When a band is described as “melodic power prog metal”, there is a certain expectation that comes with melding both aspects of the genres together into one cohesive sound. Even if they lean towards either genre, some element of the other has to be there; sweeping instrumentation, fantastical lyricism, and some form of experimentation that allows a soundscape to be created. In the case of Italian troupe Infinita Symphonia’s third album, Liberation, the expectations have been met, while introducing some surprises along the way.
One of the first things that immediately hits the listener is the singing, which closely mirrors Berti Barbera of Crossing Eternity. However, Luca Micioni’s vocals are airier, their flair and tessitura more consistent with someone comfortable with their range. Not content with comfort, he also tends to soar in the higher ranges, with a high vibrato that wins over even the staunchest of vocal snobs. A major plus point about the vocals is how in sync they are with the music; there’s never a wasted moment. Each musical passage is resolved neatly either in the same song or the next – especially if the same musical themes are used.
As the focus of the album, the vocals play a large role in how the music can change its pace or tone to accommodate an inflection or a mood they want to convey. In turn, the music becomes the rock the vocals can affix itself on, as it remains the constant while the vocals head in whatever direction they decide to head towards to. They create this wonderful symbiosis together, especially with the usage of intermittent power chords and Micioni’s arena rock vocal flair that is reminiscent of Steve Perry from Journey. While the marriage between the vocals and instrumentation isn’t perfect, they work in tandem to create something compelling to listen to.
“Never Forget” how damn good this song is.
I also want to discuss the overall instrumentation the band has composed for Liberation. Although the vocals are the focus on the album, the instruments are key in the compelling nature of the music. For one thing, there’s the sweeping, majestic orchestration that power metal is so fond of that is heavily embedded into the first few songs on the album, like in “How Do You Feel?”. However, depending on the mood of the song, the music changes accordingly, either by becoming groovy, like on the second track “Time Has Come”, or employing electronic elements on “Liberation.”
Halfway through the album, though, there is also an interesting shift that occurs. The music starts to slowly change from a power metal tone to a progressive metal tone. The power chords are slowly left behind, and the vocals begin to shift from the higher ranges and the vibrato implement to something more grounded. The instrumentation becomes more progressive, utilizing more experimentation and becoming looser in the band’s playing. Gone is the rigidity that made the music bland in the beginning; now, there’s a vibrancy that makes things interesting. It goes as far as the vocals slowly emerging less and less during the latter half of Liberation. This is evident on the final track “Q&A”, a behemoth 11-minute song that plays with all standard tropes of progressive metal – the well-composed music, the cohesiveness of the instrumentation, and the wall of sound that comes in from time to time.
All in all, Liberation is an album whose mid-timing genre transition is possibly one of the best bait-and-switch tricks I have heard on an album. The musical composition and the vocals ebb and flow together, eventually culminating into an excellent closer that leaves one in awe. That said, despite the vocals and the excellent instrumentation, Liberation brings nothing new to the table of either genre separately. Nevertheless, in their blend of several elements, they bring something fun, lively, and majestic. Infinita Symphonia has their sound and aesthetic down, and it seems they are not shifting gears any time soon.
We have high “Hope” that you’re going to like this single, plus the rest of Liberation.
Liberation Track Listing:
02. The Time Has Come
03. Never Forget (feat. Ralf Scheepers)
04. How Do You Feel?
06. A Silent Hero (feat. Blaze Bayley)
07. Be Wise or Be Fool (feat. Alessandro Conti)
08. A New One
09. Don’t Fall Asleep Again
11. Q & A
Run Time: 59:29
Release Date: December 7, 2018
Record Label: My Kingdom Music