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Great Master: Lion & Queen
Great Master - Lion & Queen CD Album Review

Great Master: Lion & Queen

Melodic/Heavy/Power Metal

Here's another band that's been under my radar, Italy's Great Master. Appropriately on the Underground Symphony label, the band has roots dating back to the early Nineties when formed by guitarist Jahn Carlini. Great Master went through several changes until disbanding in 1999. Resurrected by Carlini and vocalist Max Bastasi in 2008, they return with their third album Lion & Queen.

Great Master - Lion & Queen Band Photo

Great Master

Suffice to say Great Master plays epic melodic power metal. They are from Italy after all, the factory for that very genre. There sound is large and encompassing thanks to a wall of twin guitar riffage embellished by significant orchestration. However, more often, the symphonic angle gives way to the guitar presence. After these things, the most recognizable elements are Bastasi's vocals and Carlini's blistering and fiery guitar solos. To the former, to look at the guy, you would think he would be growling out death metal vocals. But no. Bastasi has lungs of leather, and harmony and melody, singing clean with formidable power. As for Carlini's guitar lines, the same description could be said: dynamic, powerful, and abundant. And he's not necessarily one of those Malmsteem-like neo-classical noddlers. If you like guitar forward heavy metal, you will dig this album.

As for the songs, put all these elements together and what you have is powerful and galloping guitar driven power metal. It's by definition a power metal fan's best wet dream. Top picks for the power metal fan to self-pleasure himself: the blistering Traveller of Time, the guitar fury of Time After Time, and the epic 11 minute Mystic River which, from the start, builds to a crescendo with each power chord. A special mention must be made of Prayer In the Wind which memorializes the 1963 Vajont Damn disaster. A massive mountain landslide caused the lake behind to be over come a tsumani wave devestating the damn, villages below, and killing nearly two thousand people. It's a fine tribute to their memory.

All in all, derivitive or not, definitely bombastic and pompous, with Lion & Queen Great Master delivers epic guitar shredding power metal. Nuff said.

Great Master - Prayer In The Wind

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The Bottom Line

All in all, derivitive or not, definitely bombastic and pompous, with Lion & Queen Great Master delivers epic guitar shredding power metal. Nuff said.

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