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(51:13; Rock Company)
TRACK LIST: 1. Why? 6:02 2. Must Be Blind 5:17 3. Higher 5:51 4. Love Was Never Meant to Be 5:07 5. One In a Million 6:18 6. Perseverance 5:06 7. Holding On 5:19 8. Breaking Another String 6:35 9. Eyes of the Warrior 5:38 LINEUP: Alessandro Granato - vocals Luca Sellitto - guitars Giovanni Sellitto - keyboards Carmine Vivo - bass Federico Cozza - drums
Prolusion. Italian band STAMINA was formed back in 2001 by composer and guitarist Luca Sellitto, who has been the one constant member in the band since it's formation. Stamina released their debut album in 2007, and since then a further three studio albums have appeared. "Live in the City of Power" is the band's first ever live album, and was released through Dutch label Rock Company in 2019.
Analysis. The music explored on this live album is what quite a few music nerds would describe as something of an odd collection music, mainly by not really sticking to any one particular subset of music but instead mixing and blending in details from quite a few different style orientations. The core style of this band is metal though, so whatever else one might say about this band and no matter what approach a writer will take, the metal aspect of this band is rock solid. For my sake I'd say that good, old fashioned heavy metal with liberal amounts of keyboard flavors are just about neck and neck with a similar variety of power metal as far as the key and dominant orientation of this band is concerned. The occasional breaks, tempo slowdown and use of jazz-inspired instrument movements adds a slight progressive metal flavor to the proceedings as well, but as far as my perception is concerned this is really a minor element of this band's repertoire. One that merits a mention rather than one that demands a stronger focus and a more elaborate presentation. Rather more important when it comes to a live album is how this music sounds in a live setting. And in this case this is a bit of a hit and miss affair I'm afraid. The guitars are nice and crunchy, the lead vocals clear, powerful and melodic and the bass is tight but audible, and given ample room when needed. The keyboards are oddly subdued though, and much the same is the case for the backing vocals. The drums, on the other hands, strikes through loud and clear. The total experience when these elements are combined is an odd one. It pretty much sounds like the music is closed in and distant, coming across as unbalanced due to the keyboards being more distant and less audible than the other elements. Much the same is the case with a few of the spoken details in between songs incidentally, and I sometimes get the impression that this concert has been captured by microphones rather than being run through the mixer and captured there. The net effect of this is that as a live album it doesn't really manage to capture the energy one would expect, nor does this sound like a concert you would have desired to attend yourself. The plus points for this live album is that the vocals are good and the bands as such sounds like a tight unit. The totality of the mix and production elements, and/or the manner in which the audio was captured and treated or not, strikes me more as a detrimental aspect however.
Conclusion. As far as live albums go, "Live in the City of Power" isn't one I'd describe as essential in itself. A tight band but with an odd, closed in sound in general that the keyboards in particular suffer from, makes it a less than vital experience. It is a live album that documents this particular line-up of the band though, and as it is their only live album as well dedicated fans might want to get this one or it's DVD counterpart for any of those reasons. But for others, I'd check out their studio albums prior to this one.
Progmessor: October 16th 2019
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