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S91 - Along the Sacred Path

Along the Sacred Path
by John Paul Romero at 27 March 2019, 2:46 AM

The album we have at hand is a power metal album from the Italian quintet S91. Among my collection of albums, there are only five bands that discus religion-related stuff, and those bands are BEHEMOTH, MAYHEM, SLAYER, THEOCRACY and WISDOM. I know those bands might have contradicting views on religion but that’s how music works for me – I listen to whatever empowers me and keeps my adrenaline pumping throughout the day. But although I appreciate each and every genre of metal from progressive to atmospheric black, power metal has always been (and will always be) my favorite.

The album is entitled “Along the Sacred Path” and contains nine strong tracks with themes that primarily deal with Christianity, perfectly in line with THEOCRACY and WISDOM. At the opening moments of the album, “Constatine the Great” welcomes you with a groovy bass intro. The energy then kicks in and transforms the song to an all-out headbanging track, thanks to the catchy main riff. The chorus is catchy, although the verses are easily forgettable. “Saint Patrick” opens differently, with a burst of energy straight to your face. There is also a lot more energy on the drums compared to the opening track. Maria’s sparkling voice perfectly blends with the harsh vocals they have employed in some parts of the song. Power ballad “Pope Gregory I” might sound a bit astray from the style of the first songs but that’s how prog works.

“Olaf II Haraldsson” is almost a decent DREAM THEATER tribute for its amazing musicality, complexity and beautiful keyboards works. What ruined the song was those awkward rap passages. Seriously, that’s not a good idea – remember WITHIN TEMPTATION’s “And We Run”? They should have learned from that. That slump was immediately remedied by “Godfrey of Buillon”. The song is simply crazy. It has such a frenzy of an intro, amazing solos and big hooks. The chorus is splendid and instantly memorable. The shiftiness of the song is a prime example of good progressive power metal. At the closing end of the album are the longest songs “John Williams” and “Dietrich Bonhoeffer”. Although I was pleased by the energy of these songs, I am not so impressed on how they seem to have forcefully lengthened these songs specially “John Williams”. There are some spans of uneventful solos that would’ve been deleted and there are some repetitive tunes that could have been shortened. “Dietrich Bonhoeffer” is a lot bloodier – here you’ll have ten minutes and thirty seconds of waiting till the song ends. Seriously, you can’t always try to shoot for “Metropolis pt. 1” kind of grandiose because that is extremely difficult if not impossible. Also, if your attempt fails, it fails miserably and that’s the case for this song.

The album would’ve received an 8 rating if not for the complete decline after the fifth song. The talent is there and the band exhibited excellent lyricism. The problem is that they try to complicate some passages that would’ve been just as good when kept simple. Also, while Maria has an undeniably beautiful voice, she needs to exert more energy and apply more power to her singing to make it even more convincing. Good and quite enjoyable album nonetheless.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 5

3 Star Rating

1. Constatntine the Great
2. Saint Patrick
3. Pope Gregory I
4. Olaf II Haraldsson
5. Godfrey of Buillon
6. Joan of Arc
7. Martin Luther
8. John Williams
9. Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Maria Londino – Vocals
Francesco Londino – Keyboards
Francesco Romeggini – Guitars
Giacomo Manfredi – Bass
Giacomo Mezzetti – Drums
Record Label: Rockshots Records


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Edited 06 December 2019

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