Mission Empire
The call of Banshee
Victims of science
Flowers of hell
Human quest
By the Light of Lady Moon
Knights of the Black Cross




Bruno Masulli - Vocals

Marco Signore - Keyboards, background vocals

Lino Mazzola - Drum, background vocals

Ly Holestone - Bass

Jo Dardano - Guitar


guest vocals by Marilena Pace

MARSHALL: "Pages from the Past"     marshall            frontiers

Recorded in Naples at RR Sound


preview-review  by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo____      

Mature in order to release chemicals of history and Heavy Metal. The shadow of the The Teutonic Order is over you!

You don't know the price

nothing you can change

get the scent of Hell


Have you ever dreamed of the flowers of hell? Have you ever felt a kind of genetic nostalgia for a very far past  where and when heroes walked and fought , when the spirit of mankind was longing for something immortal? Would you like to listen to intelligent lyrics that invite to discuss and to meditate about past  and present, sustained by an essential Heavy Metal/Melodic Hard Rock in the wake  of the  eighties? Would you like to listen to something anthemic and epic, at times neo-classical, but without clichés and useless bombastic overplus? Something pocket and appealing, something you can reach with your hand? With influences that go from Domain to Saxon,  Iron Maiden and, in a way, to Heimdall? With a noticeable atmospheric  and Prog component? If yes, if you appreciate the 80's and dynamic cadenced catchy midtempo's , involving solos, musicianship ability, the Italian Marshall won't disappoint you. In that  case, Marshall seem to offer you  what you want, without being  too extreme, nonetheless they are  very subtle and  immediately attractive. After the good album "Atlantis", the band from Naples is mature for releasing chemicals of history and Heavy and Prog throughout Italy and beyond, through this new album, "Pages from the Past", that conceptually will lead you into the maze of history and human decadence. The subliminal will to spread your wings of imagination among Teutonic Knights, black crosses, ancient Greek warriors or angry Gods of Fire will remain utterly stuck  to your skin.  Marshall  range between powerfully rides and wide melodic cascades, among light and dark with a lot of ideas and determination. Even better if you listen to them with a very high  volume or through headphones:  in that way there is no dispersion, everything becomes more compact,  and you can notice a lot of details like whispers, instrument distortion, the different embroidery made by vocals and keys.



Marshall and Blaze Bayley at La Sfinge, in 2005



Fueled by mastermind keyboard-player Marco Signore and singer Bruno Masulli, Marshall showcase a commanding  rhythmic session in the hands of bass player Ly Holestone and drummer Lino Mazzola, who both , in my opinion,  have a soft spot for Thrash methinks. 

The lead guitar makes us feel 20 years younger with awesome solos in foreground and  the insertions of Marco's lively piercing piano add  strong color to melodies and rhythm. The fact is that every instrument is perfectly distinguishable, yet the cohesion  is big. Maybe the production could have proposed a more imposing background, in some points the sound looks very "eighties". Anyway what Marshall do is  knowledge and ability without any help of pumping up  methods. Although not 100% innovative,  Marshall are proposing, nonetheless, fresh songs  and surely new ingredients in texts as well as in music , for example the fact  to put together Heavy Metal , Prog under a dark vision which could even lead to tendencies of Thrash or Gothic or Black if only the band would have the determination to break seriously some boundaries. They have the potentiality to do it. 

Last  but not least, Marshall guest an  angelic presence, a soprano voice adapted to metal in  the best  way. Such an enjoyable round strong female voice, like rarely i've heard.

 Coming from classical study and years  of sacred chant, the young and beautiful Marilena Pace makes her appearance in some songs,  giving source to remarkable duets. Every note sung by Marilena is perfect with a pleasant timbre. Incredible performance for a girl  that is quite new to the Metal world. For me better than Tarja Turunen. And indeed the good vocal variety is another important  characteristic of "Pages from the Past": choirs, backing vocals, sung in clear by Bruno and Marco (never high-pitched)  as well as deep bass tones and the soprano female vocals arise, all together,  a sense of diversification and dynamism. 


The excursus among the tracks is fluent as well as interesting. In general the background is enough dark, at times even  gothic like. The opener Mission Empire is one of the strongest tracks, where pounding midtempo fades into uptempo . Riff intensive Heavy metal that fades into balladesque Power and erupts then  into an anthemic wall of choirs, a couple of  top notes and a pummeling uptempo. With Mission Empire Marshall present themselves like a group of with  mystical  attitude mixed with a bittersweet longing  for old school Metal and Rock. The melodic discharge with the key loops in background is so beautiful and precedes a Prog bridge and the return of the refrain. The Call of the Banshee where Marilena's vocals are immediately protagonists together with Bruno, is epic, full of pressure balanced with melodic and pounding Prog rides. There is much care in every detail in order that every instrument and every voice finds the perfect timing , and even deep almost growling attacks are present. Vocals range from the more highpitched soprano to deep emission while the double kick drum complete the dry snare, making a good contrast with the narrative keys. Victims of Science is just an one minute instrumental passage but such an amazing one with a sorrowful yet pushing melody and a rainy piano, while the  guitars lunch  with  an optimal force and typical Heavy Metal/Rock abrasive distortion the next Flowers of Hell, one of the tracks i like the most . Cadenced, strong, metal melt down, obscure, outrageously catchy but never commercial , well it impacts savagely  in the wake of the mythical 80's with a bitter flower of crusaders ready for the battle. Amazing the way that Bruno performs here, and only rarely  recurring to yet well launched high notes , while the gloomy choir adds a kind of Table Ronde  environment. Please notice how the piano develops notes like they were frozen drops of water. Thermopylae, obviously based on the story of Leonidas and the Greek  arrows that darken the sky, leaves me a bit perplexed, its intro could be a pagan one more in Turisas style, and the  too Italian - oriented melodic breakdown makes this song difficult to be interpreted as inspired by the episode of the Thermopylae indeed, in spite of the call- to- arms drumming. Fortunately it follows an (instrumental) acoustic  masterpiece: Pentekonter, with a major  guitar  arpeggio. Mournful feeling, with stress on the strings during the chord change, decadence and sorrow and sadness of finest. Wonderful the sound.  

Marco Signore in just 5 minutes got the inspiration for the lyrics of the 6 minutes Human Quest, the most Iron Maiden oriented with a big Saxon influence too, anyway essential in its construction.  

I’m still looking for
A person that means what he really is

Looking for man
Every night with my lamp I search in vain!


The short melodic  By the Light of Lady Moon has a strong  nocturnal piano in foreground, sung in  clear by Marco , with a gloomy  approach of that minimalist  solemnity of  the first part of xxth century, followed by a long  (10:47) Prog suite Krakatau where an entire story is told, a little opus in the opus, that requires a not superficial attention. And finally  another of my fav tracks, enriched by  the participation of  Marilena Pace, who gives unforgettable chills. Epic and anthemic yet always gloomy, Knights of the Black Cross tells a portrait of the  Teutonic Knights seen through the eyes of their   enemies (very likely Poles and Lithuanians before the Grunwald battle in 1410) . I imagine these lyrics can invite to a lot of confrontation, but one thing is true:

according to the Rules and practices of the Order, Obedience unto Death.


Marshall Knights! see you on tour in Italy and hopefully somewhere in Europe.  The shadow of the The Teutonic Order is over you!


rating: 8.9/10


dalia di giacomo 
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