Album Reviews

Mastercastle – On Fire Review


Released by: Lion Music

Release Date: April 19th, 2013

Genre: Melodic Heavy Metal



Line Up:

Giorgia Gueglio (vocals)

Pier Gonella (guitar)

Steve Vawamas (bass)

John Macaluso (drums)



1. Silver Eyes

2. Chains

3. Platinum

4. Quicksilver

5. Gold Violet

6. The Final Battle (instrumental)

7. Leaden Roads

8. Titanium Wings

9. Almost a Fantasy (instrumental)


Italian Power Metal band. But please do not hurry to consider it as just another ordinary Italian Metal like hundreds of sympho-Power bands which appeared from the end of 90-s. There are no sympho-elements at all. Mastercastle also doesn’t play an old-school traditional or epic Metal. The band performs Melodic Power/Heavy Metal with female vocals and some Neo-classical moments. It may me not very original but Mastercastle surely distinguishes from other Apennine bands.

Mastercastle were founded in January 2008 by the guitar player Pier Gonella (Athlantis, ex-Labyrinth) and the singer Giorgia Gueglio. Since then they have recorded 3 full-length releases which were very well accepted worldwide. The upcoming fourth album “On Fire” was recorded with help of well-known drummer John Macaluso (Ark, Yngwie Malmsteen, James LaBrie). It will be released 19 April 2013 on Lion Music label.

As I said, it is not typical Italian band, but some parallels could be found with Labyrinth an also with Dark Moor, though Mastercastle does not use keyboards or long semi-Progressive elements. The main accent is on melodies, great female voice and virtuoso guitar work. The most titles contain some Metal names and that’s why the original name of the album should be “Metals”. But it became more varied during the records so the title was changed into “On Fire”.

Most of the tracks are up-tempo but not really fast, except “Quicksilver”. The opening track “Silver Eyes” is a good example of a driven song with very catchy choruses and nice guitars. “Chains” is a mid-tempo number and not so catchy. However “The Platinum” is in the same vein with the first track but even more melodic. The mentioned “Quicksilver” is like a hurricane, powerful and fast with superb neo-classical shredding solo. It is definitely the best song here to my mind.

There are two wonderful instrumentals: “The Final Battle” and “Almost a Fantasy”. The last is an interesting interpretation of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata more emphasized on outstanding guitar work of Pier Gonella. “The Final Battle” is also very good track with some different musical parts.

Slow “Gold Violet” is a nice ballad and again I should mention a great solo. “Leaden Roads” and “Titanium Wings” are both good songs, too, with catchy melodic parts.

The band leader Pier Gonella is a very talented guitar player. He is very technical and varied, the real virtuoso, in the best traditions of Yngwie Malmsteen, Vinnie Moore, George Bellas and Michael Schenker. Bassist Steve Wavamas made noticeable work, too. The album lacks keyboards arrangements but thanks to this bass guitar is well listenable and not primitive. John Macaluso is a very experienced drummer, he proved his mastery here again adding powerful and neat drums. I like the vocal of Giorgia Gueglio, she has a beautiful clean voice, pretty and flexible.

The sound is good but slightly unnatural to me. Keyboard parts and symphonic could also improve and enrich the sound but on the other side it will be too expected for this genre. The album is too brief so I want to have a couple of additional tracks here. Despite those traits the record does not become boring. “On Fire” is a good album. It is not a masterpiece, but the band has a potential to create it. Melodic Power Metal fans should not ignore it.


Written by Egor “EG Power”

Ratings    Egor    8/10

Tell Us How You Feel