The Force is with us!
-- Cristiano Filippini's Flames Of Heaven --
|■||Symphonic power metal|
|■||Cristiano Filippini||Guitars, keyboards, orchestrations|
Review written by Stijn “Metal Shredder” Daneels.
[METAL SHREDDER REPORTING]
Cristiano Filippini’s Flames of Heaven first came into my sights when our longtime friends at Hard Life Promotion had sent me a download link to review “The Force Within” album. Since I’ve always been a big fan of epic power metal I obviously couldn’t let this chance slip by.
“The Force Within” is the debut album by Cristiano Filippini’s music project Flames of Heaven, founded by the Italian composer and multi-instrumentalist of the same name. Before starting this metal band, Cristiano achieved success as a highly acclaimed symphonic orchestrator. Cristiano Filippini’s Flames of Heaven’s album “The Force Within” is released through German record label Limb Music and sent to us by Hard Life Promotion.
“The Force Within” begins with its title track, a short and sweet opening that features metallic guitars and synthesizers that would fit perfectly as an opening tune for an 1980s action TV show. The album then begins for real with “We Fight For Eternity,” an epic barrage of power metal guitars and drums, symphonic keyboards, operatic vocals as well as prog metal guitar solos. Next up is “Far Away,” which is a slightly slower and more guitar focused track with intimate singing and catchy beats.
“Against The Hellfire” puts greater emphasis on keyboards and that gives this particular song a very futuristic feel which would be very suitable for a campy sci-fi movie. “Always With You” is the typical prog metal love ballad, featuring acoustic opening and ending piano with slow, thunderous riffs in the middle part. “Dying For Love” is a similar love-themed tune, but this time with heavier beats.
“Finding Yourself” is another peaceful song, similar to the earlier “Always With You.” Then comes “Lightning In The Night,” one of heaviest songs on the album with frantic drums, soaring vocals and roaring guitars. Things get acoustic again with “Missing You” before heading back to the orchestral path with the energetic follow-up “Moonlight Phantom.” The album’s penultimate track “The Angel And The Faith” showcases the band’s symphonic side while the band’s usual traits go at it again for one last, great time. And finally things cool down with the instrumental and catchy orchestral piece “Ab Angelis Defensa."
If there’s one thing Cristiano Filippini’s Flames Of Heaven excels at, is in making their music feel larger-than-life without using an excessive number of instruments. Just guitars, drums, vocals and keyboards. The music breathes genuine passion and energy that remains very engaging as the album goes through its hour long runtime.
The artwork of “The Force Within” features a futuristic city skyline (complete with flying cars) and three sword-wielding angelic beings (who remind me of the Valar from the Lord Of The Rings) watching over the sprawling metropolis. The entire scenery is very colorful and inspiring that looks like a visual homage to the fantasies of power metal with the sci-fi settings of prog metal.
[SHARPEST SHREDS & BLUNTEST BLADES]
Tracks like “We Fight For Eternity,” “Against The Hellfire,” “Lightning In The Night” and “The Angel And The Faith” are my favorites for their highly orchestral power metal feel. Although I didn’t notice any particular weak tracks on this release, I would’ve preferred the songs to be a bit shorter. Pretty much all songs on “The Force Within” are over 5 minutes’ in length and that makes listening to this album quite a long but excellent ride. Of course, having a taste for shorter songs doesn’t count as genuine criticism, so therefore, “The Force Within” gets a well-deserved…
9 Valar out of 10. Cristiano Filippini’s Flames Of Heaven’s debut album features a majestic showcase of power, symphonic and progressive metal that I can warmly recommend to everyone who’s just as passionate about these subgenres as the band who plays them here! Enjoy “We Fight For Eternity.”