Reviewed by Dylan Raine
Title: The X Experiment
Label: My Kingdom Music
Style: Progressive Power Metal
Release Date: December 2nd, 2013
1. It’s Beginning
2. The End Of The World
3. Seek In The Ice
4. The X Experiment
6. My Destiny
7. The Others
8. Follow Your Star
9. Last Solution
Entering DRAGONHAMMER‘s fourth album to date, and after a nine year gap the album can very easily be defined a mix of Power, Epic and Progressive Metal, both traditionally and stylistically used time and time again by varying bands such as Eldritch, Eluveitie, Dream Theatre, Silent Force and perhaps some Luca Turilli (with or without Rhapsody Of Fire).
‘The X Experiment’ is based on a futuristic concept, a modern fantastic story set in a post-nuclear world where the chaos reigns.
The album features quite possibly some of the greatest double kick beats, thunderous riffings alongside beautifully crafted soloing and magical synths. This album is not only technically wonderful but harmonically pleasing throughout.
The combination of high power vocal harmonies really does keep the listener hooked and interested. With tracks such as ‘Seek In The Ice’, ‘Escape’, and the exceptional ‘My Destiny’ with “THAT” solo blew my head off (which I’m still desperately attempting to repair with the aid of super glue). The use of sweeping delays, effects and melodic phrasing throughout really shows how far DRAGONHAMMER have come since their 2004 release “TIME FOR EXPIATION”.
Occasionally you do find the odd harmony fall out of place like in ‘The Others’ but as it is very small and not really noticeable or annoying it can quite easily be smiled at and ignored. My favourite track so far, well, ALL of them are brilliant, but I really adore ‘Follow Your Star’ with the magical hypnotic use of gentle synths and enough beauty throughout to send you drifting off to a place somewhere you can only dream of. Let us not forget the explosive others which are unrelenting throughout the album though.
I would recommend this album to all that enjoy great, solid Power Metal, Heavy atypical synths and riffs, the most exciting soloing from both Keyboards and Guitars, and fully expressive technical layouts.
Very special guests are: Francesco Fareri (Jeff Loomis, Vitalij Kuprij, Virtual Mind) solo in “My Destiny”, Roberto Tiranti (Labyrinth, A.P.D., Mangala Vallis, Ken Hensley’s Live Fire), Titta Tani (Ashent, Phoenix Rising, Takayoshi Ohmura, ex Dgm, drummer for Goblin), drummer David Folchitto (Stormlord, Screaming Banshee, Prophilax) who recorded the drums for the whole album.
Max Aguzzi – Guitars, Vocals
Gae Amodio – Bass Guitar
Giuseppe De Paolo – Lead Guitar
Giulio Cattivera – Keyboards