Labÿrinth - Labÿrinth

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Century Media
Catalog Number: 8140-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 50:03:00

Labÿrinth have enjoyed plenty of international success since the beginning days back in 1991. This was about the time when the Italian metal scene began to make a mark in the melodic metal section and the fallout of bandwagon jumping copycat bands has been felt throughout the entire Italian metal scene since.

The latest album is self-titled, something a band usually leaves to their debut release, but as Labyrinth have been cruising the metal circuit for more than a decade, this could be seen as the mark of a new beginning. Let's see, what is new? First, a new record deal has been struck with the very capable crew at Century Media. Second, for the first time in Labÿrinth's history, we can read the real names of the band members listed on the disc, not just their made up English aliases. While I am at the band members, some further adjustments have been made. Olaf Thorsen has parted ways with the band; a very significant move for the band, as Olaf was one of the founding members and song writers. With the departure of Olaf Thorsen (still with Vision Divine), the epic symphonic elements from the Sons Of Thunder days have completely disappeared and the centre of attention is now focused on the guitars, which are heavy and crunchy, accompanied by fast double kick rhythms. At times the drum beats fashion typical thrash metal slamming but the rest of the music stays in the more straight speed metal region with an ever present catchy melody or riff running through the choruses to keep people interested. The entire album is much heavier and more aggressive then its predecessors, but partially this is due to the almost non-existant keyboards in the heavier songs, which only come to the fore during dueling solos and as samplers to decorate the feel of various songs. Of course, beautiful clean piano melodies have been deployed in the slower numbers along with acoustic guitars, but otherwise the kiddie melodies and symphonic elements have disappeared. Musically speaking, this is a great move as it finally separates Labyrinth from the rest of the ever-regurgitating Italian melodic metal scene.

Vocalist Roberto Tiranti (previously known as Rob Tyrant) sings his soul out on most songs and proves to be a brilliant singer when it comes to conveying emotion, but he also reaches his limitations on a couple of the heavier, faster songs. But this is only marginally noticeable and he makes up for this by shining to the fullest when it comes to the slower ballads or melodic songs which are simply a treat.

I have been a fan of Labÿrinth's music over the years and the progression in this new direction is a very welcome move, as Labyrinth was one of the bands which was there from the first hour but had slowly lost ground to the clone parade; not anymore...

[This review originally appeared July 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

The Prophet (4:46) / Livin' In A Maze (4:37) / This World (4:55) / Just Soldier (Stay Down) (5:26) / Neverending Rest (4:54) / Terzinato (5:49) / Slave To The Night (6:06) / Synthetic Paradise (5:48) / Hand In Hand (4:26) / When I Fly Far (5:16)

Roberto Tiranti - vocals
Andrea Cantarelli - guitars
Cristiano Bertocchi - bass
Andrea De Paoli - keyboards
Mattia Stancioiu - drums

Piece Of Time (1995)
No Limits (1996)
Return To Heaven Denied (1998)
Timeless Crime (1999)
Labyrinth (2003)
Freeman (2005)
Six Days To Nowhere (2007)
Return To Heaven Denied Pt. II - "A Midnight Autumn's Dream" (2010)
As Time Goes By... (2011)
Architecture Of A God (2017)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin IT

Added: January 1st 2005
Reviewer: Peter Fundeis
Artist website:
Hits: 993
Language: english


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