1.Alone In The Dark
2.Two Spirits One Heart
3.Through the Wind
5.Tower Of Fears
6.The White Voice
7.Go Your Own Way
11.Until The End
Release Date: 27 January 2012 – IceWarrior Records
Epic Power Metal from Italy ? For fans of Heimdall, Skylar and early Rhapsody….hm.
Pandaemonium return after a seven year break with their third full-length album „The Last Prayer“.
The named references will polarize the fans for sure….some will love it, some will damn it and nothing in between. And if we take a look at the thrashy cover art work you will know what I mean.
A fallen naked human female butterfly carried by a woodman in the snow offers fantasy and sadness…..We will see what happens.
And so it starts with acoustic guitars and piano. Slow and elegian….like a prayer. Before „Alone in the dark“ becomes a typical Rhapsody like smasher. Speedy guitars, clear vocals with nice vibes…Daniel Reda sounds unique, but the background vocals in the refrain are definetely too high.
Steven Volta’s whirlwind guitar solo makes it also near to the above named bands.
„Two Spirits One Heart“ starts with a guitar/keyboard hookline. Melodic with a light oriental touch.
Again the background vocals are too high…is this a trademark of Pandaemonium…hmm.
The song changes between midtempo and slower parts that break the speed. Sounds a little like a medieval bands. But sorry…the high backvocals are killing my nerves.
A real metal riff opens „Through the Wind“. This song is more in traditional heavy metal. Nice refrain. Even some old US bands come in mind cause of the galopping guitar leads. Some light keyboards in the back don’t disturb this feeling. In the end the song fades out with some angel choirs and Daniel performing a little darker. Great song !!
The „Holy Voice“ talks to us next. Acoustic guitar start. Balladesque vocals and the warm ground theme makes you feel light and happy. It seems that it brings you in good moods listening to the holy voice. An all acoustic song with a spanish guitar theme in the end.
Now „The Tower of Fears“ brings us back in metallic fields. Keyboard/guitar leads together with twin vocals that sound really strange. I think the piano that appear sometimes in the back is misplaced here. Steven shows us that he is a great guitarist mostly in the solos. But the vocals….chaotic.
Classic theme opens „The White Voices“. Daniel performs most time as a minstrel. The guitar lines and solos are wonderful, the arrangements also well thought. The drums are more in the front here and push the song perfect. Epic Metal per excellence. Best song so far (if you don’t take care of the high vocals).
An epic march to follow…..“Go your own way“. Is this an accordion, we hear now? Daniel acts between tragedy and hope. Again lots of medieval vibes in this song. A song pending from slow to midtempo. Classic elements included. But suddenly the scene explodes with devilish vocals and speedness. Only to return to the warmth of sound like before.
Piano starts „Today“. Ballad moves over to a symphonic metal inferno. More speedful song again.
Suffering vocals meet devil’s voice. Is this a fight between good and evil ? Another great guitar performance of Steve. Complex arrangements let this song become a delicacy for epic metal gourmets.
„Braveheart“ points with great guitar lines. Pure power metal song. Clear vocals in alliance with mighty chorus. Even some retro sounds we can find here. Typical epic metal guitar solo in the middle. Dramatic end with acoustic guitar and lots of elegies. Combined with speed in Rhapsody style.
In „Epitaph“ Steve offers us all the scales he can play. An all instrumental track that is mainly based on the guitar work. Melodic, but speedful. All the guitar wizards outside should check if they can play it also like this. For me a great job done buy Steve.
The album ends with, yes…“Until the End“. Another full epic power metal song, mainly with female sounding opera voices. Symphonies reign and the all medieval vibes shine through again. Nightwish meets Asgard meets Rhapsody. A keyboard bombast that let the guitars not break through. Too overloaded with that bombast for kickin’ the album out.
Well, like I told at the beginning. This album will be polarizing the music scene.
Fans of Rhapsody, Heimdall, Skylark and so on will surely like this album also.
Pandaemonium try to sound unique cause of the vocals and arrangements. And here is the point to criticize. The backing vocals, that are massive too high, killing my nerves (I told that before). But that is my subjective opinion.
The strength of this album lies in the excellent guitar work. The story also seems to be ok.
For that I would give 7 points, but for the vocal performance only 5. In summary this is 6 points.
The music of Pandaemonium is extraordinary, sure…but not innovative cause we can find a lot of bands that are hooked in this genre of epic, symphonic power metal. Some better, some worse.
Anyway….not a bad album, but I heard that style better in the past. Anyhow I hope this will be not the last prayer for Pandaemonium and like I said, fans of the above named bands will like it.
Review by Kerbinator