LIONE CONTI – Lione Conti

To be totally honest, this Lione/Conti project really isn’t one I am all that rapturous about. Lead singer #1, Fabio Lione, is the frontman of acts like the original Rhapsody, the continuation Rhapsody Of Fire and Eternal Idol, singer # 2 Alessandro Conti is the frontman of Trick Or Treat and Luca Turilli’s version of Rhapsody, which means they’re both part of the Italian power metal scene and power metal, the European version, is a genre I’m not that thrilled with, to put things mildly. Also, this album was written and produced by one Simone Mularoni of DGM, another Italian act albeit more in the progressive side of power metal. This project seems highly influenced by another Frontiers project, the one between singers Jorn Lande and Russell Allen, where you but together two high-profile lead singers with an outside song-writer and producer and hope for a dynamic and forceful outcome. Typical power metal singers have never been my bag but that these two really can sing is beyond any discussion and since this is a new project, I did find myself interested so it was with a clear and open mind I gave this album a few spins to see where it would lead.

Opener “Ascension” is the album’s leading single and I think it’s the right choice. The tune sounds like a less prog and more metal Fates Warning, a melodic metal track with a really strong melody and a chorus that etches itself to the brain no matter if you like it or not. It’s comes with a good speed and feels like a good live track. I find the tune surprisingly strong and I immediately get my hopes up. The following track “Outcome” is a ballsy, muscular and heavy melodic metal number. Its verses are in a faster pace but it slows down during the chorus which is very catchy. However, the verses are pretty forgettable but the chorus stays on. Single #2 “You’re Falling” is big, pompous and bombastic  – and quite heavy. The tune comes in mid-pace and is a bit lighter than the two previous ones – and even a bit symphonic at times. This song also sports a really catchy chorus but the verses are a Queensrÿche “The Mission” rip-off.

“Someone Else” is a ballad that starts out quite stripped and atmospheric with only piano and vocals but soon heavies up and turns into a heavy metal power ballad. The tune is right up my alley when it comes to ballads and I hold the song the best so far. Then it is power metal time for real. “Misbeliever” is a fast, blasting track which leaves us with no time to breathe. All should be hunky dory by that but to my ears this tune sounds like nothing more than a second-rate Helloween tune and I forgot it before it had ended. Skip button alert! And the fast pace continues with “Destruction Show”, a kicking power metal tune that contains some very melodic vocal arrangements. The refrain is ok at best and I find the song mediocre and fast forgotten. And on that route “Glories” comes along – fast, high-energetic and metal fueled. It is also a Helloween clone. It’s not crap, but it’s not that great either.

The tempo slows down with “Truth”, a big, pompous, melodic and quite poppy power metal stomper. It brings on some symphonic moments and orchestration. However, the orchestration sounds prominently synthesized and the whole tune kind of falls on the wayside here. To me, it’s just forgettable. “Gravity” starts out with some really heavy riffing, very metal and brings the hope up for a killer tune. However, when the song kicks off for real it’s just another regular power metal track with a sing-along chorus. Yes, I find the chorus very catchy and I even start singing along to it but in the end I only find the song ok. Closing track “Crosswinds” brings on some groovy metal with razor-sharp riffs. The song do lean towards power metal but to me it kinda works anyway. It’s not a great song but I do like it and it sure is a step up from the last few songs here.

This album was a roller-coaster for me. I was really surprised just how good I found the first couple of songs and they brought my hope up for a real good album from the guys only to be brought down to Earth pretty quickly again. There might be people who will beg to differ about this, but I find this album a more power metal influenced heavy metal album than they other way around. There’s plenty of catchy melodies and the production is big, bombastic, pompous and even a bit overblown so for fans of this kind of music this album might be worth the green but I only found a few grains of gold on it. The two singers are, of course, really good at what they do even though their English is very broken but the thing is, I have a problem telling them apart. Maybe it’s just the fact that I haven’t listened to them enough – or do they actually sound very alike? You tell me. As a whole, the album is a bit better than I thought it would be but it’s not good enough.

4/10

Tracklist:

1. Ascension
2. Outcome
3. You’re Falling
4. Somebody Else
5. Misbeliever
6. Destruction Show
7. Glories
8. Truth
9. Gravity
10. Crosswinds

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