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Final Solution: Through The Looking Glass

Starting out as a covers band featuring songs by the likes of Soilwork, Arch Enemy, At The Gates and In Flames, Italy's Final Solution set about recording a debut album in 2015 full of 'pure death metal'. At the twelfth hour the band's then vocalist jumped ship, to be replaced by Mario Manenti, this last minute change not only shelving their debut for over a year, but bravely heralding in a step-change in the attack of Final Solution. Manenti's broader vocal attack found the band moving things into a more melodic direction and leaving their first album, Through The Looking Glass, as a technical melodic death metal offering. It's a groove they fit into easily, the guitar work of Fabio Pedrali and Alessandro Martinelli combining keenly to build an extremely believable wall of riffology. Bassist Gabriele Savoldi handles his end of the bargain with aplomb, while drummer Gianluca Borlotti is an absolute powerhouse behind the kit, adding the brutal barrage required to really drive this sound home.

Manenti is a talented vocalist, his aggressively spat outbursts proving a match for anyone, although when he decides to take the more melodic route and keep his vocal offerings clean, things are seldom quite so convincing. With a faint and forgivable accent, it's the frailty in some of the longer held notes and wavering high end that makes his contribution to the otherwise impressive "Demon Inside" fall ever so slightly wide of the mark. And yet when he's operating in a more full on, lower register, as he does with real skill on "Empty Walls", he proves a real asset in this band's attack.

Running at around the 35 minute mark, Through The Looking Glass is a shorter blast than you might expect, however, even with this brevity, Final Solution decide to add two scene setting pieces, "(R)Evolution" prefacing "Dogs Of War" with a classical interlude that almost reminds of an Ennio Morricone Spaghetti Western soundtrack, setting up the full force bark of "Dogs..." in some style. The other atmospheric introduction (both of which are performed by Simone Solla of Embryo), "Awakening", is a more expected symphonic album opener. Although with percussive gunfire mixed in alongside choral voices and strings, it does begin proceedings well; the album highlight "Sick Of You" not wasting that early momentum as it builds one of this band's most scathing smacks of anger.

As is so often the case in the more extreme end of the market, finding much new or invigoratingly different in what Final Solution specialise in is a hard task. However taken purely on face value, Through The Looking Glass may not find this Italian band entering boldly into a magical new land, but it does create a fine, promising melodic metal explosion.

Track Listing
1. Awakening
2. Sick Of You
3. Demon Inside
4. Empty Walls
5. The Show Is On
6. (R)Evolution
7. Dogs Of War
8. Grey

Added: August 5th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Through The Looking Glass at CD Baby
Hits: 1484
Language: english

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