Almost a quarter of a century into their career, Italy’s Airborn continue to churn out catchy – if at times derivative – power metal for the masses.
Midway through second track Edge of Disaster you’ll catch yourself wondering whether the band haven’t been given permission to cover a recently-discovered-but-never-released Blind Guardian track, and it’s this apparent lack of their own identity that perhaps hols Airborn back from gaining promotion to this type of music’s Premier League. Because, in terms of sheer talent the band are clearly ready for bigger things.
Golden Rules is far better in terms of individuality; it still assuages the band’s need to shoe-horn in earworms a plenty but they at least don’t sound like other band’s earworms, which surely represents something of a result. However is if you simply enjoy the Euro power metal sound for what it provides, rather than who provides it, then there’s no argument that Lizard Secrets Part Two… is a rather good addition to the genre’s canon.
Alessio Perardi has a pleasing, melodic voice – more hard rock than heavy metal, actually, which could be a pleasing point of difference in the band’s favour depending on your personal taste – and his guitar partnership with Roberto Capucchio provides more than enough moments of air-guitar-prompting moments for fans of that sort of thing. Bassist Domenico Buratti actually gets a look in in the mix (not always the case in this type of music) an acquits himself well whenever given the spotlight, whilst drummer Roberto Gaia has all the tools at his disposal tp perform his tasks with alacrity; his work on the fast-paced Gamma Ray-styled anthem Speed of Life in particular merits praise.
The band prove it’s not merely a vehicle for heads-down neck flexing with the balladic Condemned to Believe, which drops the tempo but retains the memorable phrasing and hooks; Perardi again proves his worth and versatility as a vocalist here, handling the drop in intensity well and really adding touch of class to proceedings. If you’re familiar with Australia’s Lord you’ll note the similarities but that’s absolutely a good thing in this reviewer’s opinion.
At the end of the day, Airborn are demonstrably offering nothing new with Lizard Secrets…, but they attack the task in hand with such skill and enthusiasm that that really doesn’t matter. If classic (and classy) Euro metal is your musical weapon of choice, then you’ll have a fine old time with Airborn. I know I did!
Lizard Secrets Part 2 – Age of Wonder is out now.