strong begins with an instrumental track, Endless Rage, which helps to set the scene if you like of what is about to follow. The track certainly has that power metal sound to it, an orchestra building up pace as the seconds tick by, and would be a good track for WHITE SKULL to play just before a live show to get the crowd going.
This track helps to build into Holy Warrior, the second track. Straight from the off the track kicks into a very heavy number, courtesy of drummer Alex Mantiero and the keyboards of Alexandros Muscio. There are power metal elements in this track, which are most notable through the vocal deliverance by frontwoman Federica Sister, but there is definitely a bigger influence on the metal side of the music compared to what some would expect from a power metal group.
The title track comes four songs into the record, and starts off with the echoes of a historic battle before an exceptionally fast solo from guitarist Danilo Bar really kicks the song into motion. Throughout each verse it all builds up to an epic chorus, which helps to establish the power metal sound on the record. There’s no doubt that this would be on the setlist at a gig, and will be a real crowd pleaser.
The real issue when it comes to power metal is that a lot of bands under the same umbrella all sound very alike, especially female fronted bands such as BATTLE BEAST and UNLEASH THE ARCHERS. There are only a handful of bands who have their own unique style of power metal which makes them stand out, such as SABATON with their influences on war and historic battles.
It’s unfortunate that this is also an issue with Will Of The Strong, and as a result it is difficult to pick out other notable tracks on the album. That doesn’t necessarily mean the album is bad, far from it, but because it is all so similar there isn’t really anything that jumps out and grabs your attention.
Some of the good tracks which are worth mentioning are Lady of Hope, I Am Your Queen, and Shieldmaiden. They are all solid power metal anthems, and again would be high up on a gig setlist, but there isn’t anything ground breaking.
Having said that, for a band that have been going for as long as they have, WHITE SKULL have once again produced a good, solid record. Fans of the band will be very happy with the new record, and if you want to dabble in power metal then this record is highly recommended.
Will Of The Strong is out now via Dragonheart Records
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