LABYRINTH – Return To Live [Japanese Edition +1] (2018)
Frontiers Music just released “Return To Live” by Italy’s LABYRINTH, one of the strongest melodic prog metal acts from the current scene, recorded at their first reunion show at Frontiers Metal Festival in Trezzo Sull’Adda on October 30, 2016. The revamped lineup played ‘Return To Heaven Denied’, the band’s most popular record (so far), in its entirety for only the second time ever.
This Japanese edition includes an exclusive bonus track.
The landmark ‘Return To Heaven Denied’ album was originally released by Metal Blade in 1998 and is considered by many to be one of the highlights of the prog metal genre in the late ’90s, with Classic Rock Magazine placing it on their list of the top albums from the genre.
Here Labyrinth are perfoming these really good, elaborated compositions with an updated sound.
The event marked Labyrinth’s first reunion show with their new line-up.
Featuring founding members Olaf Thorsen and Andrea Cantranelli on guitars, alongside long-time singer Roberto Tiranti, as well as new-comers Nik Mazzucconi on bass, Oleg Smirnoff (Vision Divine, Eldritch) on keyboards, and John Macaluso (TNT, Riot, Ark) on drums, who have all proved that they have got what it takes to deliver a masterful performance and do justice to such an amazing record.
The opening track, ‘Moonlight’, starts off this performance with an epic introduction, reminiscent of a heavenly choir singing symphonic hymns accompanied by thunderous, tension-building drums of war; which, undoubtedly sets the mood for the incoming fast-paced, melody-laden guitar licks and riffs that make us love this genre.
Tiranti’s vocals definitely make an impact here with sky-high screams that rival the squealing guitars, which bring some amazing duelling solos that are somewhat expected when it comes to the genre of power metal.
‘Heaven Denied’, possibly the most popular track from the original album, starts off like a sweet and sombre Iron Maiden-esque ballad which makes you feel like raising your lighter as a fire tribute to the metal gods before it breaks out into a tremendous, power-driven chorus that you simply cannot help but headbang along to.
Between the beautiful guitar phrases and the seriously catchy chorus, it’s easy to understand why this is a favourite among fans of the band.
The last song of the set, ‘In the Shade’, is the only song here that doesn’t appear on 1998’s Return to Heaven Denied; instead, coming from the 1999 follow-up album, Timeless Crime.
Despite this, ‘In the Shade’ manages to not feel out of place. Rather, it brings a spectacular and strong ending to the show leaving you yearning for more of the masterful music that the band consistently creates.
This Japanese edition includes the bonus track ‘Chapter One’, taken from other album (the band’s third, Sons of Thunder), but also perfectly fits with the whole material. In fact, works as wonderful introduction to ‘In the Shade’.
John Macaluso drumming is different from the original studio version (performed by Mat Stancioiu) giving the song – a midpaced tune – a refreshed feel.
The remarkable Labyrinth performance in ‘Return To Live’ is able to not only capture the incredible energy and power of the original album, it also manages to add the extra magic that only comes with a live power / prog metal show – the crowd sing-alongs, the sweet soaring melodies that push through the air, and the connection between the band and their audience.
It really creates a mystical atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re actually a part of the experience, making it a truly amazing performance which is a must-hear for all fans of the genre.
02. New Horizons
03. The Night of Dreams
04. Lady Lost in Time
05. State of Grace
06. Heaven Denied
09. Time After Time
10. Falling Rain
11. Die for Freedom
12. Chapter One (Japan Bonus Track)
13. In the Shade
Roberto Tiranti – Vocals (Wonderworld, ex-A Perfect Day)
Andrea Cantarelli – Guitars (A Perfect Day)
Olaf Thörsen – Guitars (Vision Divine)
Nik Mazzucconi – Bass (Edge of Forever)
John Macaluso – Drums (ex-TNT, Yngwie Malmsteen)
Oleg Smirnoff – Keyboards (ex-Vision Divine)
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