Elettra Storm – Powerlords (Scarlet Records)

Friday, 16th February 2024
Rating: 8.5 / 10

A country rich in power metal pedigree, Italy has established itself as a premiere territory for long-running quality between the work of acts like Labyrinth and Rhapsody Of Fire alone. The next generation is taking ahold, shaping things with a mix of the old staple aspects while injecting some modern touches to the formula. Elettra Storm bursts upon the scene through this debut album Powerlords – the quintet featuring SinHeresy keyboardist Davide Sportiello (also doubling on bass) as well as female model Crystal Emiliani in the lineup. Expect nine tracks that float through a mix of Italian, Scandinavian, and North American influences to create quite a catchy thrill ride chock full of engaging riffs, harmonies, as well as hooks on all fronts vocally plus musically.

Uplifting power riffs display triumphant atmosphere on the opening strains of “Higher Than the Stars”, while the guitar/keyboard synchronicity beyond dazzling neoclassical flourishes recalls classic Stratovarius or early Sonata Arctica for the potent title track – the additional male/female choral background voice blending enhances the angelic comfort zone of Crystal’s natural register. A dramatic power ballad appears in the form of “Alone”, where the gliding melodies mirror the carefully thought-out musical arrangement, featuring the right moving chord sequences, transitions, and supplementary orchestration. Aspects of Unleash the Archers or Frozen Crown come to mind with modern groove or heavier touches incorporated in specific songs like “Spirit of the Moon” or the mid-tempo offering “Origin of Dreams” – drummer Matteo Norbedo flexing his solid kit skills across his main duties while employing double kick speed variance. Properly keeping the record at a comfortable forty-one minutes also allows the listeners deeper engagement with the songs and smaller details at play – specific bass lines, dual keyboard/guitar passages, or the male/female vocal harmonies that should encourage audience participation when this band hits the stage.

The best power metal contains dazzling musicianship to take you away from the doldrums of everyday life – and that’s what you’ll get in spades from Elettra Storm through Powerlords. If albums like Ecliptica or Return to Heaven Denied mean anything to you, this could be a new gem to shine like a diamond for your collection.

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