HOLY KNIGHTS – Between Daylight And Pain
You’d never guess what sub-genre of metal these Italians display based only on their moniker right? We must be dealing with an industrial, metalcore, or black metal set of musicians right? Oh… my bad- it’s symphonic power metal, the kind that Rhapsody (Of Fire) put on the map 15 years ago and resonates with fans of early Sonata Arctica, Labyrinth, and the like. Double bass tempos at charging paces, keyboard parts full of every classical nuance and tone, and guitar parts plus vocals that lead the high energy forward motion in a ‘can you top this’ cat and mouse contest.
This second album "Between Daylight And Pain" sticks to tried and true methodology- 8 tracks that average 5 minutes apiece, you almost know when the quieter sections start and the bursts of neo-classical flair take place. Vocalist / keyboardist Dario Di Matteo lives for the upper octaves and has a lot of Fabio Lione meets Tony Kakko spirit in standouts like "11 September" and "Mistery". The circus carnival breaks during certain instrumental sections give Holy Knights more of a fun personal nature to their brand- and should be something worthy of expansion in the future.
Drummer Claudio Florio does have a bit of off time ability that brings "Glass Room" and the more commercial oriented "Wasted Time" into Symphony X meets Kamelot territory, proving that diversity can be a good thing when it comes to this style. Taking a break for over a decade while dedicated to other bands and projects, "Between Daylight And Pain" comes at a perfect time for Holy Knights. I think those into older Labyrinth and Rhapsody (Of Fire) will lap this up easily- there’s just something about energetic power metal that brings out the sing along, sport chanting nature of festival audiences- and this is another great soundtrack to savor.