Scrom - Renaissance


Year of Release: 2001
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 56:47:00

I'm not nearly as impressed with this CD as LarryD was, though I will grant that the band have their moments. The weakest element for me is the often strained vocals of Luciano Guagliardo. In tone he sounds like a Latin-accented D C Cooper, at least during the first five tracks of this CD. He is not, however, as strong a vocalist as Cooper, or even Cooper's replacement in Royal Hunt John West. It is Royal Hunt who came to mind often during this melodic power metal release. I do also find that the vocals needed to have been brought up just a bit in the mix, but since they aren't always up to par? maybe that's not really a bad thing.

The best element is the guitar work. Scrom have twin guitarists, so I'm not sure who's playing what when, but the solos here are often played with a great deal of passion, and in the very brief acoustic guitar interlude, "Storms Of Tension" (which hints neither at storms nor tension), with sensitivity. Secondly, the dual keyboards of Guagliardo and Fernando Balestra give the music an added richness - the album is opened by the classical piano intro to "A New Beginning," a section where shortly thereafter we hear a swell of synthetic strings come up behind it, giving you quite a different impression of what to expect. That leads into thundering, thudding power metal that carries us through the rest of the CD for the most part.

In addition to the core album of the first five tracks, the band's 1998 demo Estados Alterados is included, plus a live bonus track "Utopian Love (live)." The best track on the CD is "Youth," where not only do all the elements come together, including vocals, but there is also an excellent guitar solo. The other strong track is the instrumental "D.A.T.S.," part of the Demo '98 section, where again each element really seems to interact well the others, featuring often symphonic keys, another great guitar solo, and some good percussion. "La Ultima Cuidad" (The Last City) is an energetic piece and if this had been the first thing I heard, I'd be quite excited to see what else the band had up its sleeve. This one even has a mostly spot on vocal delivery. The mix does place the tinkling keys in an odd position, but I'm discovering it's just an aspect of the genre.

The live bonus track, "Utopian Love," will for a brief moment make you think they're about break into Brubeck's "Take Five." It is a bit jazzy. However, that impression is quickly changed by the Dream Theater like passages that follow. This doesn't demonstrate that Scrom had their live act down yet, as they feel a very loose, and the weakness of the vocals is laid very bare. It is a poor and spotty live recording, to boot ? but that happens to even the "top drawer" bands. The energy and passion is there, however.

"Reality Over Me" is the four part suite that concludes the album proper. The suite has, like the album as a whole, some has some nice moments and some nice performances - the highly melodic "Part IV: The Conclusion" in particular. If the whole album had this quality, this might be more impressive. "Estados Alterados" (Altered States) is mostly a bashing, aggressive power metal piece that segues into a more pastoral, piano lead passage (this being another highlight).

I was underwhelmed by Renaissance. Crisper production might have made some of the tracks "pop" a little more. I'll grant, though, that there is some promise in the band. A check of their website says they are working on new material for a new album due mid-2003 and say it will be in a "'Rock progressive - Contemporary Tango' fusion style."


Tracklisting:
A New Beginning (7:45) / Youth (5:09) / Storm Of Tension (0:49) / The Other Me (5:07) / Reality Over Me: I. The Confession - II. Distortion Of Feelings - III. Sentimental Whirl - IV. The Conclusion (9:52) / Bonus tracks: D.A.T.S (2:42) / Estados Alterados (5:01) / Mundo Salvaje (6:41) / La Ultima Ciudad (7:00) / Utopian love (En Vivo) (7:01)

Musicians:
Agustin Speroni - drums
Martin Moguillansky - guitars, backing vocals
Luciano Guagliardo - lead & backing vocals, bass, keyboards
Adrian Aguirre - guitars
Fernando Balestra - keyboards, backing vocals

Guests:

Sergio Natali - acoustic guitar (2, 5)
Eugenio Carra - trumpets (4)

Discography:
Estados Alterados (Altered States) (ep) (1998)
Nuevos Guerreros II (comp.) (1999)
Renaissance (2001)
Dreamer (tba?)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin IT

Added: April 20th 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Score:
Artist website: www.scromprogressive.com.ar
Hits: 589
Language: english

  

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