Lionsoul – Omega
Reviewed by Kevin Hathaway
You know what power metal bands don’t cover enough of lyrically? Greek mythology. This baffles me because Greek mythology is ripe with potential for power metal-worthy anthems or ambitiously epic tracks that few have realized. Then again, it’s probably easy to get deterred from writing about Greek mythology when Symphony X perfected the art with the titular track from 2002’s The Odyssey, obviously based on the epic poem by Homer. Enter Italy’s Lionsoul with its debut Omega, an album completely conceptualized by Greek mythology.
And, well, to be frank (hi, Frank!), this is pretty damn good stuff. Lionsoul opts for the more guitar-driven side of Italian power metal (similar to Labyrinth) as opposed to the symphonic bombast of Rhapsody, Ancient Bards, and about a million other bands, so Lionsoul’s sound comes off a bit refreshing as a result. There are a gaggle of melodic hooks, high-soaring choruses, and shredding guitar solos to be found here, polished with a professional gleam that is sure to impress. Opener “Heavenly Ride” lets the listener know exactly what they’re in for with the rest of the album, encompassing all of the strengths of the band. The hits keep coming with “A New Horizon” and “Liar,” both sporting ridiculously infectious choruses. “Shadow Of The Black Horse” gave me a slight feeling of “been there, done that,” (I could swear I’ve heard both the intro and the chorus before by different bands, but I couldn’t tell you from where) but it’s done so well that it’s hard to complain.
The album starts to lose a bit of momentum with the mid-paced “Tiger Of Guagemala”. I love the oriental influence sprinkled throughout this song though. “Rage Of The Waters” kind of goes in one ear and out the other, as does “Delirious Mind.” Not that anything’s wrong with those tracks, but I think the album could have done without them, especially seeing as Omega is slightly overlong as it is, with a running time of nearly 70 minutes. As long as I’m nitpicking, some of the Greek name pronunciations are questionable (Heer-a-culls? I know I’ve always said Hair-a-clees myself) and the song structures are a bit predictable. Ivan Castelli’s vocals, while good, don’t do much to distinguish themselves from the multitude of Italian power metal castrati’s out there. Castelli does put a lot of passion in his delivery though, I will give him that.
All in all, Lionsoul have a sweet slab of Greek mythology-themed power metal on their hands, here. Maybe a little too conventional at times and certainly not without its flaws, but those looking for some Italian power metal with considerably less orchestral pomp than their fellow countrymen should find an unexpected gem in Omega.
3.75 // 5