This post is the one I mentioned, containing only bands from Italy with new releases within the past year, but I’ll start it by mentioning a couple of changes I intend to make to the list of bands. The first one, adding all bands included in this series of posts to the list, should be pretty easy, and should have been done as soon as I made the list public, but I guess I only realized its necessity when I found myself in that situation I also mentioned in the previous post in this series, stumbling again into a band I knew I had heard and found at least somewhat interesting before but not finding it on the list. The second, on the other hand, falls into the “don’t hold your breath” category, because I’m referring to going through the whole list and removing bands that split up, or at least are listed as such on Metal Archives, unless I’m really impressed by them and definitely mean to actually get around to including them in such a post soon in spite of this. Since, if I’m to do this at all, I’ll do it bit by bit, it means there will likely be more entries which should be removed by the time I’ll get to the end, but at least I’ll cut down the list to some extent, assuming I actually will get around to doing this.
To get to the actual bands, I’ll start with Moonlight Haze. I was apparently quite uncertain about adding them at all back when I did, but if that was the case then my opinion changed a fair bit now. And I also noticed that their vocalist is also in another band I already included in one of these posts, RavenWord, and used to be in yet another one, Temperance. But it’s possible, and in fact quite likely, that I added them before the release of their first album, so my uncertainty stemmed from having too little material to really form an opinion… Although their first release, The Butterfly Effect, is a nice enough song to be one of my picks now as well. The other, off the album released last summer, would be The Rabbit of the Moon. Although in both cases I just picked out of the few songs that are posted officially, and have done so for all bands included in this post, The Rabbit of the Moon has a really good sound and it’s hardly the exception, so they were pretty good even in the beginning and are improving further. I do, however, wonder about the future of a band whose core members are also part of a couple of other active ones, which aren’t even the same ones.
Moving on, Tothem is apparently a very old addition to the list, a band I likely first heard of soon after I started saving the names and then never checked again, until now. Interestingly, their first upload was apparently a cover of a Romanian song, but I’m just adding that here as a curiosity. The actual first pick will have to be Rise from the Flames, since it’s the only song from their most recent album, with their current vocalist, that I can be sure is uploaded officially in its album version. The older song, from the time when they had a different vocalist, is harder to pick, even when still limited to what’s officially posted, but let’s go with The Witch. I’m just going to clearly state that I have few complaints about their sound, or in fact may not have significant ones at all, so I can definitely recommend them. Under these circumstances, maybe I should have started with them, but the connection between Moonlight Haze’s vocalist and other bands I had already included in such posts made that choice seem somehow more appropriate.
Next would be Frozen Crown, who are supposed to release a new album in April. But they did just release a first song from it, Far Beyond, so that will have to be my first pick, the fact that it was just released these days also being a reason why I wanted to include them here. For the older pick, I’ll go with In the Dark, but it’s a case of looking for the one that bothered me the least out of what’s posted officially, since I’m not keen on the vocals in general, and they don’t seem to be improving, plus that there are songs with growls as well, and I don’t necessarily have a significantly better opinion about the other elements. I mean, for example those angry drums in Far Beyond would have normally been enough to turn me away. Still, there is a decent power metal sound there, and that and the recent release may add up to just enough of an excuse to include them here.
Since I decided to get back to what used to be the usual five bands in this post, next would be Constraint. I apparently rated them relatively highly at first, but the album they released last year leaves me quite cold, so if I’m to pick a song from it I guess I’ll go with The Big (B)End, yet that’s because I’d say it’s the one that bothers me the least. As for an older one, I’ll just take the first one posted, Enlightened By Darkness, which is also the only one old enough to be the one that made me add them in the first place. The composition and overall sound of the few songs from their first full album that are posted officially are decent enough, but it’s another case of the vocals being quite weak, so the band they were then seemed to have potential if they’d have found a better vocalist, or if she would have improved, but now they seem to have changed direction and I find myself saying that, unless they’ll at least go back to their earlier style, I’m likely only adding them here to cross another Italian band off the list.
As for the fifth band, I’m rather cheating with Kalidia, though it’d be more accurate to say that they are, their recent release being just a re-release of their first album. But I’ll still count it as a recent release, and an excuse to finally add them in one of these posts, because I’m quite sure I meant to before and for some reason gave up, possibly because I couldn’t spend more time on the post in question. That’s probably also one reason why I initially thought I had just forgotten to mark them as added when I was going through the Italian bands on the list, though another reason must be that their vocalist is also in another band I already included in one of these posts, Walk in Darkness… And, interestingly, she apparently also collaborated a little with Moonlight Haze on their first album. But, to move on to the picks, the first is The Lost Mariner, while from their other album I’ll go with the title song, Frozen Throne. They’re both great songs, albeit mainly thanks to the vocals in case of the latter, and overall the band’s sound is solid, confident and polished, so I definitely recommend them.
It’s been a while since I last included five bands in one of these posts, and three of them are also bands I can clearly recommend, so I’m rather pleased to have managed it now. And I actually have enough Italian bands that released something within the past year for another post, but don’t know whether I’ll try to add it soon or not, even if at least a couple of them would likely deserve to be in such a post more than Frozen Crown or Constraint. For now, the priority when it comes to this should be to take care of that first update to the list I mentioned at the start of this post.