Raining Nails – Human Deeds (Rockshots Records)Friday, 3rd November 2023
A new Italian act featuring members with experience in other bands like Eternal Silence, Oracle Sun, Sound Storm, and Highlord, Raining Nails is a quartet that displays a melodic form of power/symphonic-influenced heavy metal on their debut album Human Deeds. Seeking out assistance on eight of the ten tracks lyrically through ex-Temperance singer Alessia Scolletti (the other two handled from members in the band), the record has an energetic, bouncy presence that is very focused and catchy, especially for those that want a more rockin’ version of a style that resembles acts like Battle Beast, Firewind, or Powerwolf.
The guitar work of Giacomo Paradiso takes more of a front seat presence, allowing the main musical hooks to cement themselves in an active, heavier way than most acts in this framework. Sure, there are keyboard segments that filter in from time to time, but they never overpower the crunchy riffs and blistering lead breaks for engaging tracks like “Every Angel Has Its Demon” or highway ready “Anthem” (the latter featuring killer multi-part vocal harmonies from vocalist Marika Vanni). Older 80’s influences creep into specific ways songs unfold, building momentum in alluring, dynamic aspects where certain melodies rise to the heavens or musical components transition dramatically – “Queen of Thorns” a perfect example where midway through the song goes from metal to acoustic/classical/folk textures before kicking into gear again, a la older Savatage. Beyond the expected mid-tempo or standard metal fare, Raining Nails also showcases a tender power ballad side through “Close to You”, where Marika’s smooth register that contains gothic/operatic aspects truly gets the spotlight, the organ/acoustic foundation as well as restrained rhythm section parts assuring a pleasant outcome. Never forgetting the driving power chords that made 80’s hard rock/metal so quintessential, “Refuge” possesses a bit of that early Dokken/Skid Row street cred in its main parts, the symphonic/galloping keyboards allowing Giacomo to service the song in a circular, bluesy manner.
Given the appeal for commercial-oriented melodic heavy metal these days, there will be a place for Raining Nails in that mix based on the diversity, experience, and understanding of the key components at play through Human Deeds. While not exactly breaking the mold, they certainly have the talent and songwriting skills to go places.