Volturian is a modern metal band from Italy formed in 2019, releasing their debut album ‘Crimson’ in 2020. Founded by vocalist Federica Lanna (ex Sleeping Romance) and guitarist/songwriter Federico Mondelli (Frozen Crown, Nocturna), the band explore a myriad of musical styles – not just the founder’s symphonic and power metal backgrounds – but also pop and the more somber Gothic metal. ‘Red Dragon’ is the band’s sophomore album and was released in 2022…
…featuring forty minutes of elegant and majestic metal that builds upon what the band’s debut delivered. Among the songs on offer this time around, are heavy hitters, symphonic strolls, melancholic marches, and pop pomp – all glued together by the incredible songwriting of Mondelli, and topped off with the amazing, wide-ranging vocals of Lanna. The new album is brought to life by the electronic keyboard-led two-minute instrumental ‘Rebirth’, building stealthily to a crescendo for ‘Stay’ to come crashing in like a wrecking ball devastating a building! Punchy and fast-paced, ‘Stay’ is fairly aggressive, portraying the band’s metal roots. Its highly infectious nature will have you hooked, hyped, and happy. The first single ‘Harley’, came with an accompanying video – Vaudevillian in nature, mixing elements of the musical horror film The Rocky Horror Picture Show (released in 1975) and a burlesque cabaret. The sultry vocals of Lanna are intoxicating, perfectly aligned to the underlying melancholic tones of ‘Harley’.
‘Empty World’ returns the heaviness of ‘Stay’, but also adds a highly addictive hard rock feel – forging a bridge between the genres of metal and rock. The band’s penchant for electronic keyboards adds an interesting twist to ‘Empty World’s sound, opening the Volturian sound up to a much wider audience than just hard rockers and heavy metallers. A majestic tall and proud almost ballad-like feel rises high to the surface as ‘Torn Asunder’ slides into sight, but the heavy pop-like pounding and symphonic style vocals move the song into an entirely different realm. Volturian really is an enigma, the band just doesn’t fit into any one genre of music, with their gifted guitarist and founder Mondelli finding inspiration from everywhere – the diversity of ‘Red Dragon’ much wider than the band’s debut album. Bringing forth a darker, more doom-laden feel, ‘Burn It Up’ is a slow crawl of pop-infused Gothic blended with industrial metal. The faultless vocals of the gorgeous Lanna soar effortlessly, covering – not just ‘Burn It Up’ but the entire album as a whole – in a layer of symphonic metal.
And even slower, yet more emphatically brooding, is ‘Distant Caress’. A staggering vocal performance takes center stage here, dueling with the keyboards for supremacy. But I reckon Lanna wins, for her voice is as beautiful as she is. And if you’re still in any doubt as to how impressive her range is – just listen once again to ‘Distant Caress’. And then listen a few more times. Absolutely stunning. With a heavy-hitting pop come metal feel, ‘Bury Me’ is a swashbuckling swagger of tempo-changing fury. Led by the guitars more than keyboards, ‘Bury Me’ has a highly melodic, sing a long-able chorus break that’ll surely go down a storm in a live arena – should the band decide to perform it of course. The heaviest hitting foot-stomper the album has to offer ‘Freeze’, is a thunderous cacophony of every musical style the band has in its arsenal – though I would say, ‘Freeze’ is led by the classic sound of traditional heavy metal. The album is brought to a close by the second electronic keyboard-led instrumental ‘Descent’ – a livelier and more feisty romp than the first.
Overall, ‘Red Dragon’ pulls inspiration from many musical styles and sews them together perfectly, creating a new, and innovative, modern metal sound.
Burn It Up
Release Year: 2022
Label: Scarlet Records
Reviewed by Iron Mathew for Frenzy Fire, and Metal-Roos.