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Ancient Knights - Camelot Award winner

Ancient Knights
by Jean-François ‘’Jackal’’ Poulin at 10 January 2020, 4:15 AM

I am going in another direction this time and I wrote about the cast of the album. This album is a Metal Opera, it’s a huge project led by Atzori Andrea and Marcel Knight. They enlisted a number of different Heavy Metal singers and songstresses for this ambitious project. This reminds me a lot of DERDIAN a few years ago that a lot of guests on it and it was the best album I heard that year. It was ambitious enough that it worked perfectly. I have been a huge fan of collaborative efforts like this, among bands like AVANTASIA or the legendary AYREON. You have to have the right idea in mind to make this work and this album is head and above anything I heard lately (except the last AVANTASIA album that is just mindblowing!). This ensemble cast just kills it.

Well we have to talk about the singers that were hired for this project; I know some names are not that familiar but here is a bit of information on each singer. Fabio Lione is the legendary singer of RHAPSODY and ANGRA among many others. They guy is literally everywhere as to projects like these, his guest appearances are longer than the table I am working on right now. Roberto Tiranti is lesser known and is the lead singer of LABYRINTH and ODYSSEA. LABYRINTH was lost in the mix of the Power Metal surge of the mid-nineties but is highly regarded.

Goran Edman is one the great ones that we don’t talk about much, he is the former lead singer of YNGWIE MALMSTEEN. Yngwie always chooses some great vocalists and Edman is a very underrated singer and great range. Elisa C. Martin used to be the singer for DARK MOOR. They are an underrated band that had great success in Europe but never were able to make it in North America. This band is very appreciated for it’s dark and brooding Metal. Chiara Tricarico is the lead singer for MOONLIGHT HAZE, a band that I am not familiar with to be perfectly honest. Their debut album back in 2019 is really well received and they are making their place in the Symphonic/Power Metal scene back in their native Italy.

Matt Siddi is a solo artist that has been on the local scene for a while now. He is a great guitarist and even better vocalist. You also have members of bands like NECRODEATH and SEVEN THORNS among countless others. It would take a long time to list everyone that participated on this amazing album but these are the main guests we hear throughout this release. The first single that was out in February of 2019 was ‘’Secret Castle of Love’’, well that’s an odd name! Well you have a beautiful duet between Goran Edman and Chiara Tricarico. They complement each other so well and the song is as powerful as it’s soothing. Chiara reminds me a lot of Marcela Bovio, powerful, emotional voice that just gives you shivers down your back. They killed it with the first single and it was a sign of things to come.

The second single was out back in June and you have Fabio Lione in all of his glory. I am not the biggest fan, I have some quirks about his range and his pronunciation but I can’t deny he has a tremendous voice. He has the power to do it all and he seems to belt it out like nobody’s business on this one. The song is a catalyst for the rest of the album and just shows the immense talent of the creative geniuses behind this very project.

I liked the fact that we have some bonus versions of a few songs. There is something special in hearing songs in their native languages and I personally think they sound even better in Italian and Spanish. They seem so much more comfortable in their language and it shows. As for the last song, well ‘’The Usurper’’ is even better the second time around, this a duet version and it shows a different side of the song. I preferred this version nonetheless and it so much powerful. It’s a very emotional and energetic song and the dueling vocals just add so much depth.

The rest of the album shows off the immense vocal talents of the cast. You can’t have a great play if you don’t have a great cast. This ensemble cast just gels so well together and they deliver the first great album of 2020. The setting of the album was a nice change of pace and we all know the ore of the Knights of the Round and Merlin, the whole legendary Camelot tales. I remember reading a lot about Merlin and Camelot when I was a young man and always struck me as something so interesting, This album translates the lore into something magical.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. March of the Ancient Knights
2. Secret Castle of Love
3. The Usurper
4. Forever (Light on Me)
5. Camelot
6. Prophecy of the Magic Kingdom
7. Whispers in Shadows
8. Camelot (Italian Version)
9. Para Siempre (Verdadero Amor) (Spanish version of Forever)
10. The Usurper (Duet Version)
Fabio Lione – Parcival
Roberto Tiranti – Mordred
Elisa C. Martin – Nimue
Goran Edman – Uther Pendragon
Chiara Tricarico – Lady Igraine
Matt Siddi - Gawain
Record Label: Diamond Productions


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