Wings of Destiny – Memento Mori

Momento Mori Album Cover Art

Wings of Destiny – Memento Mori
Wormholedeath
Release Date: 23/07/2021
Running Time: 46:24
Review by Simon Black
8/10

Another first for me, with my first review of a Costa Rican band (although to be fair the press release says originally from there, and they seem to have relocated since then). Since their inception in 2013, this bunch of Power Metallers have been very busy and done well to establish themselves on a global platform, with “Memento Mori” being their sixth album and showing them now well into their stride. Like many South American Power acts, the Angra, Rhapsody (in all its incarnations) and Symphony X touches are strong influences in their sound, but the band have a clear and distinct identity of their own. The net effect of which is an album that jumps around stylistically within the bounds of the sub-genre and keeps you guessing. Much of this lies with Anton Darusso’s ability to switch vocal styles quite as fluidly as his considerable range allows (in a similar way to Rob Allen) from the gruff to the extreme, and on to the clean and high he can adjust to the needs of the song with incredible flexibility.

This means you get the disconcerting altercation between say, the likes of the brutally thundering album opener ‘Playing With Fire’, to the more straight ahead Power rocking of ‘Death Wish’, and on again to the more technically melodic ‘Holy Grail’ – and indeed, all shades in between. The cracking ‘My Freedom’ even goes one stage further and incorporates all three in the same song! And let’s not leave out Darusso’s not inconsiderable talents on the ivories as well, with his bursts of Neo-Classical fluid proficiency from time to time and the kind of guitar/keyboard interplay that is the backbone of Italian Power acts.

I can think of no finer example of this than the title song itself, which is one of the outstanding moments on this record. It crams a lot into its nearly five minutes of run time and really showcases the musical talents of all band members quite spectacularly. They also find time to head down an almost Symphonic route with the epic album closer ‘Theater Of Tragedy’, which adds an over the top surreal feel to its opening bars that wouldn’t seem out of place on an Avatar album, before belting off at ninety miles an hour on a whirlwind tour of many of the stylistic touches we’ve seen throughout this piece with a good dose of choral orchestration to boot. It’s, technically, the most accomplished piece on here, although perhaps not as immediate in its catchiness and I can’t see it happening live, but it’s certainly an epic musical statement, and one that grows on me with repeated listening. Varied, technically brilliant and engaging, this is an absolute belter of a record.

Playing With Fire’ (Lyric Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Playing With Fire
02. Death Wish
03. Holy Grail
04. Shadowland
05. Reborn Immortal
06. My Freedom
07. Of Dwarves And Men
08. Memento Mori
09. City On Fire
10. Theater Of Tragedy

LINE-UP:
Anton Darusso – Vocals & Keyboards
Andres Castro – Guitars
Cristian Jimenez – Guitars
Emil Minott – Bass
Horacio Paris – Drums

LINKS:

Wings Of Destiny Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

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