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Gabriels – Fist of the Seven Stars Act 3: Canto Chao

Fist of the Seven Stars Act 3: Canto Chao
by Mark Machlay at 05 May 2020, 4:51 AM

GABRIELS is a one-man whirlwind power metal production vehicle for Italian keyboardist Gabriele Gabriels Crisafulli. Educated from an early age in classical piano studies Gabriel has released many singles, an EP, and many other albums as both a solo artist and part of a band. He is involved in both the classical and rock worlds via writing reviews and articles. He also works as a producer in his own studio and “Soundimension Records”, his school of music located in Milazzo, Italy. Starting in 2016 with Act 1, Gabriels endeavored to set manga and anime “Hokuto no Ken” by Tetruo Hara and Buronson to music to create a quintet of rock opera albums with many, many guest musicians and especially vocalists to provide the character voices for the piece.

With “Fist of the Seven Stars Act 1: Fist of Steel” released in 2016 and “Fist of the Seven Stars Act 2: Hokuto Brothers” released in 2018, another two years have gone by and “Fist of the Seven Stars Act 3: Canto Chao” is now being released in 2020 with Acts 4 and 5 presumably being released in two and four years from now. This project is full-on 80’s heavy metal cheese and if you can stomach it, you’re in for quite a treat with this release. 80’s style production with enormous amounts of space between the instruments, gated reverb on the snare, obscene amounts of compression on the entire kit that it sometimes pops right out of the mix at inappropriate times, wide vibrato vocals and mushy distortion on all the guitars are all there. Everything is meant to sound epic in scope, perfect for the fantasy setting of the material. With the plethora of quest stars you can be sure to get a unique vocal experience on every track.

Unfortunately, for those that do not long for 80's production and have accepted that modern production is superior – while not without its issues – it may work towards its detriment. It even sounds as if there is some strange clipping artifacts especially towards the middle of “Deathnight”, marring an otherwise excellent keyboard and guitar lead dual. The more ballad-y songs such as “The Mark” shine despite the production issues as the mix is less overstuffed like on most of the tracks. There are obviously plenty of great keyboard solos from this amazing virtuoso and even a few guitar leads that are interesting. “Dying For Your Love” features a rare subtle, pulling-at the heartstrings solo and final track “Pyramid of Dictator” has an interesting start with a gothic style organ.

Despite all the production issues, the music itself is very uplifting, powerful and confident if over-the-top. But the production unfortunately sours much of the brilliance displayed. Gabriels is clearly in command of the ship, having a vision for his rock opera masterpiece and I would rather not dampen that. Power Metal enthusiasts should give this a shot as well as the previous two in the story because the compositions themselves are quite sophisticated and motivating.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 8
Production: 4

4 Star Rating

1. Three Days of Life
2. The Mark
3. Treason Star
4. Rebirth by Three Days of Life
5. Fight For Her Love
6. Dying For Your Love
7. Deathnight
8. Confrontation
9. Secret of the Phoenix
10. Pyramid of Dictator
11. Ai Wo Torimodose (Bonus Track)
Gabriele Gabriel Crisafulli – Compositions, Keyboards
Record Label: Independent


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