1. Rainbow In The Dark
2. Summer Of 2001
3. Another Reason To Believe
4. Belzebù 2
5. Faded Fantasy
6. Last Ride
7. A Stupid Song
8. When Love And Hate Collide*

*cover Def Leppard
Eddy Antonini - Piano, Keys, Harpsichord, Orchestra Arrangements, Back Vocals
Fabio Dozzo - Lead and Back Vocals
Fabrizio Romani - Guitars, Back Vocals
Roberto “Brodo” Potenti - Six Strings Bass
Carlos - Drums
Kiara- Lead Vocals

SKYLARK : "Wings"                                  skylark      

release date 17th May 2004 

preview - review  by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo____   

An emotional sweet Melodic album with some moments oriented to hymnic Power. Too soft and weak anyway, without crunchy riffs and rhythmic guitar outbursts. There are some light Prog elements, while piano, harpsichord and orchestral strings provide touching feelings. Vocals, in particular Kiara's,  are agreeable. Anyway this album is not only melodic and romantic, it shows also more energetic passages in uptempo rhythm, but we are far from the strength of Power Metal and Rock. Indeed some melodies belong more to an harmonic Soft Rock/pop and the production could have been better. Nevertheless, like mentioned, there are also good remarkable features, and an awesome acoustic song.

First of all allow me to say that i like A LOT ..the "lion " -ornament of cover art and disc, and, in the same way, i like the winged logo of the band. But unfortunately (sigh of not relief) this album doesn't deliver us a roaring lion/gryphon but a tender little kitten, that has still a long road in front,  in order to grow up and display its claws. Sky Lark, the Italian band around its mastermind Eddy Antonini, play a very emotional music, with very good starting points, various vocals  (1 male lead, 1 female lead + 2 male back vocals), dreaming and fairy moments, good melodies that typically express that euro -taste that we can observe in the best forms of melodic pop/soft rock. Without speaking about the intense piano or about the constant work done by Roberto Potenti at his six-strings bass. Fact is that Sky Lark provide "nice" tracks, suitable for relaxing - chill out moments that with the strength of Power or Speed Metal have not much to do, honestly speaking. Nevertheless i must underline that some tracks provide here and there sprays of energy in a general contest that can be assigned to a very  melodic/soft  style full of grace with Power flavors. But crunchy riffs are practically absent and we are however very far from the aggressive energetic wall of hymnic sound provided by the Monsters of Rock and Power within and outside Italy, with whom SkyLark should compete. And if the style of SkyLark gets more in direction of a Soft Power applied through light orchestration and piano-prog elements, cause this is their characteristic... eh well, good to know, but guitar(s) must show their teeth anyway. Dura Lex sed Lex. No escape to this rule, sorry. Here we have one guitar only that shows its muscle very seldom.  Metal (and Rock too) have their rules, and if we hardly can accept a form of metal delivered through hard electronics (electro-metal) it is also true that Power is pure energy of guitars "per antonomasia", even in its balladesque version. It is like playing Paganini without violin. Unlikely, if not impossible. Attention,  i am neither close minded nor unaware that we can have soft - piano orchestral moments only in almost every style, but usually all this happens when the rest of the album is very strong. 
Anyway i don't like to punish this band too much cause their good ideas, their valid way to build a song, their agreeable vocals (and in particular Kiara can sing very well with an elastic velvety voice -and this is a very compliment from  me that i'm ferocious concerning female vocals-), their nice and not too exaggerate Prog elements make Wings enjoyable. But an enjoyable without pluck, aggressiveness and outburst from guitar's side is a zoppo one, sorry.
Among the delicate tracks, the softest of all, but after all the most enchanting too, is the cover of Def Leppard's "When Love and Hate collide" based only on piano and Kiara's vocals. This track closes the album in an emblematic way. A stupid Song is another soft emotional sad sorrowful track, pity that the wonderful piano has to play a melody that reminds too much of Bryan Adams
' I Do It For You (Everything I Do) and even if the song then develops a body of its own where a certain guitar force peeps among the orchestration's sounds, the ghost of Robin Hood aka Costner will remain in your mind for long. 
The albums starts off with Rainbow in the Dark and its sweet touching piano intro. The opener will develop  afterwards a speed Power anthem a bit in Helloween style, that however is supported mainly by drumming, piano and orchestral strings, with final sweet slowing down outro which re-takes the  intro chords. Summer of 2001 has much of Soft Rock/ Pop song à la Adams again and the attraction to Power is mainly a shadow that appears here and there, thanks to drumming and a feeble lead solo's oriented in  indeed towards the Power direction. Another Reason to believe is a delicate song, really catchy, full of romantic tenderness , really sweet and sung well, if only would be presented in a Grand prix de l'Eurovision of old good taste environment.... Belzebu on the contrary is very articulated, with slow and tender passages but also stronger ones, though that feeling of weakness persists. it is a little poem by its own where you can meet a great bass work, a appearance of crunchy guitar, passionate and exact drumming, a variety of orchestral (attention orchestral doesn't mean symphonic, eh?) strings, and not usual instruments , making it a varied adventure, after a first slow part and a piano bridge the tracks starts a second life with a more lively instrumental contribution, and a certain smooth tribal appeal and harpsichord appearance. The melodic concept of Belzebu is repeated in Faded Fantasy as excellent acoustic song: flawless acoustic guitar and female and male vocals together for  an emotional duo. 
A bit of rhythm is offered by the Last Ride that shows moments of chasing, pursuing and cadenced uptempo moments of Soft Power, with the omnipresent touch of sorrowful harmony, classical piano and final awesome and powerful (ehi!) drum-solo.

Just a couple of words concerning  production and arrangements: instruments are well defined and sketched,  as well as vocals are, though everything could be merged better: there is a sensation of empty space in the  background. 

After all i give a pass mark to this gentle album cause their nice elements are really sympathetic supported by  a good musical knowledge and playing technique, and i suggest this album too, but only to those who'd like to start their first shy steps into the Rock /Metal world. SkyLark could be a door for them. I suggest it  above all to the  young generations that doesn't want to shock their grandparents and have a soft spot for classic notes, and melody in general. I suggest it for those Speed /Power Metallers who'd like to live romantic moments or relax with a reminiscence of the beloved Power shores. I suggest it to all who like Medieval too. But at the same time i suggest to SkyLark to "move their a**" and to strongly activate their guitar side: for the future they should definitely choose among Metal or Sanremo. Dura Lex...sed Lex ;)

Rating: 6/10


dalia di giacomo    

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