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(60:00 / Galileo Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Res Amissa 3:04 2. The Last Experiment 6:49 3. Not Through Our Eyes 7:28 4. Evil Tree 8:35 5. 1026AdNet 3:57 6. Into the Black Hole 6:00 7. Proxima Centauri 8:04 8. The Invention of God 4:50 9. Solar Wind 8:29 10. Sea of Tranquility 2:39 LINEUP: Pino Tozzi - vocals Gianluca Ferro - guitar Mark Vikar - strings Davide Betelli - bass Sigfrido Percich – drums
Prolusion. HEART OF THE SUN, from Italy, came to existence in 2005. The members are experienced musicians, with a long history of other outfits and projects realized before forming this band. The self-titled Heart Of The Sun CD is their debut release.
Analysis. Prog metal is the name of the game for this recording, of a kind that has quite a few traits of originality to it. The band do belong to the Dream Theater school of the genre, but while some obvious signs of that band’s legacy can easily be found on this album, the musical production as such is not a derivative of that influence. A tight rhythm section provides an excellent foundation for the guitars and synths, which are the dominating instruments on all ten of the tunes here. The guitar sound is mostly dark, most often in the form of staccato riffs or drawn-out chords. Keyboards are used to enrich the soundscapes and often have a dark tinge to the sound as well, creating eerie moods and atmospheres resulting in themes that are haunting and at times sinister. The musical output, although of a dark variety, is not excessively metal-oriented in its expression. Extensive use of synthesizers adds symphonic elements to the textures and gives the songs a soft tinge even during their most aggressive parts. An additional trait in the compositions here is the use of sounds and noises, resulting in psychedelic-tinged moods when applied. Also worth mentioning is the development of the individual songs, as most of the tunes here are constantly evolving rather than exploring and repeating themes with variations added. As for the individual songs, most of them are high quality creations. Into the Black Hole and The Invention of God are brilliant tracks, and the rest of the material is musically pretty good as well. The only composition that fails to make an impact for me is Not Through Our Eyes, a good song as such, but the vocals came across as a tad on the weak side on this particular tune. And for me, the vocals are the weak point of this release. Most times the pleasant, melodic voice of Pino Tozzi fits the music perfectly, but sometimes the vocals suddenly seem to go slightly off key or come across as disharmonious in the overall soundscape (let alone Pino’s accented English). This does not happen often though, and most listeners may well not even notice this.
Conclusion. Overall this is a strong debut album by a talented band. Fans of Dream Theater's earlier creations should find this release of interest, and people enjoying melodic prog metal with a strong presence of synths should also add this one to their list of albums that warrant checking out.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: February 19, 2008
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