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MasterCastle – Wine of Heaven

 

MasterCastle – Wine of Heaven

Review written by: Samantha Lamb

Mastercastle is an Italian Heavy Metal band with traditional and neo-classical influences founded by guitarist Pier Gonella (Necrodeath/ex-Labyrinth) and vocalist Giorgia Gueglio. The line-up is completed by bassist Steve Vawamas and drummer Alessio Spallarossa (Sadist).

After having released 5 albums and toured incessantly in support of them, Mastercastle are ready to come back with their new effort ‘Wine Of Heaven’. Produced by Pier Gonella at MusicArt Studios, the band composed and recorded a bunch of songs directly in the studio with no pre-production, with the intention of keeping intact the spontaneity of the 9 chosen ones. They were able to come up with very innovative sounds by using low tuned instruments and progressive keyboards, as well as an intriguing lyrical concept centered around wine as our spirit and lifeblood.

Wine of Heaven is due to be released on 19th May 2017 by Scarlett Records.

If you like heavy influenced, guitar centred progressive rock with a great female vocalist then this is worth a listen.

 

Drink of me is the first track and has a lot going on. Giorgia’s vocals are really pure and are underpinned with bass and drums that add texture as well as a full melody. There are riffs and licks a plenty as the track soars on. It has an almost 80’s pop feel in places with nods to almost hallucinogenic vibe.

Space of variations is a more energetic start, with a spacy feel. This track feels like a battle between the guitars and drums with its deep, chugging riffs and thundering drumming.

Wine of heaven is riff heavy from the start with chugging bass line that provides distortion and interest. The track grinds down and then comes back in with the vocals. This track has a heavier feel with rattling drums, aggressive bass lines. The darkly screaming riffs make this have a sense of foreboding for me.

Hot as blood is a more classic style of rock with a great banging tune that has a head nodding, toe taping vibe. It reminded me slightly of Bonnie Tyler in vocal feel. There are still the multiple changes in tempo and texture, with the transcendental, flamboyant riffs that you will have come to expect from Mastercastle.

An almost electro vibe kicks off Shine on Me but stick with the track and the rising riffs underpinned with technical bass lines soon come in. There are plenty of twiddly bits in this track, combining with energetic drumming. The vocals undergo a distortion that for me doesn’t really work but in places where it is not used you get the full vocal range of Giorgia.

Black Tree’s Heart is more of a ballad with shimmering cymbals and a slower, more percussive guitar sound, before the lush, rich riffs burst in and give this an 80’s power ballad feel. There is a great melody being played out between the guitars and drums with the bass adding tone and highlighting the richness.

Enlightenment by way of contrast has snarling, growling guitars and bass line from the start with staccato drumming. This is a punchy sound that draws you in, the vocals are more robust and really work well with the melee that is going on around. Vibrant riffs abound and for me this is the stand out track of the album.

Castle in the Sky is instrumental which gives the band a chance to show off all of the many talents that they have. This is a more prog heavy track as the guitars swoop and soar, as all of the instruments begin to combine together with great bass lines, rolling drum burst and eloquent riffs.

The final track on this album is Making Love and has a feel of Fleetwood Mac to me, this is fine rock classic, with very strong vocals, loads of interest from the drums and bass and, of course, the colourful riffs and licks that make this band who they are.

This is an album jam packed with solid performances and some intriguing tracks. The vocals feel right for the majority of the tracks, although my preference is for the slightly harder, rockier ones.

Review written by: Samantha Lamb

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