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White Skull - Under This Flag Award winner

White Skull
Under This Flag
by Daniel Silva / Tomer "Tommy-Foxx" Darmon at 07 August 2012, 12:47 AM

DANIEL SILVA (8/10)

I first heard of WHITE SKULL through their cover of LED ZEPPELIN’s classic song “Stairway To Heaven”, I thought that cover had great potential with a few things bugging me like the its hurried execution and the accent-heavy delivery of the singer Gustavo Gabarro, even with these little problems I found the band to be a great Power Metal act, and it was with that expectation that I listened to their album “Under This Flag”, and am glad to inform that I was not disappointed.

First let me tell a little about the band. WHITE SKULL comes from Italy and they released their first demo back in 1991, “Under This Flag” is their ninth full-length album and marks the return of original singer Federica De Boni, and let me tell you, she is a fucking amazing vocalist with her ability being evident on tracks such as the ballad-y “A.O.D.” and “War After War”. I really would have liked to see how their cover of “Stairway To Heaven” would have sounded with her on vocals.

I can honestly say that I loved this album, it has a great vocal delivery by Federica, great riffs and solos everything tightly kept together by the rhythmic section. I highly recommend it for fans of Power Metal.


TOMMY-FOXX (9/10)

I wouldn't consider WHITE SKULL as an ordinary band. First of all they are one of the milestones bands that came out from Italy and brought the Heavy Metal to full consciousness across Italy. Another point to mention is the fact that they are armed with one of the most talented front female singers in the Metal world that brings the band its life essence and its uniqueness with her rusty voice. That is one of the reasons that makes the listening to their music so pleasant.

After so many lineups changes especially in the front vocals position, WHITE SKULL came back to their roots but one thing is sure and that this time they didn’t make compromises on an average singer. "Under This Flag" is WHITE SKULL’s 9th album and Federica 5th album with the band after making a comeback to the lineup. I would say that this album signifies a great comeback for Federica; especially that it was an impossible mission to rise above the earlier albums such as "Tales From the North" with the immortal anthems of "Asgard" and "Public Glory Secret Agony". The new album integrates well to the present and I can hear a new spirit in the air with their music, there is something fresh but they definitely keep on the Heavy Metal atmosphere of the old days. The songs range from heavy and aggressive material to a more melodic and softer pattern. "Hunted Down" is the first track that starts with an opening intro that reminds the good old days of WHITE SKULL and right away turns into a massive attack Metal. Federica’s voice didn't seem to change at all. The chorus is a definitely a sing along as all the band joins as a united orchestra.

"Red Devil" is their single release from the album. This is a very catchy song that begins with a good impressive guitar melody. I missed that rusty voice, with balls and anger and here I there I got it. She definitely can put herself in the same line ofDORO. There isn't a weak track on the album, each song provides its own enchantment, they were structured from the same formula but yet they success to excite even when it comes to songs which are less heavier such as "Lost Alone" and "A.O.D". The self title song "Under the Flag" supplies a Heavy / Speed thrill, very powerful, and the chorus sounds like a sole prayer whilst the rest of the band joins in silence. I just can be proud from the guitar work on this song and on the album, it take it to new levels with its own unique style. "Prisoners of War" is one of the greatest songs here, provide fast Speed Metal, reminds a little bit RUNNING WILD but with melodic touch. The song has atmosphere of war and militant rhythm that hold it very tight.

The beauty in this album is that it shows you several sides of the WHITE SKULL talent, you can find songs with traditional Heavy Metal thunder such as "War After War" aside to Power Metal oriented songs such as "Nightmare" and "Redemption". This is absolutely a great comeback to WHITE SKULL, This is great news that they have a new album and moreover that Federica came back to their lineup.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Hunted Down
2. Bottled Mind
3. Red Devil
4. Lost Alone
5. Under This Flag
6. A.O.D
7. Prisoners of War
8. War After War
9. Nightmares
10. Freedom's Not Here
11. You Choose
12. Redemption
Lineup:
Tony Mad Fontò- Rhythm Guitar
Federica Sister De Boni- Vocals
Danilo Bar- Lead Guitar
Alex Mantiero- Drums
Jo Raddi- Bass 
Record Label: Dragonheart Records
     


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