Italians Alchemy have surely hit the bullseye with their sumptuous new offering Dyadic.

I had to look up what that word meant – it means the interaction between a pair of individuals, apparently – and, armed with this information I dived headlong into the album, which would indeed appear to be all about relationships. Between individuals. Opening up with some pompous parping from keyboarder Andrew Trabelsi, Cursed leaves the listener in no doubt as to what sort of trip awaits the ears over the next eleven tracks; pomped-up AOR mayhem!

Oh yes. If you weren’t already wearing one, you’ll be heading into your wardrobe and pulling out your best pastel-shaded linen jacket, putting it on and hiking the sleeves elbowards whilst simultaneously trying to play air guitar and keyboards as soon as Cursed comes crashing out of the speakers. This is truly classic heavy AOR; Impassioned vocals lead the show, courtesy of the superb Marcello Spera, but everyone contributes here, even bassist Matteo Castelli gets a look in, with the generous mix affording everyone space to shine. His roving four string work is another highlight throughout.

But of course AOR is nothing without a swoonsomely insane level of keyboard/guitar interplay, and Trabelsi and six stringer Cristiano Stefera deliver in spades time and again. Stefera contributes at least one spine-tingling solo per song, every one beautifully constructed and tailored to fit it’s surroundings perfectly – tidy work Cristiano!

One Step Away is even better than the opening track, being heavily reminiscent of criminally underrated Americans Prophet, whilst the balladic Goodbye is a little more obvious (it sounds like Bon Jovi) but just as goosebump-inducing. These boys have a knack for a classic radio-rock chorus, and really every song could be a single if such things still existed. Endless Quest shoehorns some classic ‘woah-ohs’ in for good measure as if the whole thing wasn’t memorable enough; If I seem a little breathless it’s because of the sheer overload of greatness to be found in each and every song… I honestly don’t remember hearing an album from an ‘unknown’ band that sounds quite so much like the real deal… maybe the first Cats In Space album? I don’t know. And it really is of no matter. If you love the heavier side of AOR, if you love great hard rock delivered with passion and verve then, ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to introduce to you to what will become one of your favourite albums of 2019. No need to thank me!

Alchemy will release Dyadic through Street Symphonies on March 29th.