|Review: Minotauro - Master Of The Sea|
|Master Of The Sea|
Label: Dust on the Tracks Records
Year released: 2013
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: October 18, 2013
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
for:Master Of The Sea
Rated 2.86/5 (57.14%) (7 Votes)
I've had this one on the simmer for a little while now, largely because I couldn't really think of all that much to say. Minotauro are a relatively new act from Italy who, you guessed it, play power metal. Obviously, just saying the words Italian power metal would be enough of a description for most, as by now I'm sure most of us know what to expect from bands of this ilk, however Minotauro do slightly deviate from the norm.
Whilst a lot of Italian power metal bands adopt a speedy, flowery approach often featuring some kind of progressive variant, Minotauro adopt more of a mid-paced, slower burning sound, which initially reminded me of later Dionysus (see Fairytales & Reality). Upon further inspection I don't hear as much of Dionysus as I did at first, and now I've come to be reminded more of Virtuocity or even Kenziner due to an ever-so-slight neo-classical edge, although certainly not as fast or indulgent. I also hear shades of early Angra in the keyboards, which on tracks such as "Hero" and "The Day Of Redemption" gives me some serious Holy Land flashbacks.
What I've found to be particularly interesting about Master Of The Sea is the way Minotauro arrange their songs. I will admit that some of the time it doesn't work, resulting in some tracks overstaying their welcome, but as seen in opener "The Idol" they arrange as so: verse, chorus, lead guitar break, chorus, then they modulate the chorus and essentially repeat the whole track again from here (albeit with a different solo and carrying out the last chorus way longer than necessary). It certainly comes off a little odd and as a result I've found easy to get lost amidst the album, particularly with the songs mostly topping the five minute mark, and adopting little in the way of variation. Despite that, the material is nonetheless enjoyable throughout, particularly in tracks such as the aforementioned "The Day Of Redemption".
The musicianship is pretty good across the board, with some of the guitar riffs being particularly cool, and certainly heavier than the usual Italian fare. Sadly those riffs aren't consistent enough to really get your teeth into. Vocalist Rudy Berginc has a good range, and comes off like a lot of those neo-classical power metal singers do. Sometimes his notes fall a little flat, but for the most part they are fairly powerful. The rhythm section is good too, if unspectacular and relatively typical of the genre.
For the most part Master Of The Sea is an enjoyable debut, though not without flaws. A lot the tracks certainly feel longer than they need to be, and in the future I think streamlining would work wonders for Minotauro. They have the chops, and certainly aren't without their charms, but on the whole I can't imagine Master Of The Sea turning many heads. A solid release, that is at least worth checking out for fans of the genre.
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