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Labyrinth | review | metal | Lollipop


Labyrinth (Century Media)
by Martin Popoff

Beyond the blabber and conjecture, I first gotta say that this is the only power metal album I've played dozens and dozens of times, through years of getting this kind of crap. And like any good power metaller, guitarist Andrea Cantarelli vehemently curses and spits upon (with Italian élan) that tag. But he knows of which he speaks, confident in the band's new start, self-titling the album, and going for less goofy artwork, this time by Travis Smith. As well, his long-time friend and co-axeman Olaf Thorsen is out of the band, de-restricting Labyrinth as they turn in some of the most soulful, up-the-irons metal melodies of their career (and everyone else's). There's a groovy, organic quality to these songs, with keyboard work that is slightly old school, and vocals from Robert Tiranti that can swell a listener's medal-bedecked chest with coursing heavy metal blood pride. It's sick. I never expected to find a Rainbow rocker that I played purely for pleasure. But then again, once every 24 to 36 months, it happens (last time: Steel Prophet, I believe). Check out "This World," "Slave to the Night" or even, if you dare, Glenn Hughes-tall ballad "Neverending Rest" for diamond carbolic songs of infinite emotion, tracks that glitter, then warm the cockles of the parapet-pensive moat metal warrior whose sunken eyes are eternally glassy with sullen visions of grandeur and the effects of a near opaque blood-red claret.
(2323 W. El Segundo Blvd. Hawthorne, CA 90250)


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