Missing in action for nearly five years, Italy's Flashback Of Anger returns to the power metal foray with their second album, T.S.R., the abbreviation for the computer term, terminate and stay resident. It's a welcome return as there hasn't been many offerings in the field of European progressive power metal this year.
And Flashback of Anger definitely gets the power metal angle. Right from the start Mother Soldier hustles along at a steady pace filled with what feels like a wall of instrumentation from the guitars to drums to layers of keys. Unfortunately, this makes it also feel a bit directionless, not exactly the best opening number. False Idols comes on even stronger and faster, and not all that technical, but with a catchy refrain that makes it interesting. The intensity gets a brief reprieve with a light guitar breakdown in the latter third, only to followed by a spicy guitar solo. This song has twin with The Great Fire, where the rush is on, but the light breakdown comes earlier with voice and piano.
And so it goes. If you sense somewhat of a pattern here, you are correct. Most every song is breathless speed combined with bombastic atmosphere and then peppered with a least one, usually lighter, breakdown or segue. Sometimes its somewhat longer as within Hiroshima & Nagasaki. Another consistency is a keyboard solo paired with a guitar solo or two, sometimes in tag team. But they're always generous and entertaining.
There are two exceptions to these elements, Don't Led Me Fade and My Angel, both softer and slower songs. The latter is basically a gentle ballad for voice and keyboards. The former, Don't Let Me Fade, dedicated to former, now deceased, bass player Francesco Masini is something between a musical eulogy and metal anthem. It moves mostly on voice and keyboards once more, but also involves all the players including an epic guitar solo. It's a passionate, moving, piece of melodic metal, and easily the best song here. Despite an undeniable smattering of predictability, Flashback Of Anger's T.S.R. is genuinely solid and entertaining progressive power metal, and definitely worth your time. Hopefully, we'll hear more from them in less time, the next time around. Recommended.
Despite an undeniable smattering of predictability, Flashback Of Anger's T.S.R. is genuinely solid and entertaining progressive power metal, and definitely worth your time.
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