Since their formation 20 years ago in Italy, Drakkar are an epic, drive, and powerful force of Power Metal with an eruptive sound. The band released so far four albums and they took me by surprise. Not just the sound, but with a driven effort and strength inside them and they can give the vitality of the genre into an extent measure.
This year, they have released their fifth album entitled, Run with the Wolf on the My Kingdom Music label. It has sing-along melodies that can you raise your fists and not just headbang, but get into the vibes and the eruptive dueling duo guitar lines, keyboards with the structures of the Prog genre thrown in. There are touches of Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, and Judas Priest that is destined to be playing at a very loud sound with a blaring roar.
The band considers; Emanuele Laghi on Keyboards, Paolo Pirola on Drums, Dave Dell’Orto on Lead Vocals, Dario Beretta on Guitar, and Simon Cappato on Bass Guitar. There are five highlights throughout the album that just taken me to a whole new level that made me realize this is a band that will soon be one of my favorites in the Power and Progressive Metal genre.
The title track goes into a throttling car driven adventure in the styles of the Deep Purple sound during the Machine Head-era as Emanuele captures the essence of the late great Jon Lord as Dario goes into the styles of both Ritchie Blackmore and KK Downing. His styles of riffs in those areas are very powerful in his rhythm between the riffs and eruptive powers he brings into his Guitar.
Dave Dell’Orto’s vocals on the title track, reminded me in the reigns of Bruce Dickinson and Ian Gillian also. It has a mid to late ‘70s/early ‘80s vibe of the beginnings of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal flown in as if they were in awe of what they are doing to pay homage to the movement.
The Celtic Folk Metal composition of Southern Cross begins with the first minute and 23-seconds of introductions between the acoustics as it kicks into the harder edges whilst becoming soon going to become a fan-favorite and soon to be a live song. It has the sing-along melodies thrown into the lyrics that they do and its raising fists in the air and lighting the lighters up in the air to enjoy.
Meanwhile the beat per minute going at 171 is a thumping fast tempo on Invincible, is another blistering adventure. You could tell that Drakkar are paying tribute to the great Thin Lizzy. Dave is going into the elements of Scott Gorham throughout this track. There are some elements between the Jailbreak-era and not to mention the epic, Rosin Dubh (Black Rose): A Rock Legend.
And Dave is going through the guitar to show his love of the inspirations of the bands he grew up on to make sure that Drakkar are carrying the torch for them. But its on the EP bonus which covers their first three albums with the current lineup of Galadriel Song, is epic and touching at the same time to show Drakkar with their fantasy side tribute to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. It starts with an orchestral epic theme before going into a electronic piano touch as Dave’s voices come in to tell the story of Galadriel as the midsection has gentle touch with the flute solo and string section from the Keyboards done by Emanuele by giving the atmosphere of Tolkien’s book.
And then, Dave and Paolo Correale’s soprano vocals in an operatic style gives it that climatic finale and they nail it throughout the section and Dave wants to make sure that he’s got Paolo’s back to hit those notes in an superb and jaw-dropping moment of the composition before Dave and Emanuele’s piano helps it end to say farewell.
Call of the Dragonblood is one of the tracks I have really enjoyed because of the how it is structured. It starts off with a melodic guitar introduction before kicking into high gear of the riffs and organ-driven beats between both Dario and Emanuele. But it’s Emanuele going into the drive of both Jon Lord and Keith Emerson by taking the keyboards into the Prog treatment that is blistering and powerful.
And he’s is nailing throughout the midsection as both Dario and Pirola help him out before Dario goes into his solo tapping structures and back into the beat and vocalizations and church organ combination. You could tell Drakkar know their touch of the storytelling compositions with the elements of Power Metal, they have done well.
I have listened to Run With the Wolf about ten times now, and I’m blown away each time I’ve listened to Drakkar’s music and I can’t wait to explore and listen to more of their music later on this year or in the near future to see what other surprises they have waiting to go into. So if you are ready to go into the sounds of Drakkar, then Run With the Wolf is the highly recommended album to dive into for the Progressive and Power Metal fans to embark on an an adventure you will never forget.