Mastercastle's fans sure haven't had to wait too long for another release, after all it was only last year that I reviewed their fourth album On Fire. Mastercastle did release their debut The Phoenix in 2009, so as we now have album number five those new recordings by the band have been a regular occurrence. The latest Enfer (De La Bibliothèque Nationale) is described by this Italian melodic power/neoclassical metal group as their "heaviest" album yet, which is a fair call though this isn't exactly the "heaviest" style of music.
Since the last album formidable and in demand drummer John Macaluso(Ark, Yngwie Malmsteen) is now gone due to his busy schedule, and his replacement is Francesco La Rosa (Extrema) who ably fills the spot, while Andrea De Paoli (Labyrinth, Vision Divine) has a guest appearance on the keyboards. With the rest of Mastercastle's line-up still in place, that is bass player Steve Vawamas and band founders guitarist Pier Gonella (Necrodeath) and vocalist Giorgia Gueglio.
Enfer (De La Bibliothèque Nationale) isn't the sort of metal album that is hard to connect with, and it's also one that has been given a very favorable production job. Once you listen to Enfer (De La Bibliothèque Nationale) it's little wonder that Mastercastle have promptly returned. With impressive material such as this they must have been extremely eager to see it released. Guitarist Pier Gonella is the dominating force on this album as he lays down an appealing selection of hooks and solos, while Giorgia Gueglio's vocals have so much appeal. Once again returning to familiar territory it's an enticing gathering of songs from Mastercastle as they vary the tempo, not fixated on swift double kick propelled numbers. That pumping upbeat melodious rocking metal of "The Castle" successfully introduces this new album, next the band lays down the irresistible groove of "Let Me Out" and Giorgia Gueglio's vocals soar in the chorus, as they do again on the very agreeable power metal number "Naked". The keyboards on "Straight To The Bone" add to its symphonic metal appeal. You would assume that with a song title like "Coming Bach" there would be a substantial classical inspiration and yes there is, "Coming Bach" is an engaging instrumental with a classical/modern spin that sadly passes by too quickly just like the keyboard solo.
Not straying far from what they have done so well previously Mastercastle are still in cracking form, there is a lot to like about Enfer (De La Bibliothèque Nationale).
1. The Castle
2. Let Me Out
6. Straight To The Bone
7. Throne Of Time
8. Behind The Veil
10. Coming Bach