Embrace Of Souls - The Number Of Destiny
(Elevate Records – 2021)
Italy are reknowned in the melodic metal scene for Rhapsody of Fire... and a number of bands that largely sound pretty similar.
Embrace of Souls have a great excuse to - they are fronted by none other than Rhapsody's own throat, Giacomo Voli himself. The question is of course, how to sound like your day band, sound like something different and still please both ways. E. O. S. simply say 'f**k it', go ahead and get on with what they do best - smooth symphonic metal at its European finest.
Taking in all the elements, especially speed and top step octaves, there is little about these twelve tracks you are not likely to like, if you are a fan of the Trieste titans, or of the genre otherwise.
The guitar work gets drowned out by the gusty keyboards on a sizeable number of occasions but it is still there in spirit, running alongside with the standard tantalising effect, while the incendiary drumming from project co-founder, Michele Olmi (Chronosfear) would have Virgil Donati looking over his back slightly.
Tracks such as 'On The Way From The Past', From The Sky', 'In The Castle', 'Prison', 'The Number of Destiny' and the piano led 'We' ll Meet Again' (not a Dame Vera Lynn Cover) are shaped to please instantly, with Voli firing out his ever-enchanting choral melodies, in a way that sometimes slants towards Helloween's earlier days, swirled together with the slick upbeat approach of Dragonforce. Showing what a singer at the top of his game, from a band at the top of their game can pull off, Embrace of Souls starts with a hefty throw of the six.
Embrace this smasher yourself, and Giacomo's shining new counter should move forward another few places yet.
By Dave Attrill
RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Kamelot, Angra, Labyrinth & Gamma Ray.