Bob Katsionis is a remarkable chap, a one-man heavy metal factory seemingly always in gainful employment. Not only that, the association of the man’s name with a project is an almost-certain assurance of quality music. If he’s on it, I want to listen to it, so it’s come of no surprise to me that the latest band to feature our keyboard-toting hero, Wonders, are really rather splendid.

The PR blurb that accompanies the review copy of The Fragments of Wonder tosses in names like Stratovarius and Beast In Black by way of referential shorthand, and whilst there are trace elements of both acts at play here, it’s nice to be able to report that Wonders deliver what is very much their own brand of Euro power metal. Standout track Sacrifice is perhaps the most ‘familiar’ track with it’s prog flourishes and nifty Katsionis solo, but even here the band attack the task at hand with a vitality and freshness that stops anything from becoming too samey.

Vocalist Marco Pastorino has a strong, vibrant tone; his star shines brightest on the superb Miracle of Life where he gives a bravura performance that really carries the track to stratospheric heights, backed by the superb guitar work of Pietro Paulo Lunesu and a spectacular drum performance from brother Giorgio. And if the rest of the material here isn’t quite so stellar I can quite honestly say that there isn’t a dull moment to be found anywhere on the record.

Fans of the more melodic, anthemic end of Euro metal will absolutely love the album’s title track, which adds a sparkling pomp-metal gloss to the band’s arsenal (it’s my fave track on the record – Pomp-loving Ed), and it’s this versatilty and ability to provide top-notch songwriting across a variety of styles that makes TFOW such a compelling proposition.

The Fragments of Wonder releases on 12 November.