The Phoenix
Style: Neoclassical Metal
Release date: April 17th 2009

So one have to wonder if Mastercastle might be the next phoenix to arise from the neoclassical metal ashes... well judging by this, their debut album, they have a long way to go before they can begin to reach for the stars.

The craftsmanship is clearly very high; the guitar leads are impeccable like they need to be on a neoclassical album and the supporting cast in doing a good job as well. But the song writing is pale and faceless; nothing sticks and leaves a lasting impression.

My main concern however is vocalist Giorgia Gueglio. She does only have a decent range and her vocals do on occasion sound a bit thin and forced. Not that she is a bad vocalist, I really like her voice in the upper range, but not so much in the mid-area and her performance is only decent and needs to improve in order to get this band further.

Main man behind this band is Labyrinth guitarist Pier Gonella, and I am sure fans of Yngwie Malmsteen will get a kick out of this album with its strong riffs and breathtaking guitar leads, the rest might need to listen carefully before buying this one...

01. Words are Swords
02. Princess of Love
03. Space
04. My Screams
05. Lullaby Noir
06. The Phoenix
07. Green Blade
08. Dawn of Promise
09. Memories
10. Cradle of Stone
Label: Lion Music
Promotion: Zink Music
Distribution: Bonnier/Amigo (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Kenn Jensen
Date: March 29th 2009
Website: Mastercastle @ MySpace