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Mastercastle: Dangerous Diamonds

Mastercastle is an Italian power metal-oriented band, and this fact might make some people cringe at the prospect of load upon loaf of cheese. Well, fear not, because Mastercastle's Dangerous Diamonds is happily free of cheesiness, as the main focus is on strong guitar riffs and powerful vocals.

Stylistically, Mastercastle draw both on power metal and on more traditional heavy metal as well as more melodic metal/hard rock, which means that you can expect the big and catchy chorus-lines that are so characteristic of power metal, but Mastecastle generally operate with slower tempos than typical Euro-power metal and pretty much avoid the uptempo double bass drum patterns of Euro-power metal, instead drawing on classic metal riffs, groovy riffs, and melodic hard rock riffs, and this actually works incredibly well in generating a melodic, broadly appealing, yet hard rocking, album.

Vocalist Giorgia Gueglio has a very clear and clean voice, but her singing is also very powerful and she can really belt out some catchy vocal lines, and she is just the type of female vocalist that I appreciate in metal music. In general, the musicianship is very high, and not only are the riffs strong and hard rocking, the quitar soloes are blazing and very technical and impressive and very enjoyable to listen to.

Dangerous Diamonds is a very well put together melodic metal album which should appeal to fans of melodic hard rock, classic metal and power metal alike... oh, and fans of awesome guitar playing

Track listing
1. Another Flower
2. Alone
3. Time 4 Lovers
4. Icy Moon
5. Au Premiere Coup
6. Dangerous Diamonds
7. Take Off
8. Blue Diamond
9. Lovin' Me
10. Sixth Sun
11. Bitter & Sweet

Added: January 5th 2012
Reviewer: Kim Jensen
Related Link: Mastercastle @ MySpace
Hits: 3017
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Mastercastle: Dangerous Diamonds
Posted by Jeff B, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-01-05 15:23:41
My Score:

Mastercastle is a female-fronted Italian power metal act, and Dangerous Diamonds is their third full-length studio album. Though most folks would be inclined to think of music on the more symphonic and bombastic side when we're talking about power metal from Italy, Mastercastle instead sports a sound that relies much more on traditional heavy metal and melodic hard rock than your average European power metal outfit. The vocals from Giorgia Gueglio are also much more powerful than you may expect, and her impressive pipes are always used as an integral part of the music rather than a dominant force that distracts from the rest of the instrumentation. Though these two likely misconceptions about Mastercastle are false, Dangerous Diamonds is a still a fairly bland release that lacks a unique identity of its own. There is plenty of excellent guitar playing and solid riffs to grab the attention of most melodic heavy metal fans, but Mastercastle will need to offer a little bit more until I'm truly impressed.

The first thing that will probably grab the attention of most listeners is the spectacular fretwork of Pier Gonella - he's a truly gifted guitarist, and in addition to plenty of meaty riffs and blinding leads, he also has enough melodic sensibilities in his playing to set him apart from your average shred guitarist. The rest of the musicians are equally skilled, and if you're looking for solid musicianship on a melodic heavy metal album, Dangerous Diamonds is definitely a good place to turn. Unfortunately, I'm not quite as impressed by the compositions as I am by the delivery, and the majority of Dangerous Diamonds strikes me as "melodic heavy metal-by-numbers" more than anything else. Though there are plenty of solid riffs and great solos, Mastercastle makes little effort to really stand out from the crowd. Dangerous Diamonds delivers plenty of goods, but it sounds too unadventurous and "safe" to really grab my attention.

With that said, Mastercastle still dishes out enough melodic hooks, memorable choruses, and excellent guitar solos to satisfy most fans of melodic heavy metal. Though Dangerous Diamonds lacks enough memorability to leave a truly lasting impression on the listener, it's a highly professional release from nearly every aspect. I'd say 3 stars are deserved in this case. Mastercastle will need to develop a more unique sound if they want to stand out in the crowded melodic metal market, but for what it is, Dangerous Diamonds is a competent slice of modern metal.

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