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Artaban’s Redemption – Broken Puppets

Artaban’s Redemption
Broken Puppets
by Alex Barnard at 23 June 2021, 1:47 AM

ARTABAN’S REDEMPTION is a European Power Metal band with members hailing from Italy and Spain. The group’s debut EP, “Broken Puppets,” was released on Demons Records on May 21st, 2021. For fans of bands like HELLOWEEN and BLIND GUARDIAN, this EP is a must listen; for me, on the other hand, it was a bit of a snooze.

When I comes to how I like my metal, I prefer the brutal and punishing sounds of Doom, Thrash, and Groove Metal as opposed to the pristine and epic sounds of Power and Progressive Metal. Now, this is not to say I hate all music in these styles; OPETH and TOOL consistently rank among my favorite bands, and occasionally I can enjoy some DREAM THEATER and QUEENSRŸCHE. However, the important thing to note with the bands that I have chosen to enjoy from the Prog scene in particular is that they tend to be on the more aggressive side. Power Metal, particularly the European style with its over-the-top vocals, operatic lyrics about science fiction or knights in shining armor, and cheesy synthesizers, doesn’t do it for me.

The EP opens up with the song “Obsolete Tech,” the begins with a keyboard riff that sounds like it was lifted from a NIGHTWISH record. However, generally speaking in my opinion, the saving grace of bands like NIGHTWISH is that the mix is excellent. Unfortunately I can’t say the same thing here; while it’s not atrocious like an early Black Metal record, the drums feel lifeless, the keyboards have too much reverb in the bass frequencies, and the guitars barely sound like they’re distorted at all.

One of the better tracks on the EP is “Shutting Down,” which has a pretty nice, groovy section towards the end and lots of rapid fire guitar licks. “Never Again,” also stands out for its “Bohemian Rhapsody,”-esque vocal harmonies at the beginning of the track. However, overall this EP was a bit of a slog for me to get through.

One thing I will say in defense of ARTABAN’S REDEMPTION (and the Euro Power Metal scene as a whole) is that the group’s musicianship is incredibly strong. Ivan Giannini’s vocals are powerful, at times reminiscent of Scorpions front man Klaus Meine; Roberto Cappa’s drumming is superb, utilizing just the right amount of double kick drums; and Álvaro Weik’s guitar playing would make Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Janick Gers of IRON MAIDEN jealous that he can do all of the things he does on the guitar just by himself.

I can see why Power Metal fans would enjoy this EP. But for me, if it doesn’t make me want to rip my hair out and gnash my teeth, it’s not the kind of metal I want to listen to.

Songwriting: 4
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 3
Production: 5

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Obsolete Tech
2. Revolution
3. Shutting Down
4. Time for war
5. Never Again
Lineup:
Ivan Giannini – Vocals
Álvaro Weik – Guitars
Elena Alonso – Keyboards
Francesco Ferraro – Bass
Roberto Cappa – Drums
Record Label: Demons Records
     


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Edited 28 July 2021
 

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