Casus Belli - In The Name Of Rose
Limb Music Products
Power / True Metal
11 songs (41:44)
Release year: 2005
Casus Belli, Limb Music Products
Reviewed by Ken

Limb Music has always been a label that I've had confidence in, out of the twenty-or-so albums I have from their catalog there isn’t a single one that I dislike. And now, once again, from the hallowed halls of Limb Music Products (LMP) comes another excellent metal band by the name of Casus Belli. As always with LMP releases, the booklet includes The Story So Far…, a brief history lesson on the band; according to this the band was formed in Greece in 1997 after singer Panos Dedes was a “hairs breadth” away from securing the vacant vocalist position in Judas Priest—which, of course, was ultimately given to Tim Owens. Clearly Owens was the better fit, but there is one song on this album that does show a side of Dedes’s vocals that does have a very big Halford quality to it; so while he doesn’t sound like Halford all the time, I think he could have done a very good job in the band. History lesson aside, Judas Priest got Owens and the metal world got another great metal band in Casus Belli.

They play a form of true heavy metal with a little power metal mixed in, think Brainstorm and Eternal Reign. In The Name Of Rose is their second full-length album following a debut in 2001 (Mirror Out Of Time) and a self-financed/released demo EP in 2004 (Holy Gates). The band makes their intentions known within the first thirty seconds of “I Am Your Master,” fast and heavy riffing, breakneck solos, Steve Harris-like bass lines, double bass and some snarling vocals that are generally like a mix of Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) meets Udo Dirkschneider (Accept) meets Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth (Overkill). “Vengeance Is My Law” follows and shows the band implementing the same formula as the previous track, but incorporating a bigger, catchier hook in the chorus. After the metal onslaught of the first two tracks, the mid-paced “Holy Gates (In The Name Of Rose)” proves the band is not all speed and power, but can slow it down yet still be just as effective. Another very solid track. “Diamond Crown” takes it cue from the first two tracks while “Edge Of A Knife” is a heavy power ballad with some cool keyboard work, a good song, but the faster, heavier tracks are superior, the bread and butter of the album.

While the remaining tracks, save for the final song, stay the path of the fast and heavy, it is worth mentioning—for those curious about the Judas Priest connection—that “Isolation” features a chorus that shows where Dedes is capable of pulling off that Halford sneer; it’s not his predominant style on the album, but it shows a bit more of what he is capable of. The album comes to a quiet close with “Whispering,” a simple acoustic-based instrumental with a soulful, melancholic solo layered on top that I think would have been better served in the middle of the album, letting the album end on a heavier note. Either way, it matters little as the production (courtesy of Mystic Prophecy’s R.D. Liapakis) is heavy, raw, and perfectly suited for the music, bolstering the previous ten songs where the gritty production shines. All making for a damn good listen.

In a genre that is overflowing with great bands, let alone the countless that are not so, Casus Belli are not going to turn heads in the originality department. But those that are more concerned with great music (you should be) will be very pleased with In The Name Of Rose.

AUDIO: I’m Your Master, Vengeance Is My Law, Diamond Crown, Edge Of A Knife and Isolation

Note: In time these links will likely becoming outdated.

Killing Songs :
I'm Your Master, Vengeance Is My Law, Diamond Crown, Isolation and Naked King
Ken quoted 80 / 100
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