Violet Eternal – Reload the Violet (Rockshots Records)

Wednesday, 1st May 2024
Rating: 8.5 / 10

Continental divides no longer pose an issue when the desire to create music trumps everything. Violet Eternal consists of Japanese guitarist Jien Takahashi and Italian vocalist Ivan Giannini – the former part of acts like Majustice and Stormheart, the latter best known for his work in Derdian and Vision Divine. Recruiting session players from Italy, New Jersey, Texas and Japan to fill out other roles, this debut album Reload the Violet took shape – adding seasoned producer Dennis Ward as the proper man to mix/master the final product, making this melodic power metal material even more enticing to experience.

Jien as the main songwriter has a distinct love of mid-tempo to speed power riffs with the right oriental, neoclassical charge – influences especially including the work of classic Stratovarius, Angra, and current favorites Beast in Black. Immaculate phrasing positions his guitar action in thrilling ways – right away “The Echoes of Time” hits all the right syncopated virtuoso elements one wants in a speedy main opener. The follow-up “Now and Forever” showcases Ivan’s thoughtful vocal melodies – uplifting and resolute in the chorus, hitting that siren eagle notes for that extra spark next to some galloping riffs that add dynamic flavor. From there the versatility challenges the listener in a way most melodic power metal albums never venture into – “Ember Flame” presenting some forceful modern rock/stunted musical passages that mirror Ivan’s aggressive meets resplendent vocal delivery, while “Never Surrender” serves up an 80s-oriented hard rock framework, the main vocal harmonies commercialized to the hilt, allowing Jien a chance to execute a longer, shred-fueled break in heroic fashion. Listening to Ivan transform his melodies in Oriental phrasing within “Under the Violet Sun” makes sense, the layers of guitar harmonies sure to make this a future favorite for the Far Eastern audience.

While the drum programming isn’t blatantly obvious, Heaven’s Tragedy’s Ryuya performs on the final two tracks “Over the Sorrow” and “Sonata Black”, and you can tell the extra human touch in specific fills or transitions allows these songs to shine even brighter – the latter given a co-writing assist by ex-Stratovarius main man Timo Tolkki. In under 40 minutes, Violet Eternal with Reload the Violet create an intoxicating, familiar blend of melodic power metal with European/Japanese ethics on hand. Should be interesting to see if this will be an active outfit, as there’s something magical in these performances worth exploring for future records.

Violet Eternal official website

Violet Eternal on Facebook

[fbcomments width="580"]