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Pinnacle Point – Symphony Of Mind Award winner

Pinnacle Point
Symphony Of Mind
by Rachel Montgomery at 07 August 2020, 11:08 AM

PINNACLE POINT is a symphonic metal band that makes for some really unique, interesting listening. Combining progressive elements with traditional power metal, it has a breezier take on the 1980s than most bands who adopt the style. It’s an interesting listen, but people with heavier tastes may take issue with calling it metal due to its lighter tone.


The album opens with a clear, symphonic track. While the guitars are electronic, they’re quickly overtaken by a unique violin melody. Halfway through the song, the electric guitars come back in an almost dueling style with the violins. The second track, “So Alive” begins more like a jazz or a soul song, immediately piquing my interest. The vocals are nice, but they remind me more of Steve Perry than a metal singer. Likewise, the song is more like JOURNEY or a heavier HALL & OATES track. If it’s metal, it’s an interesting take on 80s traditional metal. The piano riff specifically reminds me of “Right Now” by VAN HALEN. The guitar solo brings in some grit. Musically, it reminds me of Florida at sunset at a tiki bar. While I love it, and I’m glad it’s not just another JUDAS PRIEST or IRON MAIDEN knockoff, I’m wondering where the metal is.

Weight Of The World” brings traditional metal with tuned-down, squealing guitars and a nice, smooth operatic belt. The chorus has great harmonic elements and the guitars get gritty enough to squeak into the metal category. Similarly, “Hero” begins with a string opening that could open a symphonic metal song. It’s beautifully done and as the song picks up, I can hear it being hard rock, specifically 80s power cheese, but it still leaves me wondering where the metal is. Don’t get me wrong: the strings are beautiful, and the vocals are clear and stunning. It picks up intensity as the song goes on and reminds me of a late 70s prog piece at times.

The remaining tracks combine 80s synthetic rock with violins. While it sounds like the same MO as DEXYS MIDNIGHT RUNNERS, it’s not. In fact, a lot of their songs sound like they could be theme songs to 80s TV shows, or additions to an 80s fantasy or sci-fi soundtrack. It’s interesting, but unless you’re accepting of lighter metal varieties, you’re going to hate this album. Although there are shades of other metal acts in there. “Shadows Of Peace” reminds me of the string work in several AVANTASIA songs. For people who are more open about what is and isn’t metal, the production is clear, harmonies and musicianship is beyond on-point, and the experimentation in the album is incredible. Yes, the sound on this album is lighter. For someone who’s used to listening to AMON ARMANTH or CANNIBAL CORPSE, this may not even register as metal. However, if you’re nostalgic for lighter fare from the 1980s, this is definitely a band to check out.

Songwriting: 8
Production: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Ascent To The Point
2. So Alive
3. Weight Of The World
4. Hero
5. Never Surrender
6. In The Wake Of Hope
7. Shadows Of Peace
8. Beyond
9. Nothing At All
10. Prodigal
11. Symphony Of Mind
Lineup:
Jerome Mazza - Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Keyboards
Torben Enevoldsen - Guitars, Keyboards
Rich Ayala - Guitars, Background Vocals
Valeria Pozharitskaya - Violin
Mark Prator - Drums
Takeaki Itoh - Bass
Howard Helm - Keyboards, Organ, synthesizer
John F Rodgers - Piano, Strings
Record Label: Escape Music
     


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