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White Skull - The XIII Skull (CD)

White Skull
The XIII Skull
by Eleni Mouratoglou at 08 May 2004, 11:46 PM

I wrote this review twice, each time after listening to the whole album. The first time I was disappointed and bored and I burst into accusations for the band in my review. After I had completed it I listened to The XIII Skull again and when I managed to get rid of the editor's syndrome, left papers and pens away and returned to my natural state of the plain listener I discovered it was much more enjoyable.
The XIII Skull is White Skull's 7th studio album (the 2nd after Federica De Boni's replacement), so I can't understand which the concept behind the title is. I tried to find the lyrics in the net to figure it out but I had no luck.
The album's artwork, in perfect match with the Intro, refers to outer space. But I'd rather some silly sound effects that reminded me of b-movies about spaceships and UFOs were missing.
Fortunately, later on, White Skull return to a familiar epic-like style. With some effort one can discern similarities with Blind Guardian and Grave Digger. But the influences are not deep. White Skull play their own mixture of classic heavy metal with speedy power shots.
Both guitarists' performance is torrential and Gustavo's vocals correspond to the deluge. Maybe he hasn't adopted a personal performing style yet but his voice has expressive power and huge technical potential. There are no great refrains that could be easily captured and remembered in the album, but some interesting atmospheric interpositions with traditional instruments, chorus vocals and alternative acoustic guitar solos brand The XIII Skull.
In general, the pace is never decelerated. Rage and merciless speed are the main directions the band conducted their music towards. If you are in an appropriate mental disposition while listening to The XIII Skull, you'll end up head-banging feeling the aggression and the might. The frenzy of the comprehensible battle and the glory of the warriors will conquer your brains.
Well, you can't imagine how relieved I am that I didn't burry this album from the beginning. After all, a band with live appearances with U.D.O., Doro and Grave Digger and good albums in their curriculum vitae can, by all probability, judge better that me. And their choices were affirmed in the second hearing only!

3 Star Rating

Space Invaders (Intro)
The Union
Top Secret
Last Navigator
The Skulls
Missing Link
Creature Of The Abyss
Power Of Blood
Perfect Design
The Observers
Mothman Prophecies
I Wanna Fly Away
Gustavo Gus Adrian Cabarro - Vocals
Tony Mad Fonto - Rhythm Guitar
Danilo Bar - Lead Guitar
Fabio Manfroi - Bass
Alex Mantiero - Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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