If you are into classic power metal from the era of Yngwie Malmsteen, then read on. There is a new kid on the block and it is worth remembering his name: guitarist Luca Sellitto, founder and leader of the Italian band Stamina (previously reviewed by us here). He recently released his debut solo album and the result does not disappoint. Hardly surprising, as just a brief look at the line up would suggest this. On board are three ex Yngwie musicians: drummer Patrick Johansson (also W.A.S.P.), bassist and cellist Svante Henryson (also worked with Joey Tempest), and Göran Edman on vocals in track 2 (also worked with John Norum), as well as Royal Hunt’s first vocalist, Henrik Brockmann. It is tempting to use the term “super group”, as this is pretty much what Luca has done by gathering a pleiad of names with such history.
It would be easy to classify The Voice Within as just another Yngwie-type release, and leave it there. It does sound as if created by the Scandinavian god in his best years, from the very first notes in the straight-to-the point, speedy drums-guitar solo in the opening track, through tracks that could well have been taken out of the iconic ‘Trilogy’ (‘Land of the Vikings’), and instrumentals like ‘Tearful Goodbye’ that carry Yngwie’s signature stamp (reminding us of evergreens such as ‘Crying’ and ‘Dreaming’). It would, however, be unfair to strip this album of its undeniable originality. What Luca has put together is modern neometal classic that would do justice to any of the big names in the genre. The Voice Within is something to listen to on an outbreath. It bridges his own influences and work with what he has previously done with Stamina, taking it to a new level. Unlike some examples of band members gone solo, the stamp of his original band is not that evident here at all (the only track carrying it heavily is ‘Into The Light’). Luca has chosen to work with a few different vocalists, which is also a good move, drawing attention towards the music instead of associating the release with one vocal only. All of the singers have done a brilliant job, as is to be expected from this genre.
The fast, powerful intros are particularly pronounced here, and a pleasure to listen to, taking us back to the classical examples from the golden era of Yngwie, Impellitary and Royal Hunt. Strong soaring guitars, professional instrumentation and fast, high vocal work, catchy melodies, multi-level guitar work: these are all features making this album as good as what you would expect from The Best in the genre.
The instrumental tracks are ones to be especially flagged as particularly fine pieces, highlighting both the author’s song writing talent and the masterful musicianship of everyone involved in the making of this album.
- Second to None
- Land of the Vikings
- What if
- Shadows of Love
- The Champion’s Code
- Into the Light
- Tearful Goodbye