VEXILLUM – Unum
Italy as a country has quite a big metal scene that started back in the 80’s. The fact though is that in the late 90’s bands like DOMINE, RHAPSODY, LABYRINTH, DOOMSWORD and HEIMDALL made the Italian scene known around the world. Most of the above mentioned bands are playing power metal and that proves that Italy’s strong card is its power metal scene. VEXILLUM in their third album under the title “Unum” continue the good tradition of their country and deliver to us an album that balances between the power and folk metal genre.
THE COVER: It shows a tribal talisman with depictures of animals on it. The talisman seems to be upon a tree or rock. It is quite simple and yet beautiful. I think it fits perfectly to the music and the lyrics of the band.
MUSICAL STYLE: As I have mentioned above, the sound of the band is a mixture of euro power and folk metal. They base their compositions on melodies that most of them have a folk touch and also use a heavy rhythm section that mainly brings to mind bands like late BLIND GUARDIAN. I think that BLIND GUARDIAN, ELVENKING, HAMMERFALL and RHAPSODY are the bands that VEXILLUM can be compared to.
COMPOSITIONS: The third release of VEXILLUM is a concept album and includes 9 compositions from which the last 2 “Spunta la Luna dal Monte” (TAZENDA cover) and “Run Runaway” (SLADE cover) are covers. Also in some of the compositions known musicians participate like Chris Bay from FREEDOM CALL on “The Jester: Over the Clouds”, Hansi Kürsch from BLIND GUARDIAN on “The Sentenced: Fire and Blood”, Maxi Nil from JADED STAR on “Lady Thief: What We Are” and Mark Boals on “The Hermit: Through the Mirror”. All of the compositions that are included here are moving on the same level which is good without though bringing me enthusiasm. They are just nice compositions that kept my interest every time I was listening to the album. My favorite composition though from the album is “The Sentenced: Fire and Blood” where Hansi gives again a great performance.
CONCLUSION: The new release of VEXILLUM will satisfy the fans of melodic euro power metal and the ones that like folk tunes; however I don’t think it can bring fans from other genres to the band. VEXILLUM manage to create an atmosphere that captures the mind and travel you to realms of fantasy and times long forgotten and their music is quite optimistic too. I think that they can be satisfied since they managed to create an album that captures the imagination of the listener without tiring him/her at any moment. The only weak element is that they don’t have the compositions that stand out, since most of them with the only exception the one I referred to above move on the same level.