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Mastercastle: Wine Of Heaven
Mastercastle - Wine Of Heaven CD Album Review

Mastercastle: Wine Of Heaven

Melodic Heavy Metal
5.0/5.0

To some surprise Italy's Mastercastle, formed by guitarist Pier Gonella (Necrodeath, ex-Labyrinth) and vocalist Giorgia Gueglio, haven't dropped a new album since 2014's Enfer. They return with Wine Of Heaven something of a concept album, where wine is a metaphor for our spirit and lifeblood. The drum kit being somewhat a revolving door over the last several albums, Mastercastle welcomes Sadist drummer Alessio Spallarossa to that spot.

Mastercastle Band Photo

Mastercastle

If you're unfamiliar with Mastercastle and their sound, melodic heavy metal, it centers around three prominent things. These are Ms. Gueglio vocals, Gonella's strong guitar lines in riffage and neo-classical solos, and his fine song composition. Let's expand on those things a little more.

As female vocalist, Gueglio is more a traditional melodic hard rock and heavy metal singer. This is in contrast to to some pitched operatic voice (Tarja, et al) or some hardcore or death vocalist (Angela Gossow, et al). Her vocal style allows her voice to both lead and follow the melodic lines of the song arrangements. For Gonella's guitar style, while in the larger context of the neo-classical style, you will find both his riffs and leads creative, varied, and so, satisfying. There's something of down-tuned feeling to his riffs in some songs such as Drink Of Me and Wine Of Heaven. In both songs, his guitar lines sounds like, in a good sense, a Ducati motorcycle revving up and down. Mostly, the album is very guitar forward, so if you like thrilling guitar work, especially in solos, you'll find it here.

As for the third triad, the song composition, Gonella is one of those rare guitarists who know better than to simply make an arrangement a platform for his guitar skills and solos. No, his arrangements are more often moved by and wrapped in hooks in melody, harmony, and groove in collaboration with the other players and instruments. One of the best songs that blends those elements together is Enlightenment, especially with its terrific rock groove and fine catchy chorus. Additionally, Gonella drops in a notable keyboard presence like the symphonic orchestration in Space Of Variations, the piano that leads the metal anthem Black Tree's Heart, or the flutter and twinkle that starts and finishes Drink Of Me.

Essentially, Mastercastle combines all these musical elements, with effortless ease to create, Wine Of Heaven, an album of creative and entertaining melodic heavy metal, with not a single bad song in the bunch. This could be their best album to date. Easily recommended.



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The Bottom Line

Mastercastle combines strong vocals, great guitar lines, and exceptional song composition, with effortless ease, to create Wine Of Heaven, an album of creative and entertaining melodic heavy metal, with not a single bad song in the bunch. This could be their best album to date. Easily recommended.

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