Review: Labyrinth

(Century Media)

Labyrinth is a progressive metal cum power metal band from Italy.  Their debut EP “Piece of Time” came onto the scene in 1995 so they have roughly a decade under their belts.  Well, two of the band members do anyway (bass and guitar).  The line-up has been relatively stable since 1998.  Their newest album, “Labyrinth,” sees the first line-up change since 1998 with the departure of one of their guitarists, Olaf Thorsen.  Like most prog-metal bands they can be compared to early Queensryche and Fates Warning both musically and in the vocalist’s style.

Sometimes they remind me of a heavy metal version of the original Faith No More on their debut “We care A Lot” album insofar as the conjunction of a loud dissonant toned bass and cold, mournful keyboards can conjure that Faith No More of old.  In fact, the keyboardist can be quite creative and challenge the limits of the prog-metal genre at times. The band has wide mix of old timey metal influences from Testament to Helloween, but they don’t seem to create a coherent whole out of it all.

The technical musicianship is there and the song writing is plenty competent, but they need a healthy dose of balls and daring-do if they ever want to be remembered as being in the same league as their influences. Prog-metal fans probably have known about this group for awhile, but just in case you are a prog-metal fan and haven’t heard, then I’ll say you should.