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Mistheria: Dragon Fire

Where will you find the following talented line-up all on the one recording? Dragon Fire is where, comprising of vocalist's John West (Who appears on the most tracks), Mark Boals, Rob Rock, Titta Tani and Lance King, next to the guitarist's where you will find George Bellas, Neil Zaza , Roger Staffelbach and Emir Hot. Also you do need a drummer who isn't afraid of technical music so the more than capable John Macaluso was the ideal choice, and finally a bass player and Alberto Rigoni was called upon to complete this prominent line-up.

They are all together showing off their skills on this the new neo-classical/progressive metal CD by the Italian artist called Mistheria. Mistheria plays keyboards, piano and keytar, and he shows on Dragon Fire that he is also a skilled musician. So with such a line-up your expectations for this new CD are naturally high given their past works, and they don't disappoint.

Options are something Mistheria must have had plenty of with so much talent and experience at his disposal, placing each contributor where they are best suited to his material. The calls for drummer John Macaluso to be taken as serious contender for Mike Portnoy's former role in Dream Theater are spot on, as once again John shows what a versatile talent he is on Dragon Fire. Besides impressive vocals Dragon Fire features flashy animated guitars and keyboards as one would anticipate to hear on such a recording.

Dragon Fire is a CD for the fans of metal acts like Artension, Ring Of Fire, Yngwie J Malmsteen and the like, plus there is enough variety to be found so the album doesn't get too monotonous which can be a problem with some neo-classical style releases.

Track list:
1. Dragon Fire.
2. Lies & Deception.
3. Killing The Pain.
4. Two Of Us.
5. Metal Opera pt.1: A.D.1982
6. Metal Opera pt.2: Eye Of The Storm.
7. Now It's Never.
8. Fire & Flames.
9. Prelude 18 In F min.
10. Chopin Fantasy.
11. The Power Of One.
12. The Beast.
13. A Beautiful Dream.

Added: February 26th 2011
Reviewer: Scott Jessup
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 2810
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Mistheria: Dragon Fire
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-02-26 13:55:19
My Score:

Mistheria is an Italian keyboard player with quite an impressive list of collaborations, having played on albums by Tribe Of Gypsies, Winterlong, Rob Rock and Bruce Dickinson. Therefore it is not surprising that this classically trained ivory tinkler has attracted an impressive cast of guest stars on this album, with John West (Royal Hunt/Artension), Rob Rock (Impellitteri/solo), Mark Boals (Yngwie J Malmsteen), Lance King (Balance Of Power) and Titta Tani (Astra/DGM) all featuring on vocals! West takes on the majority of the work, featuring on six of the thirteen tracks on Mistheria's third solo album and second metal release (the other solo album is a piano only effort) and his voice is a perfect fit for the classically inspired symphonic, progressive metal that is served up on Dragon Fire. Just listen to the joyously catchy, yet pummellingly powerful "Killing The Pain" to hear how well vocalist and keyboard maestro team up and when the guitar backing comes from players with the talent of George Bellas (Mogg-Way among many others), Neil Zaza (solo/Nelson), Roger Staffelbach (Artension/Vitalij Kuprij) and Emir Hot (Neon Knights/Emir Hot), then it would be fair to suggest that the musicianship never once comes into question on this disc.

Rock only features on one song, but his in your face, yet melodic delivery on "Lies And Deception" is breath taking, while Boals gets his chance to impress on "Metal Opera pt.2: Eye Of The Storm" and boy does he take it in style. As ever he makes every performance sound like his life depends on it and to say he gives this song everything he's got, would be an understatement! King is given the song "Two Of Us" to showcase his rich, full tones, but in truth of all the vocalists his is the hardest task, with the overly bombastic music dominating him at almost every turn. Mistheria himself really pulls out all the stops on this track, but as happens in a couple of other places on this album, the classical piano interlude in the middle of the eight minute song feels more shoe-horned in to impress, rather than to truly enhance the song. There's no doubt that Mistheria has the touch, grace and ability to play this style, but it really doesn't add much to the album at all and rather stints it in places.

Tani sings on three songs, the first of which is the album opening title track where he duets with West to great effect, while he almost steals the show on the overtly angular prog metal of "Fire And Flames", where his Dio-like style punches through the kick drum mayhem and intricate time changes. Unfortunately Tani's other contribution is the piano and voice "A Beautiful Dream", which closes the album on a real low point. The piano music is beautiful, if somewhat uninspired but Tani sounds exposed as he struggles to come over as completely convincing in these surroundings. It is a shame the album ends on such a downer, as up to this point there are very few missed steps at all.

Special mention should also go to bassist Alberto Rigoni (Twinspirits) and drummer John Macaluso (TNT/Starbreaker/Ark) who both play starring roles throughout the album. Mistheria is an excellent songwriter and wildly talented keyboard player and Dragon Fire has some superb songs and vocal and guitar performances and will be hugely enjoyed by anyone who's collection is brimming with symphonic, neo-classic progressive metal.

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