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Cydonia - Cydonia

=Staff's pick

The King*
Legend in Time
Land of Life
Gretest Soul of Steel*
Last Prayers*
Confused Future
Masters of Stars*
Slave to Dream
Eternal Night

Genre Power Metal
Dan Keying
Tracks 9
Steve Sguario
Runningtime 47 Min.
Label Metal Blade Records
Trevor O’Neal
Release 19 Feb. 2001
Mat Stancioiu
Country Italy
Lee Crow
Similar artists Labÿrinth, Vision Divine

Once again we have before us a band that origin from the land of pizzas, opera and wine - in short: the good things in life.

And what these guys have to offer, my friends, is no exception.
Even though they aren't playing it in the common "Italian" style as we are used to hear it (meaning fantasy/operametal a' la Rhapsody), we are here beeing served some high quality standardmetal.
And I don't say "standard" in a negative tone - it's just that they do what is expected from a album to be consider good - nothing more, nothing less.

As usual when it comes to the Italians they show themselves to be very good musicians, and here the guitarplaying Steve is bending his strings with the honours.
He's delivering good, catchy riffs all along throughout the album, even though it is starting to feel familiar in the riff/songarranging/chorusarea with new italian bands nowadays. There is way more than a couple of times I hear Vision Divine in this, but if it's Cydonia that is extremely inspired by Vision Divine, or if it's the other way around - that I am not the right man to judge.

But as long as they are doing it good and with style, than I don't feel like it's something to discuss further.
We don't hear a truckload of solos flying around here, announcing and rounding off every bridge, chorus or interlude - there are a few here and there, but the solos that are played are good, and are showing that Steve master that part too, so I hope to hear an increase in that area on the next album.

As usual I have a very hard time to differ one Italian singer from the other, and I don't know if I ever will learn to, but they are all very good singers - Dan Keying in Cydonia is no exception.

The production is overall good - perhaps just slightly thinner than what we are used to with their fellow countrymen, and they lack a little of that compact, pompous sound.
But I have a feeling that that is not what they are after here, and that could be a good thing for them, cause that means the line gets a little more distinct between them and their mentors.

We have to wait until the 9th and last song before the compulsory ballad shows up, and well - let me just say that in this case it's one too much.

It's that little extra that is missing here - can't really put my finger on it, but perhaps it's the fact that they are stepping into the realms of the Big Boys from their homeland a bit too often, plus that they are not taking advantage of the ideas they pick up from there.
It goes on in a good tempo throughout the album, but it just never really takes off to those skincrawling heights.

Don't get me wrong - it's very good.
It is definitly worth to check out for all of you that are into Vision Divine, Labyrinth or wellplayed metal in general, and I certainly will listen to this album for a long time to come.

As long as you are not expecting more than a good album in general - this won't take you by storm..... just satisfy your yearning metalneeds for the evening.






7 chalices of 10 - Tommy

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