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Great Master - Underworld (8/10) - Italy - 2009

Genre: Power Metal
Label: Underground Symphony
Playing time: 48:41
Band homepage: Great Master

Tracklist:

  1. Eagles Of 20th
  2. Land Of No Return
  3. Ghost Ship
  4. The Battle Of Lost Heroes
  5. Millenium
  6. King Of The Night
  7. Circle Of Fairies
  8. The Guardian Of Signs
  9. The Lost Secret…Underworld
  10. Epilogue (Canon)

GREAT MASTER was formed way back in the early Nineties by Italian guitarist Jahn Carlini. After fifteen years, two demos, and several lineup changes, the band has finally seen fit to release their official debut, “Underworld.” The band plays a very straightforward Power Metal style, but they back it up with great songwriting, making “Underworld” as solid a debut as they come.

 

Singer Max Bastasi isn’t the best Power Metal singer in the world (his voice lacks a certain charisma, feeling dull at times), but he can certainly hit all the high notes, and he sounds much better when he’s got a bunch of harmonies backing him up. Carlini gets a little repetitive in his riffing from time to time, but the riffs are usually so infectious that it’s not really a bad thing. His solos are also quite impressive and well-placed.

 

There aren’t any super-weak songs on “Underworld”; some, like “Millenium,” are a little less interesting than the rest of the album’s material, but are by no means bad songs. Others, like “Circle Of Fairies,” are absolutely fantastic, with unique intros, competent verses, and fantastic choruses. The intro to “Circle Of Fairies” fades in with a complex drumbeat, soon adding Carlini’s guitar under heavy electronic distortion, giving it a sort of bizarre synthesized sound.

 

As of March 2010, of the group that recorded “Underworld,” Carlini is the only one who still remains in GREAT MASTER. This means that the forthcoming sequel to “Underworld” (described by Carlini as a concept album) will likely sound completely different. Here’s hoping the core songwriting remains the same, as “Underworld” is an entirely worthy debut, and straying too far from the band’s straightforward Power Metal style could result in disaster. For now, pick up “Underworld” and enjoy its simple, economically well-written material.

(Online May 22, 2010)

Mitchel Betsch



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