A reasonably short time after the release of Last Desire (see review) Mastercastle already is back with a new album. No lineup changes ensure that we have a band that is steady and used to playing together. So, main songwriter and guitarist Pier Gonella and female vocalist Giorgia Guelio returned to the studio with bass player Steve Vawamass and drummer Alesandro Bissa once again to record their latest album; Dangerous Diamonds.
With a sound that takes the best of their debut album; Phoenix (which had a very neo-classical sound) and Last Desire (which was much more straight forward and rock and metal related), Dangerous Diamands has the perfect blend of Mastercastle's previous recordings. Once again, Giorgia draws on a wide range of topics for lyrical influence with the title track covering the hot topic of diamonds and the deeper meaning and evils of the precious stones. Icy Moon tells the tale of fishermen and their life in unforgiving seas. Sixth Sun gives the bands viewpoint on the Mayan 2012 prophecy whilst the ballad Lovin' Me tells the importance of loving ourselves and the child we have been. Time For Lovers tell the romantic tale of sweet but all too short romance that blossoms on a train between Paris and Berlin whilst Au Premiere Coup pays homage to Italian painter Bruno Galbiati (1932-1992) with his instinctive style also reflecting the way the track was composed. Bitter & Sweet tells a tale about New York, a world of concrete, lights and little views of sky and freedom, yet a city that offers up sweetness as well. Giorgia still has a voice that reminds me a bit of Bjork in some songs and another name that comes to mind is a lighter version of Chastain's Leather Leone. In a song like Lovin'Me you can hear what a wonderful voice she has, combining power with emotion, which heads towards Lana Lane. The instrumentalists provide a powerful base; Alesandro uses the double bass frequently and the rumbling bass of Steve makes this album roar nicely. Eye catcher, or should I say ear catcher still is Pier with his tremendous guitar sound; powerful, clear and very dynamic. Mostly, he lays down a killer riff and then the melody and solos are played over that. His solos are very tasteful and the instrumental Blue Diamond is a real showcase, wrapped into a perfect song. I would like to give credit to the person that plays the keyboards on the album, especially in this instrumental song where the keyboards are very impressive, but no name is mentioned in my additional information.
Mastercastle has indeed taken the best of their previous albums and melted them together on their 2011 album Dangerous Diamonds. If you like progressive power, great guitars and an impressive sound, with some fine female vocals on top, Mastercastle is the band not to miss.
***+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Robert James Pashman)
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