The promise of symphonic power metal is enough to send me furiously clicking away and diving to unplug my computer. As much as I am a sucker for a keen keyboard (or synth) run it is a rare moment that I enjoy it outside of choice integration. Having not been tuned into the high-speed internet crowd until the early millennium I’d really no idea how rabid and loyal fans of progressive power metal were. I respect that obvious passion and I feel it in Leonardo Gatti‘s Preludio Ancestral. Formed in 2005 just west of Buenos Aires, Argentina in San Miguel this symphonic power metal troupe is masterminded by Gatti‘s deft hand as a guitarist as well as producer for most of their releases. ‘Oblivion’ is a commendable iteration on his Rhapsody and Stratovarious influenced journey.
Despite having limitless patience for cheese in metal, power metal never sticks in my mind outside of the guitar work from speed metal crossovers and catchy 80’s metal records. ‘Oblivion’ is certainly neither of those things and instead focuses on a bombastic spectacle that combines the great drama of Italian progressive power metal with some better-tamed melodies offering some memorable moments superior to previous recordings. Always highly influenced by European leaders in symphonic power metal, Gatti has fully restaffed Preludio Ancestral for ‘Oblivion’. The additional presence of Celesty bassist Ari Katajamäki brings a more adventurous low end that matches the keyboards from Italian Gabriele Crisafulli (Gabriels, Metaphysics). This more democratically balanced sound and modern progressive rock influenced songwriting make for an oddly mixed salad of ideas.
As the genre exploration slides between progressive power metal, symphonic progressive rock, and traditional heavy metal all of it is handled well by Alessio Perardi (Airborn) who is backed by seven guests from five different countries including members of Isidris, Derdian, Cherokee, From the Depth, Spiritus Mortis, and Members of God. This doesn’t necessarily add an of their own style to the music as far as I can tell (“Ready to Rock” being the exception) and most all of this should sound like fairly typical progressive symphonic power metal to most listeners. I do think Perardi does a great job providing most of the interest throughout as I found Gatti‘s guitar work and arrangements standard.
Without a great sample of current progressive power metal worldwide much of ‘Oblivion’ felt no different than the sort of stuff bursting from Italy in the early 2000’s and in this sense I was made no more or less of a fan of this style of power metal. “Fear of Falling” is a great example of the curious progressive sensibilities across this incarnation of Preludio Ancestral with their use of too-familiar melody, fantastic keyboard work, and a very odd dance-able break in the middle. The title track as well as “Reflection in the Wind” were highlights for me, perhaps because they offered the most straightforward approach from the tracklist. Even though it is a bit of a mess in terms of cohesive composition and sound, the cobbled-together style of ‘Oblivion’ deserves some mention for it’s experimentation throughout. Not a style to my tastes but entertaining all the same.
|Released||March 21, 2018|
|BUY/LISTEN on Fighter Records’ Bandcamp!||Follow Preludio Ancestral on Facebook|
Ojos que nos miran. 2.75/5.0
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