Nima : I have followed Derdian’s career since the release of their debut, ’New Era Pt. 1’ (2005), and have seen them improve with each record. Although these Italians have been delivering quality and have proved to be a gifted band ever since the beginning, due to the total lack of identity I was not that impressed with the first three records, being the ‘New Era trilogy’. From the fourth record, ’Limbo’, on the band seemed to have found its drive and delivered a solid record, followed by the even stronger ’Human Reset’, which appeared a year later.
I was quite curious about the new LP, which was self(!)-released last month. And to my surprise ‘Revoulution Era’ is not really a new album. What we have here is a collection of re-recorded songs taken from the trilogy! Yes, that same trilogy I wasn’t that impressed with at the time. However, there is also a “but”: this is not just your average compilation of re-recordings that we see too much of these days, but the band has come with something interesting. Vocalist Ivan Giannini has left the band last year and the band doesn’t have a singer at the moment, but for ‘Revolution Era’ they have gotten help from a different singer for each song. And not just any singers. And so among others we have Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear), Henning Basse (Brainstorm, Mayan, ex-Metalium), Apollo Papathanasio (Spiritual Beggars, ex-Firewind), D.C. Cooper (Royal Hunt, ex-Silent Force), Terence Holler (Eldritch), Damnagoras (Elvenking) and Elisa C. Martin (ex-Dark Moor) – complete list here – have taken the microphone to please our ears with their vocal arts.
As far as the music itself goes the songs have been kept in their value. But the whole is performed with much more power and better-arranged compared to the originals, and let me just say that the songs truly blast. That also has to do with the fact that the keyboards, that played a dominant role initially, have been pushed more to the background and instead the guitars are put more to the front. And I must honestly say that I’m stunned and pleasantly surprised about how good the song sound in their current form. And believe me, despite the lack of originality, this is top-shelf symphonic power metal. On top of that all vocalist have done a tremendous job, and have of course also put their own stamp on the music, and provide a pleasant variety to the total picture. For me personally ‘Burn’ (with Henning Basse), ‘Battleplan’ (with Damnagoras), ‘The Hunter’ (with Ralf Scheepers) and ‘Cage Of Light’ (with Apollo Papathanasio) are a few tracks that provide the extra Goosebumps. And finally the production leaves little to be desired and gives the music that necessary extra kick in order blast.
Along with the thirteen re-recordings ‘Revolution Era’ also contains a new track. And dammit, this ‘Lord Of War’ really makes me curious about the next “real” album. Musically and stylistically this tracks is typically Derdian and comes across even stronger thanks to the magnificent vocals from Fabio Lione (Rhapsody Of Fire, Angra, Vision Divine). If the rest of the material is of the same quality as this song (and what we hear on ‘Revolution Era’ in general), then we are definitely in for a smasher. Until then we can fully enjoy this beautiful compilation. Fans of symphonic power metal can purchase this album without a second thought.