After beginning our quest with 2019’s The Eighth Mountain we now continue our adventure alongside Italian Epic Symphonic metal legends with their new album Glory For Salvation the next instalment of The Nephilim’s Empire Saga. Let us enter the fray and discover what’s next for our hero.
Son Of Vengeance feels like the start of an epic movie release and Alex Staropoli has unmistakably showcased progression as a composer and musician outright. No magic incantations are required for vocalist Giacomo Voli as he presents how diverse his range throughout.
The Kingdom Of Ice conjures the image of a snowstorm with its combination of symphonic sections and guitar. The chorus is one that will make you want to sing along and features some wonderful harmonising too: “Ride with me the freezing winds and the cold (Ride with me) To conquer and fight (The freezing cold). The Kingdom of Ice”
The title track is typical of RHAPSODY OF FIRE, mighty and epic compositions, that perfectly entwine with the lyrics. Reminiscent of all the best elements that the band has utilised to date.
Eternal Snow an instrumental piece with narration at the end which reminds one of ENSIFERUM’s Victory Songs is very calming and progresses the albums narrative along.
Terial The Hawk is heavily folk inspired. The main riff makes you want to dance, if you fused the bard-like charms of BLIND GUARDIAN with the likes of FINNTROLL or KORPIKLANNI this would be the result. Open up the polka pit!
Maid Of The Secret Sand is a fast paced and welcomed addition to the bands extensive repertoire. A complete juxtaposition to previous themes of winter and snow: “I will let the sun to rise, over your shiny desert lands, maid of the secret sand” The guitar prowess showcased here by Roby De Micheli is sheer wizardry.
Abyss Of Pain II is an anaphoric reference to the opening track of the previous album. The intro perfectly continues the eerie Gregorian choir and has a very mediaevalesque feel, before firing on all cylinders with bombast and grandiose splendour with retro video game vibes included. The longest composition on the album is nothing short of epic.
Infinitae Gloriae certainly makes you want to sing along from the offset: “Flames raging high in the sky (She died for you), Treacherously killed by my Lord (She died for you). Fans will love singing along once concerts resume.
Magic Signs is stripped down and quintessentially the ballad of the album. Giacomo Voli tone is euphonious, powerful and emotional and ingrains into your soul: “Mystic rain, please wash my tears away, ancient spell, lights of dawn. Every scar reached the core. Every wound left a mark in my bones, Magic signs on my soul”
I’ll Be Your Hero instantly generates a battle cry for fans of the genre and will imbue you with power and might. You are left wanting to sing along with this instant classic.
Chains Of Destiny is a glorious and reflective swansong where our hero reminisces the events that unfolded along their quest and turns against the bond of Lord Bezrael who manipulated them: “I will break the chains of destiny, I will turn upon you, my Lord” This second chapter of The Nephilim’s Empire Saga comes to a close and like any good cliff-hanger or plot twist leaves you anticipating what fate lies in store for our protagonist.
The final two tracks are the Italian and Spanish versions of Magic Signs even though their two titles differ (An Ode For The Hero & La Escencia De Un Rey). It’s always good to hear songs performed in a different language which is reminiscent of the classical operas from mainland Europe that have and will continue to influence artists and bands until the end of time.
Even though the current line-up is relatively young compared to the existence of the band overall, this feels like they have been playing together for decades. Alex Staropoli and his band of brothers have once again slain any doubts that they are still undoubtably masters of their craft.
Words: Martin White
Glory For Salvation is out now.
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