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LionSoul - A Pledge to Darkness

A Pledge to Darkness
by Sarah Chebaro at 04 May 2022, 12:50 PM

I have been reviewing a lot of Italian bands lately. Maybe I should move to Italy since the metal scene seems to be much stronger than where I'm currently located.  “A Pledge to Darkness” is the third album for the power metal band LIONSOUL released in early 2022.  This is the first time I listen to them. A lot of power metal bands focus on battles, creatures and fantasy. LIONSOUL seem to have a twist of science to their theme. The question is how well do they do with it?

The first track is not the best introduction to the album. It sounds like a super cringy intro to a video game. The talking vocals did not work and I personally had a hard time getting through it. The next few songs do improve luckily. “Exile to Arise” the second track after that awkward beginning sets that energetic power metal mood we all look for. “Red Flame”, track number 9, was really an oddball out. It had a strange country, oriental ballad theme. I do not even know how to explain it. I thought the song on its own was beautiful but it really drifted away from the album. “Wailing in Red” has some thrash riffs and growling vocals. “Soldier Through Time” incorporates some synths at the beginning of the track. The last track, “The Strangers” nails that metal vibe lyrically and musically. Perhaps they saved their best for last?  Although, in all honesty, I had a hard time picking a favorite song as I felt that there was not a song on there that grabbed me. All the tracks are missing that spicy factor, the one where you yell out OMG is this LIONSOUL?!

On the plus side, the musicianship of LIONSOUL is absolutely brilliant. Luca Secomandi owns it on the drums and the guitar solos and riffs from Aurelio Parise and Francesco Pedrini are powerfully beautiful.  The vocals from Ivan Castelli are generic. They suit the power metal genre but do not give that wow factor. They do not overtake the music either,  it is just neutral. The issues I found with LIONSOUL’s “ Pledge to Darkness” album are there was too much happening. It was a mixing pot of anthemic melodic metal songs, with an oddly western classic but also dark and aggressive themes. After listening to the album and turning it off my mind had no more chaos. LIONSOUL has great talent but needs more focus.  Hopefully their next album will improve.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 5
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Continuum
2. Exile to Arise
3. Amber of illusion
4. Wailing in Red
5. No Beginning (Nor an End)
6. Soldier Through Time
7. Skin 2
8. A Pledge to Darkness
9. Red Flame
10. Man, Machine, Almost Rhyme
11. The Stranger
Ivan Castelli–  Vocals
Aurelio Parise–  Guitars
Roberto “Roby” Poli–  Bass, Vocals (backing)
Mattia Belloli - Guitars, Vocals (backing)
Luca Secomandi –  Drums
Giuliano Canu – Keyboard
Record Label: Rockshots Records


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