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Mistheria - 'Dragon Fire' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/82/1e/65/1063_mistheriadragonfire_1299094902.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 02, 2011    
 
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Without doubt, Mistheria's 'Dragon Fire' is an immense, grand, and very impressive release.

Keyboard virtuoso Mistheria returns with an all star cast for the neoclassical prog metal offering 'Dragon Fire' released through Lion Music. Home to 13 tracks of full on metal pomposity, this is music crafted around stirring vocal melodies and impassioned first class musicianship. The virtuoso meter of the personnel involved sets a new standard and fans of artists such as Symphony X, Yngwie Malmsteen and Artension will find this a sheer musical delight. The grandiose music on offer has its home within the classical music masters but the metal charge brings 'Dragon Fire' firmly into the present day. Mistheria has taken great care to produce songs first and foremost with catchy vocal melodies and big choruses and just one listen will prove that he has succeeded in his aim, producing captivating compositions. 

After demos for the album had been made, the personnel was then hand picked by Mistheria to bring out the best in each track, with the highest calibre musicians within the genre chosen to do justice to his songs. The vocalists comprise of John West (Artension/Royal Hunt), Rob Rock (Impellitteri/Solo), Mark Boals (ex Malmsteen/Ring Of Fire/Royal Hunt), Lance King (Balance Of Power) and Titta Tani (ex Astra / Ashent). Each vocalist's unique style has been selected for the appropriate track to deliver Mistheria's vision. The same process was used for the guitarists with George Bellas (solo/Ring Of Fire), Neil Zaza (solo), Roger Staffelbach (Artension/Angel Of Eden) and Emir Hot (solo) plying their virtuoso guitar work, which blends beautifully with Mistheria's keyboards to recreate the classic guitar/keyboard pairing. The bass was ably handled by Alberto Rigoni (Twinspirits) and drums come courtesy of John Macaluso (Ark, TNT, ex Malmsteen) whose performance is full of high-power heavy grooves and tons of energy, making this one of his best performances to date, and despite the number of musicians involved there is an impressive sense of cohesion to the material on offer here.

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Although the album seems to have been produced and mixed to his own personal taste, you can see that Mistheriahas involved all the singers as they have influenced the songs prominently with really great lyrics and melodies. I might even suggest that the vocalists overshadow Mistheria's contributions as each vocalist was matched perfectly for the songs, John West on the whole, but particularly Lance King on 'Two of Us', together with fretwork that shimmers with equal clarity to Mistheria's keys. Nevertheless, Mistheria is hardly absent, he coaxes and cajoles his typical magic from his synths and keyboards, offering styles from fusion to prog to classical. He effortlessly adds ambience across all songs and then hunkers down for deliberate and inspiring solo performances; the best come on 'Dragon Fire', 'Lies & Deception', 'The Power Of One', and 'The Beast'. However, I was more intrigued by his classical explorations on 'Prelude 18 in F Minor' and 'Chopin Fantasy'. Without doubt, Mistheria's 'Dragon Fire' is an immense, grand, and very impressive release, thanks mostly to his collaboration with a brilliant supporting cast.

Mark Warburton

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