Italian conglomerate Last In Time offer a lot on their debut full-length Too Late – sometimes too much, as their quest to meld AOR, progressive and symphonic metal too often ends sounding like a cacophonous mashup of things that don’t quite gel together.

When they get it right, as they do on the vicious rocker Mr. Fantastic, they sound like real contenders. But sadly this is the exception rather than the rule as they strive to shoehorn too much into the majority of tracks.

Closing ballad Winter In May is something of a case in point; A gentle, tender paean to family relationships, the song is interrupted mid song by a face melting solo that sounds like it’s been parachuted in from elsewhere, destroying the delicate atmosphere built up in the first part of the track.

Good ideas abound, but the band’s over enthusiastic need to share them with the audience all at once often means they go to waste. Personal performances are good throughout with guest vocalist Caterina Minguzzi especially shining brightly whenever called upon for a contribution.

The project’s two mainstays, guitarist/songwriter Massimo Marchetti and vocalist Igor Piattesi, have clearly put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this record, and it would be churlish to dismiss their passion and clear love for what they do completely out of hand. But at some point in the future, if Last In Time is to become a viable vehicle for the pair’s undoubted talent, they need to decide more definitively in which direction they are headed from the list of influences they supply in their press biography. The heavier material here definitely works best, and, for these two musicians at least, it might pay to hone the excellent potential shown on Mr Fantastic moving forward…  But what do I know? Good luck to all involved whatever they decide to do!

Too Late releases on January 12th.