Leon : ‘God’s Design’, is the name of the debut album from Italian metal band A Taste Of Fear. Band leader, bass guitar player and songwriter Michele Attolino decided to start the band in 2014 and quickly found vocalist Stefano Sciamanna, a bit later, in 2015, drummer Flavio Castagnoli and guitarist Emiliano Pacioni completed the band. The music can be described a thrash metal with death metal influences, I sometimes even hear some influences of the band Death, especially the grunts, bass parts and riffs. The gentlemen are well capable of creating thrash metal and, on occasion, is actually really good, it’s especially refreshing to hear that the bass guitar is getting a lot of space, there are even a few bass guitar solos! It’s quite clear that it’s bass player Michele Attolino who writes the songs because, besides the solos, the bass has a clear presence throughout the whole album.
Actually, the bass is way too present in the mix of the album which makes it difficult to enjoy listening to the album. In general the songwriting isn’t consistent, the songs are a bit long and you get the feeling that riffs are repeated over and over again, and is quite dulling. The transitions in the songs aren’t great either, sometimes you feel like you are listening to multiple songs within a song. You sometimes also miss a second guitar player, or extra guitar parts, especially in the (very mediocre) guitar solos of Emiliano Pacioni where the dynamic takes a dive. Don’t get me wrong, Pacioni is a good guitar player but he really wants to show how good of a guitar player he is but overreaches in his efforts, I’d rather have a slower solo with a good sound. Another point of criticism is for singer Sefano Sciamanna, who sounds exactly the same throughout the whole album, such a shame because he actually has a pretty good voice. If he would do more with dynamics, emotions and rhythm it would be so much more interesting to listen to him.
Only drummer Flavio Castagnoli has a consistently good performance, if the other band members would play as dynamically as Castagnoli it would be a much more enjoyable album. The band saves the best songs for last (e.g. ‘The Passage’) and show that the band has a lot to offer. It definitely isn’t a bad album but it lacks the strength to keep the audience interested for an entire album, there really is room for improvement. However, I do look forward to their next album as the band definitely has the skills to become a great band.