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Civilization One: Revolution Rising

Civilization One is a new band formed by former Avalon and Firewind singer Chity Somapala and some of melodic metal's finest representatives from various parts of the world. Secret Sphere's Aldo Lanobile on guitars and Luca Cartesegna on drums along with bassist Pierre-Emmanuel Pelisson of Heavenly came into the picture to form the backbone of the band. Finally, Brazil-born Jesper Stotz was recruited to handle the keyboard playing duties, and the lineup was complete. Recorded in France, Italy, and Germany, the final product was mixed and mastered by noted producer Markus Teske, who also collaborated with Somapala on the melodic prog metal project Red Circuit.

Revolution Rising is an accomplished debut which will no doubt please fans of melodic metal which also moves into both progressive and power metal territory. Unlike most generic, predictable albums out there, this record offers a good dose of diversity. Songs like "Life of Agony" and "The Lost Souls" are prime examples of the melodic metal genre, boasting excellent multiple vocal harmonies and blending them with crunch-filled, rapid-fire guitar fury. Stoltz' keyboard mastery evokes Teske's style on the Red Circuit album (which ranks among Somapala's finest in his career) with lofty arrangements filled with quirky solos. The band turns into a 2007 version of 80's Helloween meets Angels Cry-period Angra on the Euro power metal staple "Legends of the Past (Carry On)", where Chity Somapala gets to demonstrate his German-accented singing style amidst dominant double bass drumming and fast guitar riffery.

We get to hear some awesome sitar playing on the one-minute opener "Celestial Sunrise", which is somewhat reminiscent of Avalon's Eurasia, but little of it is developed on the following pieces, except for maybe "Sacred", where you can hear those "Sri Lankan vocal melodies" echoing under the central instruments. There are also heavier tracks on the CD, two of which contain some brutal death metal back-ups: "16" is carried by fierce riffing and aggressive vocals, but it also breaks down into a cool acoustic passage prior to Lanobile's searing guitar solo. "Welcome to Paradise", though not quite as heavy, also sees the band experimenting with growled harmonies with great results.

"Dream On" is the only ballad-style song on the CD, made up of wonderful strings and pianos with some bluesy guitar licks. It perfectly highlights the emotive voice of Chity Somapala and leaves me baffled as to why he is not listed among metal's finest singers. Every time I hear him sing, be it with Firewind, Avalon, Red Circuit, Faro, or whatever, I can't help but think that he, in terms of smoothness and technicality, is right up there with the likes of Roy Khan, Russel Allen, and Jorn Lande, but has yet to receive the acclaims he so well deserves. Any band seeking a decent singer would be wise to contact and collaborate with him. The album closes with "Time Will Tell", which also features some female vocals, but is one of the fastest tracks on the album, soaring with huge harmonies and catchy guitar melodies.

Highly recommended to melodic metal fans who seek excellent vocals and some diversity in their music.

Track Listing

  1. Celestial Sunrise
  2. Life of Agony
  3. Legends of the Past (Carry On)
  4. The Lost Souls
  5. 16
  6. Sacred
  7. Welcome to Paradise
  8. Wishing Well
  9. Dream On
  10. Time Will Tell

Added: May 26th 2007
Reviewer: Murat Batmaz
Related Link: Civilization One website
Hits: 2975
Language: english

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