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Derdian: New Era Part 3 - The Apocalypse

There is a substantial market for Italian rockers Derdian's brand of symphonic metal rock-opera, delivered at a blistering pace that only rarely drops below 200bpm, and I'm sure that all those who enjoyed the band's New Era Part One and Part Two War of the Gods will be eagerly snapping up this latest and final part of the trilogy, The Apocalypse. What an apt title for such muscly music!

This is a genre that is clearly loved by Italian musicians must be their operatic heritage I guess; it's not too long ago that I bought another of these energetic rock operas, Genius's A Rock Opera, also a trilogy. That was quite a different enterprise, consisting of its creator, Daniele Liverani, and a plethora of celebrity invited guest musicians which actually served to give the music quite a variety that is not similarly not delivered by Derdian, who are "just" a straight rock band. I've not heard the other parts of this trilogy but The Apocalypse rarely strays from its path of frantic machine-gun rhythm drumming overlayed with a wall of sound from the remainder of the band. There are a couple of occasions when this pattern is broken: "Black Rose" is nearer conventional rock than symphonic metal and benefits from the slightly reduced pace and a strong melody it's my favourite song on the album and "Forevermore", which is much slower and features guest female vocalist Lisy Stefanoni from Evenoire.

The band consist of Joe Caggianelli (vocals and "choirs"), Enrico Pistolesi (guitars, backing vocals), Marco Garau (keys), Marco Banfi (bass) and Salvatore Giordano (he of the mighty fast machine gun drums) - they all put in a fine performance, but ultimately the album, for me, suffers from a certain amount of repetitiveness. However, if you like fast, fast, fast and my pick of the fast bunch is "Burn" then you might well enjoy this greatly!

Track Listing:-
1) Preludio (1:45)
2) The Spell (5:58)
3) Battleplan (5:04)
4) Black Rose (4:25)
5) Her Spirit Will Fly Again (5:40)
6) Dreams (5:11)
7) Divine Embrace (5:22)
8) The Prophecy (4:53)
9) Burn (4:54)
10) Forevermore (6:18)
11) Revolt 6:20)
12) Presagio (2:32)
13) The Apocalypse (6:28)

Added: July 7th 2010
Reviewer: Alex Torres
Related Link: Band's Website
Hits: 2631
Language: english

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Derdian: New Era Part 3 - The Apocalypse
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2015-10-17 19:10:29
My Score:

As its title cleverly alludes to "The Apocalypse" is part 3 of the "New Era" saga from Italian power/speed - with more than a touch of symphonic - metal outfit Derdian. Set in the mythical land from which the band take their moniker, "Part 3" of this fantasy tale is full of heroes and villains and triumphs over evil. However musically we are deep into territory marked out with some of the more obvious aspects of the genres that this band desperately attempt to straddle. There's no doubt that Derdian can shred with the best of them, with blisteringly blazing blurts of guitar histrionics cascading from the darkened brooding skies in their land, while the ever keen keyboards crescendos add massive dollops of atmosphere. However everything is laid on so thick that the smooth, over slick layers of "Black Rose" and the speed metal-fest of "Her Spirit Will Fly Again" almost verge on parody. The latter's Broadway style gang backing vocals and overbearing keyboard display perfectly illustrating the quandary in which Derdian find themselves. The musicianship is of a stunningly good standard, however in the band's efforts to illustrate that point, every trick in the book is slung at almost every track on the album with a gay abandon. The end results are actually rather tiring and yes tiresome, as the well worn themes and motifs are thrashed, speeded, symphoniced and powered to within an inch of their lives.

Dip into "The Apocalypse" at any point and you'll be immediately impressed by the manically pounding drums, the clear soaring vocals, or the blur of fret board wizardry that greets you. However stick with it and the sheer lack of compromise and for the most part the dearth of light and shade, rather than adding to the intensity, completely blunts the attack. The worst offender comes in the shape of the keyboards, which feature on almost every second of this album, never resting, nor relaxing for one moment and while the standard of playing is unquestionable, the poor choice of sound and overkill approach becomes extremely irksome.

For true devotees of the more exuberant propensities of the power metal genre, I have no hesitation in recommending this album. However for those with more of a passing interest, or a more discerning palette, there are countless bands offering a more rewarding variety on these themes.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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