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3.75 | 2 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2007


1. Starborn, Part I: Empire of Light (4:47)
2. Starborn, Part II: Citizen (1:24)
3. Starborn, Part III: On a Forever Road (6:25)
4. Burning Day (2:26)
5. The Equinigma (4:28)
6. Laudanum (7:52)
7. Nation (5:45)
8. Born Fighting (4:52)
9. Kill Division (3:22)
10. New Mood Therapy for a Medicated Babylon (6:08)
11. Eugenics (5:23)
12. Home to Oblivion (3:53)
13. Lacrima Christi (2:14)

Total Time: 58:59


- Dominic Cifarelli (Israfel) / guitars, bass, vocals, samples, keyboards
- Americo Antonucci (Gabriel, Djinn, Appoloin The Destroyer) / vocals
- Vincent Cifarelli (Veloel) / piano, keyboards
- Joey Ranallo (Zagzatel) / bass
- Joey Bastone (Jophiel) / drums

About this release

CD Bridge of Hands Entertainment (2007)

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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"Starborn, Tome 1" is the debut full-length studio album by The Chronicles of Israfel. The album was released through Bridge of Hands Entertainment in 2007. The Chronicles of Israfel is a one-man project formed by Dominic Cifarelli. Dominic Cifarelli handles guitars, bass, vocals, samples and keyboards. He is helped out on the album by drummer Joey Bastone. The project was created in a turbulent period of Dominic Cifarelli´s life as his band Pulse Ultra was on the brink of splitting up. "Starborn, Tome 1" was born out the frustration of that situation.

"Starborn, Tome 1" is a sci-fi concept album and all tracks segue into each other to form one long concept listening experience. The album opens with a trio of instrumental tracks and I was beginning to wonder if this was an instrumental album, but "Burning Day" introduces pleasant and strong vocals (nice harmonies too). The music on the album is progressive metal. It´s mostly guitar and vocal driven but complimented by atmosphere enhancing keyboards. I think all elements succeed in bringing out the right atmosphere to compliment the sci-fi lyrics.

The sound production is of a relatively good quality, but a bit too compressed and digital sounding. The drums have an artificial sound that to my ears lacks a bit of power. The musicianship is generally strong. The drumming by Joey Bastone leaves a bit to be desired though and combined with the not so strong drum sound that part of the album is a slight weakness. Overall "Starborn, Tome 1" is still a pretty strong progressive metal album though and the few minor issues don´t overshadow that fact. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

Members reviews

Dominic Cifarelli, guitarist of the now defunct Montreal band Pulse Ultra, is the man behind the Chronicles Of Israfel project. He starts his solo output with the album Starborn, Tome I, which is a very good heavy/progressive metal release; rich and varied, this piece goes on to cover various moods and styles, from aggressive and fast to slower and emotional yet still powerful and heavy. A concept album revolving around the figure named Israfel which as I've read is on a self-discovery journey and goes through various hardships; it is not the only figure in the story as every musician on the album portrays a different character in the story. As I have a legal digital download version of the album I can't tell you much more about that concept and so can only expand on the musical side, which is the main issue anyway.

As said above, the music is quite varied in styles and moods. I can spot similarities in style to bands such as Pain Of Salvation and Dream Theatre, but not in a clone-like manner. The musicianship is of very high level, accurate and efficient, contributing to the rich and enveloping sound of the album. The 3 first tracks which comprise the three parts of the title track are mostly instrumental and provide a compelling introduction to the album, theme and music. It then moves on to songs with each providing melodic and heavy experiences with fitting vocals (clear, dominant and a little rasp at times). All instruments are well heard (good mix) and represented on the album and the combination of the guitar and keyboards part creates a well balanced multi-layered edge to the songs. The songs are not only thrilling and gripping but complex in their arrangements and intricacies. They also flow very well from one to the next, assisting in the creating the feeling of a continuous storyline.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this release, not having heard of this project before getting the album. However, I must say that this has been a splendid and most satisfying discovery and it's a great listening experience. Greatly recommended to all those who love melodic progressive metal especially in the form of concept albums.

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