A Pledge to Darkness

Label: Rockshots Records
Three similar bands: Gamma Ray/Lost Horizon/Iron Savior

Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Continuum
2. Exile to Arise
3. Amber of illusion
4. Wailing in Red
5. No Beginning (Nor an End)
6. Soldier Through Time
7. Skin 2
8. A Pledge to Darkness
9. Red Flame
10. Man, Machine, Almost Rhyme
11. The Stranger

Ivan Castelli– Vocals
Aurelio Parise– Guitars
Roberto “Roby” Poli– Bass, Vocals (backing)
Mattia Belloli - Guitars, Vocals (backing)
Luca Secomandi – Drums
Giuliano Canu – Keyboard

Omega (2013)
The Throne (EP 2015)
Welcome Storm (2017)

All growl vocals by Claudio Facheris

Written and Produced by Ivan Castelli and Aurelio Parise
Recorded and Mixed by Fabrizio “Izio” Romani at Media Factory Studio – Esine (BS)
Vocal parts recorded by Andrea Facheris at Loft-1 Studio – Dalmine (BG)
Mastered by Simone Mularoni at Domination Studio in San Marino
Cover art by Stan W. Decker

Released 2022-04-29
Reviewed 2022-07-21


rockshots records

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It is a really poor voice acting taking place in the opening piece of radio theatre that opens this album, not so much the accent that can be attributed to evolution of the language. The acting itself is really bad, and the story feels like something from an old video game before stories became more important there as well. The new album from Lionsoul is called A Pledhe to Darkness and it is a science fiction story, kind of a dystopian judging by its cover. I like science fiction, and when done in metal it can be great, there are several such examples.

After the poorly acted intro a power metal album starts taking place, with it classical smattering drums, guitars, with the addition of more futuristic sounds from the synths. The singer is not one of the best of the power metal genre, but neither one of the worst, and his accent is less prominent when singing – a good thing. You can think of Iron Savior if you want a frame of reference for this band, they remind me a little of them but perhaps less spacefaring, at least compared with the era Iron Savior I know. The band is obvious skilled in what they do, but they do take the tried and tested routes making the 48 minutes of playing time seem quite long, perhaps a lot due to absence of originality.

Lionsoul offers acceptable quality throughout their debut album, the songs are decent all the way through. What I am missing are distinct hit songs, personality, depth, and dynamics, the album feels a little too flat for me. It is just not exciting enough, and I think science fiction should be exciting and there should always be a sense of novelty to it. That is the idea with science fiction, to awe the beholder with something never seen or heard before – otherwise it seems to be very little point, as imagination is what drives the genre. And imagination is what I am mostly missing in this album.

It is not easy to see who will be taken with this album, it isn’t bad but neither is it great. Another power metal album cannot make much noise, can it? I find it quite good to know that I can put this away forever now, there is so much better stuff out there.