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Great Master - Underworld (CD)

Great Master
by Grigoris Chronis at 22 December 2009, 10:55 AM

Place a map in front of you and mark Italy, England and Sweden. It's a triangle you'll come up with (one line crosses Germany, too) and you just have found the lands mainly in charge of GREAT MASTER's sound in their official debut album called Underworld. The band breathes fire from 1993 but it was written to see their first full length CD released many years later.
I had a tough time writing down the band's lineup. The CD booklet states three names while their current MySpace page mentions not less than five musicians. Either way, credited as the band's founding member is guitarist Jahn Carlini who was the driving force for the band to release two demo efforts in 1993 and 1999 in respect. None of them has songs eventually making it to this year's debut CD, so the songlist is quite fresh in this release. Recorded between 2000 and 2004 and released via Italy's Underground Symphony, Underworld presents a band…
…strongly flirting with melody while exploring the Heavy/Power Metal world. The 'epic' term is not out of the question, too, since GREAT MASTER forms pieces of music not in a primitive but rather in a narrative/landscape way, with some pompous parts and melodic vocals with vibratos smartly avoiding high-pitched singing which - anyway - would not fit in here. You won't have difficulties finding your own stand out track, since the majority of the tunes included has a relative songwriting pattern; this can be judged as a drawback of flatness by harsh critics, on the other hand. Truth is GREAT MASTER do borrow elements from their country's 'trademark' bands but up to a limit, flying to Sweden (and Germany) for some melodic 'battlefield' Metal while the pieces of British Metal music as crafted in the 80s is the shelter for some remarkable harmonic material fitting the band's music.
Owing an explanation to the disbelief of the average buyer, I'd mark GRAND MASTER's music as a mix of IRON MAIDEN, PRAYING MANTIS, HEAVY LOAD, SILVER MOUNTAIN, LABYRINTH, WARLORD or/and LORDIAN GUARD (Bill Tsamis has Greek roots), STORMWITCH and (guitars-wise) RUNNING WILD. It's naive - at times - to bring forth certain bands to describe another act's sound but, to be honest, GRAND MASTER's music is so intriguing that you need certain names to tease the fan's ears and eventual decision. Among speedy, up-tempo, mid-pace and galloping rhythms and in the midst of tons of melodic guitar riffs and vocals (with fine keyboards), Underworld is a very good proposal for your 'warrior tales' (but from cheesy) Metal needs. Dressed in an appropriate production, this CD is one of the most interesting Metal pieces I've heard from Italy the last couple of years and more (counting out the 'Hollywood' Metal section of this - otherwise - fine country, haha). You'll travel to other places and other times with this one, without having to feel you're listening to silly remakes of classic Metal cuts.

3 Star Rating

Eagles Of 20th      
Land Of No Return      
Ghost Ship      
The Battle Of Lost Heroes      
King Of The Night      
Circle Of Fairies      
The Guardian Of Signs      
The Lost Secret…Underworld      
Max Bastasi - Vocals
Jahn Carlini - Guitars
Marco Petrone - Guitars
Daniele Vanin - Bass
Andrea Dell' Agnolo - Drums
Record Label: Underground Symphony


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