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White Skull – Will Of The Strong

White Skull
Will Of The Strong
by Anamaria Carla Ionita at 18 June 2017, 10:59 PM

WHITE SKULL is an epic power metal band fronted by a female vocal, Frederica “Sister” De Boni, hailing from Italy. The band itself started off in 1988, and “Will Of The Strong” is their tenth album to date, and the one with the biggest pause between. Past albums had a 2 year break between each other, but the previous album (“Under This Flag”) was released 5 years ago, in 2012. As far as epic power metal goes, WHITE SKULL are doing a pretty good job, but, to be frank, I somehow expected a bit more from a band that is supposed to have 29 years of experience. Generally, with age, bands end up learning enough to mature, have their sound clearly defined, and everything smooth. Keep in mind, from the same year of launch we can talk about AMON AMARTH, CANNIBAL CORPSE, GAMMA RAY, PARADISE LOST, and others. In the case of those bands, I doubt anyone could mistake their sound. Nonetheless, “Will Of The Strong” puts out a nice sound, albeit a bit…bland and repetitive for the most part. There are, of course, exceptions to the rule, a couple of songs which stood out much more than the rest, but we will get to them in due time.

The songs have some consistency between each other, but not all. Everything is variable due to the fact that the album itself is mostly a multitude of epic stories, one in each song. Most songs include epic battles and stories, and their sound is accordingly, while others (“Sacrifice”) are softer due to their sadder story. The album starts with an instrumental intro, named “Endless Rage” which for me is soothing and calming and not even in the same zip code as rage, let alone an endless one. “Holy Warrior” follows, trying to wash the sins of the intro, and it tends to succeed. A clean, nicely sounding power metal song with the fast, catchy guitars that you’d expect from the genre and Frederica’s voice telling us of an epic story. Her voice generally sounds good, but the variations in her tone tend to become a bit annoying sometimes, and her accent is coming out from time to time. The following songs keep the exact same style, mostly the same tempo and instrumentals, making it overall a bit boring, but just as my interest was reaching depletion, “I Am Your Queen” started.

Nice song intro with some chants, and followed by a song with a completely different tempo than what I got used to beforehand. Frederica’s song story itself changed both tempo and rhythm into one more arrhythmic, yet very catchy and pleasant. Suddenly, the album started showing some more promise, and, by the end of the album, I ended up considering “I Am Your Queen” as my second favorite song. Second favorite because later on, I had the pleasure of listening to “Metal Indian” which was a refreshing change from… well, from everything else. Somehow, “Metal Indian” had a bit of RHAPSODY or/and HELLOWEEN influence to it, which instantly caught my attention. Oh man, if the whole album sounded like this, I would’ve purchased it…twice. The drums and the guitars on it were not as fast as before, yet they felt stronger, more powerful and appealed much more to my now old metalhead soul. I decided to listen to this song a couple of times, to bask in it before going further with the album. Only thing I disliked about it was the very weird, dying squeal guitar solo (lack of ideas for how to describe it…) at the half of the third minute into the song.  I would have appreciated a lack of that piece from it, but still, all the rest compensated and it was forgiven.

The instrumentals themselves sound good and quite well mixed, although a bit repetitive and similar between most songs. The guitars did a great, clean and clear sound, the bass player accompanied them perfectly, and the drums hammered flawlessly. Basically, I have nothing bad to say about the musicians themselves and their skills, they have done a great job, but this was to be expected from a 29 year old band, though. All in all, the album has some good songs in it, and WHITE SKULL do deserve a better recognition than what they’re receiving. Someone should really put the spotlight on these guys (and gal) and get the awareness a bit more up than it is, because they’re worth it.

Originality: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 9
Songwriting: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1.Endless Rage
2.Holy Warrior
3.Grace O' Malley
4.Will of the Strong
5.Lady of Hope
6.I Am Your Queen
7.Hope Has Wings
8.Metal Indian
9.Shieldmaiden
10.Sacrifice
11.Lay Over
12.Warrior Spirit
Lineup:
Federica "Sister" De Boni-  Vocals
Tony "Mad" Fontò - Guitars (rhythm)
Danilo "Man" Bar - Guitars (lead)
Jo Raddi- Bass
Alessandro Muscio - Keyboards
Alex Mantiero - Drums
Record Label: Dragonheart Records
     


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Edited 16 August 2017
 

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