|Review: Luca Turilli's Dreamquest - Lost Horizons|
Label: Magic Circle Music
Year released: 2006
Genre: Symphonic Electronic Metal
Review online: January 31, 2007
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Every once in a while an album appears that strums our most indecisive chords. Italian metal maestro Luca Turilli's new opus is a stoic reminder of that fact. This rather exigent solo release proves he can reach elevated heights outside the circumference of his main band. Moving swiftly from the epic, fantasy laced metal served up by the legendary Rhapsody, his new band under the moniker Dreamquest place all their cards on the table in one swift move.
Baring more resemblance to his last solo effort, the admirable "Prophet of the Last Eclipse" in 2002, "Lost Horizons" takes all the symphonic and orchestral elements of his usual fare and projects it over progressive and electronic landscapes. The guitars (played by Ex-Dream Child axe-man Dominique Leurquin) are turned down to a bare minimum, while the keyboards (played by Turilli himself) take precedence. Tracks like opener "Virus" and "Black Rose" really set the stage for what's to come. Immensely catchy choruses and well crafted song structures are backed up by a plethora of epic choirs and various techno-laced rhythms, giving the tracks the most delightful effect and original edge I've heard from the man. The production is again crystal clear and songs like "Energy" and the dramatic "Shades of Eternity" follow suit and fail from barraging the listener with a convoluted wall of theatrics, leaving only pleasant melodies and employing a satisfying resonance.
Here in lies the problem. As the album progresses, the tracks become stale and tedious, repeating a formula that was so brilliantly executed at the start of the album. And with a lack of up-tempo numbers, a few sleep-inducing moments occur. At times, female vocalist Myst's voice is relentlessly beautiful – sounding like Oratory vocalist Ana Lara at more than a passing glance - and others she threatens to overpopulate the songs with her often operatic wailing. "Lost Horizons" has some remarkable moments, tranquil closer "Dolphin's Heart" to name but one, yet just when you think the double-bass drums and Fabio Lione's charismatic vocals are about to kick in…you're greeted with more synthesizers.
Thankfully, Turilli has another solo album available with his long-time collaborator Olaf Hayer, which I have to say is more the welcome material expected from a genius of this calibre. Now, where's my copy of "Legendary Tales"…
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