Derdian – Human Reset Review

derdian_cover Derdian - Human Reset Review

Released By: Self-Released

Release Date: July 23, 2014

Genre: Power Metal

Links: http://www.derdian.com/index.php

 

Line Up:

Ivan Giannini – Vocals

Enrico Pistolese – Guitars, Vocals

Dario Radaelli – Guitars

Marco Garau – Keyboards

Marco Banfi – Bass

Salvatore Giordano – Drums

 

Tracklist:

1. Eclipse

2. Human Reset

3. In Everything

4. Mafia

5. These Rails Will Bleed

6. Absolute Power

7. Write Your Epitaph

8. Music is Life

9. Gods Don’t Give a Damn

10. After the Storm

11. Alone

12. Delirium

13. My Life Back

 

Out of the Italian power metal scene, the lesser known band Derdian is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I was introduced to them with their third release New Era Pt.3: The Apocalypse, and I was immediately impressed. On that album they played an epic brand of symphonic power metal, not unlike Rhaposdy of Fire, but on the follow up Limbo they shifted gears a bit, retaining all the elements from the previous album, but dialling the symphonic side of their music back just a bit, while adding some strong progressive and neoclassical elements, which helped to make it a much more diverse album. Limbo also marked the start of a new era for the band in two ways: It was their first album that wasn’t part of the fantasy concept they had started with their first album, as well as the debut of singer Ivan Giannini, who immediately made his presence known. Going into their latest release, Human Reset, Limbo had been easily my favorite, but I think they may have actually managed to top it with this one.

Human Reset continues along the same path they took with Limbo, so fans of that album should have a good idea of what to expect. As with most Italian power metal bands, newcomers can expect mostly fast-paced songs with a focus on epic melodies and the constant presence of keyboards, as well as frequent symphonic elements on most songs. The musicianship is very impressive all around, with the guitars and keyboards being especially impressive. Compared to the typical Italian power metal album, Human Reset has some very complex arrangements, even on the shorter songs. It still contains the ridiculously catchy choruses you’d expect, and I think it should be an easy album for most fans to get into right away, but many of the songs have sudden tempo changes, and some very impressive and lengthy instrumental sections to go along with all the epic vocal sections. Like with any Derdian album, I was impressed right away, but I found this album kept getting better with each album, as there’s a lot going on musically on almost every song, and I was able to find something new to appreciate each time.

As with their previous album, fans can expect a wide variety of sounds throughout the album, with various of amounts of symphonic metal, prog and neoclassical metal to go along with the dominant power metal sound, depending on what song you’re listening to. If anything this album is even more varied, which is perhaps its biggest strength. If Limbo had one minor flaw, it was that some of the songs felt a bit long-winded, and indeed most songs fell into the 6-8 minute range. Thankfully, the average track length on Human Reset is a bit shorter, meaning the songs that are longer can stand out from the pack a bit more.

Vocalist Ivan Giannini was very good on Limbo, but this time around he is quite a bit better. In fact, he has given a performance on this album that I would say is one of the best vocal performances of 2014 so far. He has the perfect voice for this style of power metal, as he has a very nice quality to his voice that makes all the choruses standout, but he also has a lot of power in his voice. The backing vocals are equally impressive, as we get some excellent choir vocals, mostly from a very deep male voice which sounds awesome and is definitely a welcome change of pace from the typically high pitched choir vocals found on most symphonic power metal albums.

After a pretty nice intro, ending with an epic countdown, fans are treated to the title track, which is one of my personal favorites. Those epic, deep backing vocals show up instantly along with Ivan, and from there the song speeds up and becomes the kind of epic, speedy and insanely catchy symphonic power metal song the band excels at, enhanced further by some surprisingly dark lyrics, especially during an epic choir part towards the end. “In Everything” is a fairly straight-forward song which adds in some neoclassical instrumentation, but “Mafia” is the first big surprise. It starts with some surprisingly aggressive and strong riffs, before slowing down and turning into one of their more progressive and complex songs, enhanced by a really good chorus and a pretty incredible solo section. Following that is the brief but awesome “These Rails Will Bleed”, which is a very simple neoclassical power metal song.

The remaining songs are all amazing and worthy of mentions, but I’ll finish off with just a few more favorites. Next is “Absolute Power”, which starts off as a mid-tempo track before suddenly speeding up and delivering the fastest paced chorus on the album.“After the Storm” stands out for being the lone ballad on the album, and serves as an excellent showcase for Ivan, though the solo section is also quite strong. “Alone” is the longest song on the album, and perhaps the most progressive, with a nice mix of speedy passages and slower sections. Lastly, “My Life Back” has both an extended intro and an extended outro, but in between it’s one of the most epic and instantly engaging tracks, with the final run through the chorus being perhaps the biggest highlight of the entire album, as Ivan sounds absolutely incredible.

Human Reset is perhaps not a surprising album for longtime fans of Derdian, but it’s definitely one of the most epic and thoroughly entertaining power metal albums I’ve heard this year, with a nice mix of different elements throughout. The varied songwriting, tight musicianship, epic vocal melodies, and shorter track times help make it my favorite Derdian album to date, and certainly an album I’d instantly recommend to any fan of the more melodic side of the genre.

 

Written by Travis

Ratings    Travis    10/10

Tell Us How You Feel

Comments