Nima : Italian warriors Derdian have entered their fifteenth anniversary this year and celebrate it with a new album. I have followed this band from their first album, 'New Era - (Pt. 1)', on and although they delivered good, melodic power metal in the vein of Rhapsody Of Fire, Domine, Kamelot, Angra and associates on each album, they never really managed to fully convince me. The three previous albums didn't have “it” and were too standard for my taste. Well, I don't pay much or any value to originality and innovation in general, but in Derdian's case they also couldn't manage to keep me focused for long, causing the records to fall into oblivion in my book.
On their fourth long player, 'Limbo', the quintet continues on the same musical path they took on the previous records, and have again delivered a not-so-shocking, rather predictable symphonic power metal. However, what strikes me right from the intro 'Carpe Diem' and the opener 'Dragon Life' on, is that the band has taken matters into a stronger hand. The music demands my attention almost immediately, and especially since I didn't have too many expectations to start with, I was very (pleasantly) surprised. Also on the following tracks the men make an equally good impression. As stated, they haven't strayed from their musical path and the album has everything that the book of symphonic power metal subscribes: fast riffs, catchy guitar and keyboard solos, atmospheric, dreamy and exciting keyboards, a choir here, an orchestra there, melodic, melancholic pieces, etcetera, etcetera... the difference this time however, is that the album doesn't collapse as quickly and that it, despite the lack of an own identity, manages to keep you focused.
The arrival of new vocalist Ivan Giannini (Ivory), who sounds slightly stronger and less sweet than his predecessor, has definitely been to the band's benefit and is certainly a reason that this album makes a stronger stand. I must say that due the fact that the music is still too predictable, the total playing time of almost 68 minutes is a bit too long. All in all however, 'Limbo' is Derdian's strongest album to date, and will satisfy the fans of melodic, symphonic power metal.