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Antonio Pantano - Arcandia Award winner

Antonio Pantano
Arcandia
by Matt "Wolverine" Johnson at 15 July 2015, 10:48 PM

Okay, who here likes fantasy storytelling, epic scores, and Luca Turilli's RHAPSODY; please raise your hands. Now put them down you fools, you will need them for all of the air guitar you will be playing when you listen to "Arcandia", the first concept album from Antonio Pantano! There are so many amazing things it has to offer, greatest of which are the endless arpeggios that many will surely find carpal tunnel inducing. The Italian Power Metal whiz has constructed a masterful sixteen tracks to delight the ears of listeners far and wide.

Within the confines of the album, I found a range of styles and Metal subgenres (including Power, Progressive, Symphonic, and Folk). It is easy to tell how brilliant this music is, and also easy to tell how many hours must have been spent writing the music, performing each instrumental part, and recording and mixing all of it (all done by its creator). There is even a story narrator, UK BBC voiceover Peter Baker (who begins his duties at track four, "Icy Tempest"). Most shocking of all is that Antonio Pantano himself does no vocals.

So many instruments are present throughout the album that the listener can get the feel as though an amazing cinematic piece is playing on the screen before them. Think somewhere between Middle Earth and King Arthur's Camelot. From piano pieces, woodwinds, simulated string sections, and even a BOSTON-style Rock organ solo (track eight "Ancient Folks of the North"), "Arcandia" seems to pull from a thousand directions and influences.

One of my favorite features of the album is not only its expansive tracklist, but also the inclusion of maps and a PDF storybook. This album will definitely strike a note in the minds of "Fantasy Metal" followers. With a total playing time of almost sixty-four minutes, I would not put past some of the music showing up as a film score

So join me, and let us venture along with this hero's tale as we hear the beautiful orchestration, super Metal riffage, and even spoken word, giving the full back-story of the subjects in the tale. This is definitely one for the ages!

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Intro (March to the Frozen Plain)
2. Hymn to Brave
3. Valley of the Dragons
4. Icy Tempest (The Epic Frost)
5. Heroes of the Might Castle
6. Furia Divina (King Atheristan VI)
7. Orania
8. Ancient Folks of the North (Clash of the First Century)
9. Elvish Woods
10. Born from the Cold
11. On Top of the World
12. Majestic Wind of the Northlands
13. Escape from the Frost (Across the Crystal Lake)
14. Closing (Return to Summer Lands)
15. Cooley's Reel (Bonus)
16. Dragonvale (Bonus)
Lineup:
Antonio Pantano - All Guitars, Bass, Vocals, Keyboards
W.J.Mitchell - Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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