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Mastercastle - Last Desire

Last Desire
by Jonathan Maphet at 24 May 2010, 4:05 PM

MASTERCASTLE is a semi power Metal band hailing from Italy. This album is less power Metal oriented than their first and debut release, “The Phoenix”, and for me that isn’t necessarily a good thing. I have always adored the power Metal genre and it saddens me to see a band move away from it. MASTERCASTLE has a female vocalist that tries really hard, but her voice seems to be too present in the mix, almost as if it is somehow separated from the rest of the music.

Though this can be somewhat distracting, the guitar wizardry of Pier Gonella is stunning, especially in the instrumental “Space Trip”. The fast shredding in this song shows just how talented Pier really is. Is it showing off? Maybe, but it works and is quite impressive. My favorite track on the album is “Great Heaven’s Climb”. It is a fast paced rocker, with a catchy chorus. The vocals are not as distracting on this song as they are on the others, this is definitely a plus, and there is more shredding too, a very good song. The one thing this album suffers from is cohesion. It seems like many ideas were thrown against the wall, and whatever stuck was used. While this approach is used to a great effect at times, I feel it diminishes the overall impact of the album The band seems confused over what direction they wish to take. Slow ballads or up tempo rockers. It seems that quite a few power Metal bands suffer from this desire to show that they can do more than just play fast, when playing fast is exactly what the genre was created for. With the addition of sappy ballads, the album goes back to days of hair Metal bands trying to get a top forty hit with fluff. The genre has the word “Metal” in it for a reason, and I feel MASTERCASTLE has steered to far from their original directive, melodic power Metal.

Overall, the production is rock solid. All the members play with precision and professionalism, the only drawback being overall direction and Giorgia Gueglio’s voice that can sometimes be distracting, not nails on a chalkboard distracting, but enough to take you out of the moment. If MASTERCASTLE can find a way to integrate the vocals a bit better in the mix, they might have something quite good to build upon.One more concern of mine is how at times the guitar goes off into Michael Angelo Batio and DRAGONFORCE territory when there is no need to, meaning the songs are too slow for that type of shredding to fit in. It just seems terribly out of place. A little bit of maturation should help them reign in Pier a bit to a point where his playing fits with the rest of the song. At times the album feels a tad too much like guitar hero’s solo album. Not a bad thing for a solo guitarist like Steve Vai or Joe Stump, but it doesn’t feel at home here.

3 Star Rating

  1. Event Horizon
  2. Misr
  3. Wild Spell
  4. Last Desire
  5. Away
  6. Space Trip
  7. Jade Star
  8. Great Heaven’s Climb
  9. Cat-House
  10. Toxie Radd
  11. La Serenissima
  12. Scarlett
Giorgia Gueglio – Vocals
Pier Gonella – Guitar
Steve Vawamas – Bass
Alessandro Bissa – Drums
Record Label: Lion Music


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Edited 27 January 2023

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