ARCHITECTURE OF A GOD
After a 7-year absence from the metal scene, Italian progressive metal band Labyrinth are back full force with their 8th album titled “Architecture of a God”, released on April 21, via Frontiers Records. This album came to be after founding members Andrea Cantarelli and Olaf Thorsen received a call from Frontiers regarding a possible reunion with vocalist Roberto Tiranti. Recruiting three new members to complete the line-up, the band set to work, and later in 2016 they performed their signature album “Return to Heaven Denied” [a DVD of which will be released in 2018] at the annual Frontiers Metal Festival.
“Architecture of a God” is a mature and very well crafted album, which has many of the old classic Labyrinth elements in the mix, but also some new sounds to give it a more vibrant and modern feel. The album is packed with fast power metal songs (some of which can easily be called anthems), some prog-oriented tracks (the most notable being the title track), quick-paced guitar work, interesting though at times borderline strange keyboard effects (like on “A new dream”) and overall highly melodic tunes that will have the listener headbanging to the rhythm and singing-along to the lyrics.
Take on my legacy
A new dream
Architecture of a God
Children (Robert Miles cover)
We belong to yesterday
Stardust and ashes
This proves that the band still has what it takes to compose a great, well-balanced album that can stand toe-to-toe with their older ones.
“Bullets” starts the album with some weird synth effects it takes a good couple of seconds to get to the good stuff. It’s a really weird intro, but apart from that the song itself is really powerful, with a good rhythmic section, catchy vocal melodies and an equally good guitar solo. If I wasn’t all that impressed with the first song, “Still Alive” sets things in the right direction with a bass intro and great singing from vocalist Roberto Tiranti. The band gets a bit sidetracked into more experimenting with keyboard effects on the next couple of tracks, even though they have solid guitar riffs and bass lines, which lowers the album’s overall value and flow, for me at least. Another thing I noticed was that every song has a guitar solo, which at times work and at times feel a bit forced. Also the structure of the songs is pretty standard to the power-metal genre and therefore a bit predictable.
“Someone says” sets the band back on track (again) with its infectious melodies and catchy vocal lines, couple with a good dose of guitar work. “Random Logic” is an amazing little keyboard / vocal interlude which could have worked better as opener. “Architecture of a God” is the longest track at 8:40 minutes and it’s one of the best songs on the album. Everything just clicks into place here and the overall atmosphere is surreal. The instrumental side isn’t trying so hard to prove its worth and Roberto Tiranti really showcases all his versatility as a singer. With Robert Miles’ cover of “Children”, the band slides back into keyboard experimenting and digging up 90s’ melodrama.
Roberto Tiranti – vocals
Olaf Thorsen – guitars
Andrea Cantarelli – guitars
Nik Mazzucconi – bass
Oleg Smirnoff – keyboards
John Macaluso – drums
The final four songs are the some of the best of the album. “Those days” is a power ballad that focuses on Roberto’s emotional delivery, but also on the beauty of a guitar solo well written and well executed. It has a 90’s vibe to it and somehow makes me think of Bon Jovi’s classic sound back in the day.
“We belong to yesterday” is a more rockish piece with a mellow instrumental side that again highlights Roberto’s vocals and the virtuosity of guitarists Olaf Thorsen and Andrea Cantarelli. “Stardust and Ashes” is what I would call a power metal anthem as it has fast paced guitars and drums, a headbangish rhythm and catchy vocal melodies. I really enjoy the soft singing halfway through the song and the subsequent build-up to the chorus.
The unconventional “Diamond” closes the album in style on serene keyboard notes and vocals that echo some electro vibes that actually seem to fit with the flow of the music.
“Architecture of a God” really is a varied album and though I am not a big fan of those synthesizers I have to say that the musicianship on this album is incredible. Despite my nit-picking and such there are many solid moments on the album that reminded me why I enjoy power metal so much. I rate this album with an 8 / 10