WHITE SKULL - Will Of The Strong
August 21, 2017, a month ago
Back from the dead! Thought the female fronted, orchestral Italian power metallers were a thing of the past, as this is the first White Skull album in five years. After extended symphonic intro, the Boltendal inspired she-devil Federica Sister De Boni launches into gravel throat metal. Imagine Rhapsody fronted by Holy Moses' Sabina Classen...”Holy Warrior”, about Joan Of Arc, comes close. While not a full blown concept album, seven of the eleven proper songs deal with strong women. “Grace O'Malley” relates the tale of the Irish pirate, before the title track picks up the pace once again, De Boni trying her hand at a more high pitched, operatic voice, in addition to the witchy intonation. “Lady Of Hope”, about Evita Peron, fades out to piano, with a vintage news reel speech over top.
The “Night Witches” Sabaton wrote about on Heroes (female Russian pilots in WW II, not the song of the same name from the Barbie movie) provides inspiration for a soaring “Hope Has Wings”. Crossing cultures, “Metal Indian”, with hints of Native American melodies (including tom-tom and chant finale), tells of Lozen, an Apache woman who fought alongside Geronimo, while the disc closing “Warrior Spirit” deals with Wang Cong'er, a Chinese rebel who inspired Disney's Mulan. “Sacrifice” begins with just an acoustic guitar and Sister's voice. First the ballad is joined by synth and eventually (around the half way point), the entire (albeit subdued) band, although the vocals do get more forceful. At the end of each verse, there's the blips of an EKG, which ultimately flatlines. In addition to a lyrically fulfilling endeavor, Will Of The Strong is a more satisfying musical outing. Will it make up for lost time?