OverMaster - Madness of War
Cruz Del Sur Music
Melodic Power Metal
11 songs ()
Release year: 2010
Cruz Del Sur Music
Reviewed by Alex

With OverMaster Cruz del Sur wads back into the familiar, dangerously overpopulated, yet seductively attractive and easy to drown yourself in territory of Italian melodic power metal. Countless bands have risen across that horizon, flashed like meteors and burned out sooner than they could be noticed. OverMaster brings together musicians from across that spectrum with Gus Gabarro singing earlier for White Skull, Alessio Berlaffa also handling guitars for Doomsword (that band is always interesting) and Carlos Cantatore having drummed for Skylark at some point in the past. None of these guys necessarily bring star power with them, and given the sheer mass of the output in the genre, the question for Madness of War is obvious – why should we care?

Feel free to point out the lack of convincing argument in my answer below, but as much as the album falls victim to the obvious melodic power metal trappings, the end result is pleasant and somewhat ballsy music, my opinion possibly enhanced by the fact I have drifted away from the genre for a while. OverMaster have certain firmness and bite in their delivery. The band managed to eliminate notorious, in a bad sense of this word, sound thinness, and their guitars have definite metallic rigidity about them. Songs like Spartan Warriors have springs tightening in them, and do not simply go through the motions. Overlord and Battle Prayer unleash modern warfare helicopter chords slamming tightly and Marble King blazes on in its profound melodic hookiness. Slower brooding songs like Revolution World and Children of the Sand possess more savage nature in their riffs before succumbing to sing-along choruses.

Yet for all of the gains, Madness of War is not the album to look for unusual song structures or innovation. The touches of White Skull (insert the name of your favorite band from the Apennine peninsula here) formula are present all over, and you can anticipate in your sleep when to expect a lengthy lead, a softer moment or a sweetener-flavored chorus. While definitely avoiding the spineless, OverMaster can’t be called entirely edgy either.

Then, I am sure, there will be a matter of Gus Gabarro’s vocals. For me, they are fine, and as long as the guy can follow the melody which is already there, as is often the case in power metal, he alone does not have to carry the load. Yet Gus was often criticized for not being able to pick up the slack after Federica de Boni in White Skull, and he is definitely straining here in his delivery on Madness of War as well. To compensate for the workmanlike singing he has a certain rough edge to his voice, immediately bringing Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger) to mind. Heck, I am hoping this mention secures OverMaster more fans.

Not entirely distinguishable, Madness of War had enough of the enjoyable moments for me to be moved into the upper tier. And if originality is not the name of the game here, then some labels entire rosters should not be allowed to release albums. Good effort, and good luck in the future to these purveyors of the glorified modern heroic metal.

Killing Songs :
Marble King, Battle Prayer, Efialths
Alex quoted 78 / 100
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