Overtures – Entering The Maze
After the boot of Italy collectively kicked my butt and skepticism to gorgonzola last year, the Italians show no sign of slowing down (predicted editor’s note: “Can we make it through one of these reviews without a cheap joke about cheese?”) [Actual editor’s note: No, evidently not…]. 2013 has already brought us Heimdall, DGM, Kaledon and Empyrios, only to add Overtures to its increasingly admirable roster.
Of course, Overtures has made its real overture with Beyond The Waterfall a few years ago, and stumbled onto our radar with the sophomore album Rebirth – a promising record, if not one that could shoulder with the giants. Enter …The Maze, which can, and damn well should. Even more, Overtures brings one of the best combinations of Italian power metal I have yet beheld.
Take title track “The Maze”, which launches from a Luca Turilli-like riff into a verse that Simone Mularoni would approve of, emerging into a soaring Labyrinthine chorus. Maze, Labyrinth, get it? The marriage of guitars and keyboard is impressive here especially, with neither losing sight of the other. An Italian power metal band matching Germany for riffs? Oh that I’ve lived to see the day!
“The Maze” sets the template for most of the songs, but despite perhaps delivering a limited variety, Overtures never loosens the slack. Throwing you off with surprisingly heavy opening riffs (“Empty Trails”), bombastic refrains (“Programmed To Serve”) or plain old epicness (“The Oracle”), there’s a trick up every sleeve, and Overtures is an octopus. I could list at least four more songs I have fond memories of, but I’ll leave those to discover for yourself (also, I’d be naming the entire album).
If Rebirth was promising, Entering The Maze delivers, and should see Overtures catapulted to the A-list. Confidently molding the traits of their Italian heritage into something daringly unique and thoroughly enjoyable, Italy’s path of conquest has not yet ceased. For Overtures, it’s only the first big leap.
4.25 // 5