According to what the title-track seems to suggest, artifacts are mementos of our past that transcend time and carnal fragility. It’s an ironic contemplation because, musically speaking, this album really feels like a treasure chest of emotions that transcended time and circumstance. Yes because Overtures have here crafted an album that boasts a powerful balance of compositional skills, musicianship and emotive intensity that cries for attention. Well they’ve got mine, that’s for sure.
One of the first things to strike me is the superb quality of the vocals. Michele Guaitoli, Overtures’ lead singer, has the finesse and grace of Geoff Tate (Queensryche) and Roy Khan (Conception, Kamelot). Like those two peers, he uses a dramatic singing style that shifts from power to subtlety with impressive ease.
On guitars, Marco Falanga never gets carried away but songs such as ‘Repentance’ clearly showcase his technical skills. Then there are the keyboards which are used very effectively in embellishing some of the songs but without being made to feel obtrusive.
“Artifacts” lies somewhere between Prog Metal, Hard Rock and Power Metal. The music is melodic with a tendency for strong choruses. A perfect example is the anthemic ‘Gold’. Or even ‘Teardrop’, a 10-minute-plus song with some excellent orchestral sounds and female vocals. Pity about some uncomfortable vocal effects within it. ‘As Candles we Burn’ has a solid rhythm section but together with ‘New Dawn, New Dusk’ is probably my least favourite song, but that’s only because the rest of the album leaves me awestruck. I’m thinking, in particular, of the aforementioned ‘Teardrops’ and ‘Angry Animals’. Speaking of which…‘Angry Animals’ is the album’s heaviest track with some great riffs and with Guaitoli in particularly fine form.
I’m smitten by this album. “Artifacts” should be Overtures’ stairway to stardom.
‘Unshared Worlds’ lyric video: