Evil Wings - Colors Of The New World

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Adrenaline
Catalog Number: ADR9902
Format: CD
Total Time: 57:39:00

Evil Wings, who formed in 1989, are billed on their website as "one of the most popular Italian prog-metal bands." Based on this disk, Colors Of The New World. I can easily see why. Even though they borrow pages from others' books, they only keep a few "words" here and there.

Now, I had heard of Evil Wings before this disk arrived on my doorstep, courtesy of Adrenaline records, but I hadn't heard them. I have to tell you that my impression was that they were a dark metal band. I mean, wouldn't you think that with a name like Evil Wings? Although they have metal tendencies, I think they really lie somewhere between AOR and metal...which is a good thing. They aren't your typical chugga-chugga metal band; aren't plagued by the "bad singer" syndrome that is often, stereotypically, thought of Italian bands; and have a sound and style that is quite engaging and catchy. I enjoyed listening to this album and would listen to it again. Even if the subject matter is dark, the arrangements and tone colours aren't which means this isn't a depressing listen. The press info notes that this is their most melodic release to date - it's their third full length.

There are comparisons to be made with, say, Dream Theater, Queensryche, etc., with a slight psychedelic feel. Much more so QR than DT. Actually, and perhaps because I just reviewed it, I'm also brought to mind of Ian Parry's Consortium Project. Vocalist/guitarist Franco Giaffreda sounds at times like Steve Hogarth of Marillion, Patrick Simmons of the Doobie Brothers, Glenn Hughes, and the above mentioned Ian Parry. So no, there aren't vocal gymnastics like LaBrie here. You can add a dash of Pink Floyd to that mix as there are what sounds like samples from "Us And Them" in the mix of "Starship," beneath the slide steel guitar and swirly keys. "Big Old Roundabout" doesn't sound a bit like Yes, but quite a bit like a Glenn Hughes blues-rocker, with a touch of the progressive.

"The Secret" is the epic 18 minute track, which moves through many different moods - the first being a piano and vocals for the first minute and a half, then quickly shifting into a heavy rock motif. Here you know why they are considered progressive metal...percussion drives the section forward. This slowly segues into a tinklely piano and keys interlude. The house on the hill is somewhat an iconographic image. You can imagine the ancient, gray structure standing isolated on the craggy cliffside, heavy gray clouds overhead...dark and ominous. This is the same imagery that begins "The Secret"... this house is a house of mirrors. In Ayreon-like fashion, this is the final step, the final test on a quest. Of course the subtext is someone conflicted, as we get a conversation between the self, personified by good and evil - the angel and the devil. The argument isn't resolved, the self doesn't come to any conclusions...and thus is trapped in a repeating nightmare - represented by the mirror. Oh, that's a surface reading, of course, the gist. This is more than just a long piece of music...it is more a short piece of theater...as it's drawn vividly enough that you can almost see the central character being turned and twisted this way and that as the two sides speak to him...

"The Stageline" is a short "ditty"... sort of that vaudevillian-style thing that Queen did on A Night At The Opera. "Sell My Soul (Damnation)" is more straight ahead rock...radio friendly, though I don't mean that as a bad thing. "20th Of May" is an acoustic based ballad - guitar, piano, percussion and vocals.

Colors Of The New World (4:29) / Flowers (3:39) / Away (2:48) / Searchin' (8:08) / Starship (4:12) / Big Old Roundabout (4:16) / The Secret (18:01) / The Stageline (1:49) / Sell My Soul (Damnation) (2:46) / 20th Of May (3:07) / Colors Of The New World (revisited) (5:44)

Franco Giaffreda - lead and backing vocals, guitars
Giovanni Bellosi - six string bass
Walter Rivolta - drums and percussion
Joseph Ierace - piano, keyboards and synths
Maggie Giaffreda - backing vocals (5, 7)

Evil Wings (1994)
Brightleaf (1996)
Colors Of The New World (1999)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin IT

Added: October 1st 2000
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.enet.it/hpg/ew/
Hits: 1222
Language: english


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