|Labyrinth - Freeman
4 March 2005
03. Dive In Open Waters
06. Face And Pay
07. Malcolm Grey
08. Nothing New
One of Italy's most known and successful bands (beside Rhapsody and maybe Graveworm) is without doubts Labyrinth (Fabio Lione, singer in Rhapsody, once sung in Labyrinth), even if it was a few years ago they had their "hype".
After the departure with Olaf Thörsen in 2002, Labyrinth released an album that didn't attract much attention, even if the album itself wasn't bad at all.
Then it was quiet in the Labyrinth camp, and it took almost two years until we hear anything, and the news was that Labyrinth signed with Spanish Arise Records, and that a new album was in the making, with a new guitarist, Pier Gonella (Odyssea).
The album was Freeman, and it's supposed to take Labyrinth a step closed to their past glory.
But the first thing you'll notice is the cover, and we could go on for ages to discuss if this is a good or bad cover, so I won't even start. But what I can say is that "Freeman" is not as imprison as the poor dummy on the cover.
Actually "Freeman" is a very good successor to the past album "Labyrinth" even if there has happen things, things that might be devastating or successful.
First I think the Progressive touches the last album had is even more obvious than before, and the music seems to be turning more and more against Progressive Metal, the older Fantasy Power seems to be in the past.
Then I notice that the music feels both darker and happier, and I would guess that this is a way the leave the past behind, the past with loosing members and bad labels towards a happier future with a strong line-up and a great label (that I know Arise is).
But then you also have the addition of electronic sounds; you'll hear it clearly in the title-track. This is the thing that I know will be the hardest to convince the old fans with, but I hope they'll succeed, because it's not much enough to destroy the music.
Personally I became a little fond of the album after a few spins, but I guess it helped that I liked their last album too. I don't mind that they're going toward a more progressive sound, just the opposite I like it, I wouldn't mind even more Progressive touches, that would spice up the songs even more.
Among the strongest parts this album has to offer I would start to say that the production is great, it set's off the bands material is a very good way.
About the material I have some songs I think is a bit better than the rest, but it's just a matter of taste, because you'll have at least two songs that's very similar each other.
But the songs I prefer are "L.Y.A.F.H. (Light Years Away From Here), "Freeman" and "Drive in Open Waters". But there are not any songs here that I would call a killer, they are not vary enough, you'll get this feeling that this song sounds much like another song on the album, and that's not good.
But on the other hand, there aren't any songs I could say is bad either, the material is from this point of view much too strong.
But if you liked the latest Labyrinth album and isn't crying rivers because Olaf Thörsen and the fantasy Power is gone, then I think you could find yourself a descent piece of plastic with music on here. But, with a big B, this is not an album that will revolutionize your view of music, it's definitely not a killer album, but I'm sure that we could say that Labyrinth is back in the fight, and I'll hope for many great years in the future together with "Tyrant", "Rain" and the guys.
Check Out: "L.Y.A.F.H.", "Freeman" & "Drive in Open Waters".