Breaking the cheese...
Genre: power metal / power thrash
I had never heard about Scelerata before this album, so I really did not know what to expect. I knew that they were a power metal band, and, although I love that genre, I tend to become very cautious, because power metal does have a tendency towards cheesiness - and, although I like pizzas and cheeseburgers, I am allergic to too much cheese in metal music.
Anyway, as "The Sniper" opened up with the blistering speed metal bass drums and technically advanced lead guitar figure, I knew that I was safe. Scelerata embrace both the melody and upbeat feel atmosphere of Euro power metal and the harder edge of US power metal. And what I really like is that the music sometimes becomes so aggressive that it really enters into power thrash territory ('In My Blood' even features a short blastbeat section).
True to their inheritance from Euro metal, which the band is obviously inspired by (I definitely can sense some Helloween DNA in the music on the album - albeit early Helloween), Scelerata include neo-classicisms and epic choruses which are larger than life. This is counterbalanced by the heavy thrashy riffage and drumming. Even the potentially cheesy epic choral arrangement in the bridge of 'Breaking the Chains' comes across perfectly and fits nicely into the overall framework of the album.
The level of musicianship is impeccable, and especially the lead guitars have elements of virtuosity to them. Fabio Juan's vocals are powerful enough that it suits the music, and his singing is both consistent and varied. As a bonus, Paul Di'Anno makes a guest appearance on the album as does Andi Deris from Helloween.
Scelerata have indeed struck, I think, a perfect balance between what power metal and thrash metal have to offer. And, what's more, they inject a small dose of progressive metal into their music in the form of a couple of quirky elements every now and then and some considerably dynamic song structure in a couple of the tracks on the album.
Fans of power metal who are tired of the cheesiness that has haunted the genre can safely explore this album, which should definitely appeal to fans of Vicious Rumors, early Helloween, Iced Earth, Symphony X and more melodic thrash acts like Anthrax, Anoxia and Protoype.