Artaban’s Redemption – Broken Puppets EP

Broken Puppets EP Cover Art

Artaban’s Redemption – Broken Puppets EP
Demons Records
Release Date: 21/05/2021
Running Time: 29:01
Review by Simon Black

This five track, but still quite lengthy EP, is one of those lockdown side projects that probably doesn’t justify a full album, that was birthed in the chaos and frustration of 2020. It’s the brainchild of Unbound guitarist Alvaro Weik, with support from various members of Dark Moor, Freedom Call/Vexillu, Lethargus and Vision Divine/Derdian, respectively. It’s debatable whether the world needs another late 90’s influenced Euro Power Metal supergroup, but I’m not going to kick down any musician pulling together any project from scratch without the benefit of gelling in a rehearsal room together and finding your musical collective feet under conditions like we’ve all just endured, because, like us, they need to eat.

As ever with Power Metal, the piece is a concept one – exploring what happens when the technological scrapheap decides to get its own back, so comes across like a cross between a white paper on technical debt and The Terminator. It’s a valid environmental topic, given how gadgets so often end up in landfill and asks questions from the Internet of Things perspective and makes a welcome subject matter change from the usual Power Metal Pseudo-Historical / Sword & Sorcery fare.

I guess the challenge I have with it is that, although the musicianship is competent enough, it’s not really until the fourth track ‘Time For War’ that the song-writing hits a groove with a track that feels cohesively like a band. It’s definitely the strongest thing on the EP, with a mid-tempo heavy rhythm and feel, catchy chorus and anthemic feel. The closer ‘Never Again’ keeps the anthemic feel going and adds some speed, but overall, I’m left with the feeling that this is a good idea that needed a bit more time to ferment – or a band that need to work in the same room and find their musical shorthand, rather than remotely. It will be interesting to see whether this experiment gets taken further, as the promise shown in the last couple of tracks implies that there is definitely something in there, but that it needs a little bit of time and maturation first.

‘Shutting Down’ (Lyric Video)

01. Obsolete Tech
02. Revolution
03. Shutting Down
04. Time for War
05. Never Again

Ivan Giannini – Vocals
Alvaro Weik – Guitar
Francesco Ferraro – Bass
Elena Alonso – Keyboards
Roberto Cappa – Drums


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