LABYRINTH – Architecture of a God
I was really looking forward to checking this 2017 effort by the Italian power metal sextet named Labÿrinth out. After all, the band has released some cool albums in the past and I was intrigued by the prospect of immersing myself in this brand new 12-track record of theirs. With an impressive line-up consisting of new additions such as John Macaluso (ex-TNT, ex-Symphony X) and Oleg Smirnoff (ex-Death SS), I knew that the musicianship was going to be excellent and I was hoping that the actual song material would be superb.
"Architecture of a God" is off to a great start. The opening salvo that is "Bullets" is a hard-hitting and yet epic venture into progressive power metal territory. The following two songs are right up there with the best of them and are filled with wicked hooks. The galloping Maiden-esque parts that often come into play as well as the fast and catchy Judas Priest-like riffs and the prog-inspired keyboards are a treat to listen to. Actually, the keyboards bring to mind Yes and the first few Rainbow albums in places, which is pretty cool. As to the aforementioned three tunes, the melodies are memorable and the songs lack neither energy nor passion. So far, so good…or so I thought! Unfortunately, things go horribly wrong when we reach the fourth song, "A New Dream". Uninspired riffs, bland vocal melodies, predictable song arrangements, and a complete lack of depth and passion render it meaningless. The same goes for the fifth and sixth tracks, namely "Someone Says" and "Random Logic". The instrumental track entitled "Children" has a weird 90s Eurothrash-y vibe to it, but that is hardly surprising given that it is a Roger Miles cover. Is it amazing? No, not really. It is hardly what anyone would deem a great (or even a decent) song, but if nothing else, it is fun to listen to in some bizarre way. The remaining four cuts never manage to rebuild the momentum or re-establish the mood that the first three songs evoked, which is a damn shame. By the time we reach "We Belong to Yesterday" and "Stardust and Ashes" things are sounding a bit too same-y and unenthusiastic.
All in all, "Architecture of a God" is an anticlimactic affair and a bit of a letdown. If you are a hardcore fan of progressive power metal then maybe the album (or at least parts of it) will appeal to you, but keep in mind that there are way better and much more interesting alternatives out there if you suddenly feel the need to be swept away by grandiose melodies, bombastic riffs, and powerful vocals.