Luca Turilli – The Infinite Wonders of Creation
Band Website: http://www.lturilli.com
Label: Magic Circle
One thing I don’t think Joey Demaio was counting on when he signed Rhapsody [of Fire] to Magic Circle Records was the whole lot of them pussing out and making records about dolphins, love, and other totally un-metal things. While he got the worst record Rhapsody ever wrote, he didn’t get that. However, with Luca Turilli he got the sissiest record ever recordedâ€”including dolphins and love, among other things (the majestic call of whales!). I, of course, was excited about the new LT because the Demonheart EP was fantastic. It basically got me my Rhapsody [of Fire] fix between Rhapsody [of Fire] records! Unfortunately, Luca has started to take himself seriously, and when this happens with power metal musicians, only bad things can come of it. That, of course, is the result of his newest release The Infinite Wonders of Creation; bad things.
See, the problem here is not that he’s stopped writing super over-the-top epic pieces of music; every single song on this record sounds like it was taken from a badly written opera (just like the fans want). But this record has no testicles. It lacks those critical elements that actually make Luca a respectable… OK, amusing and/or interesting writer that the power metal niche fan-base has heretofore worshipped. Some examples that will make a grown metal-guy weep: there are only 2 or 3 guitar solos on the whole record; he uses female vocals more than male vocals (don’t think Lacuna Coil or The Ottoman Empire [Luna Mortis now] where the vocals are good heavy metal vocals); and I don’t recall having heard a single double-kick drum on this entirely too-long and self-gratifying record. The The Infinite Wonders of Creation is far too slow and serious, but on top of it he wrote some of his worst lyrics ever about the “beloved majestic dolphins,” and even extends the torture to the absolutely fantastic movie Stargate. It’s lyrically ridiculous, but not in a good “dark Lord Akron” kind of way. That, compounded with it being slow and plodding makes it seriously boring, bordering on torturous, at times.
The band is actually very good. Sascha Paeth (who produced all of the old Rhapsody [of Fire] stuff) appears on this again playing bass. However, since the infamous situation with an un-named South American power metal band who claimed that Mr. Paeth wrote the majority of Rhapsody’s music, Mr. Paeth seems to have been relegated a much smaller role in production and arrangement. LT utilizes 2 vocalists on this album to good use. Both of them are fairly talented, although some of the woman’s high stuff would make any vocally-trained person cringe when she swoops into notes and sings straight from her nose. However, the two vocalists have a very good blend and when they’re singing together they do a very good job of creating the sound that LT was probably going for. The harmonies are great, and they both (for the most part) have good, solid tone. To fit in with my complaints that the record lacks any real metal “spice,” the drums are slow rock-beat kind of stuff and don’t really exude the kind of energy one has come to expect from LT’s stuff.
In his defense, Luca has backed off of the guitar god thing a bit, which I think has helped him move away from overly-long self-gratifying guitar solos that plagued some of his earlier stuff and has contributed to the writing style on both the last Rhapsody [of Fire] record and on The Infinite Wonders of Creation. The melodies are good and the composition is passable (and excellent for a metal band, really), but it doesn’t pass my attention-span test; I find it terribly boring. All-in-all, if you’re a die-hard Rhapsody [of Fire]/Luca Turilli fan, you’ll probably dig this record (you’ll also probably call me names for panning your favorite group for changing their sound). The song-writing is very much LT, but it’s just not energetic or silly enough for me to really enjoy it. Without the cheesy voice-overs, the Dungeons & Dragons lyrics, the neo-baroque guitar solos and the never-ceasing power metal beat; what’s the point?