MEZZOPALO - UNDERSKIN STORIES (Pure Steel Records)
Mezzopalo is an Italian band that prefers to play their songs in a traditional Hard Rock style, and that’s rather unusual for bands from the South of Europe. Most Italian bands prefer to play a mix of Power Metal with bombastic elements or dwell in the deepest crypts of Hell to bring their satanic lyrics in a cauldron of blood.
Mezzopalo started as a cover band and the meaning of the name should be something like ‘middle pole’, whatever the deeper meaning is. The band recorded already an EP in 2005, but it took 9 years to fulfill their dream: a debut album released on Pure Steel Records.
Nice Hard Rock tunes but at the same time, the competition is pretty tough. For example, today I listened to the new Slash album ‘World On Fire’, which is a top notch product, but immediately exposes the big difference between a classy Hard Rock album and an average one. Perhaps, Slash laid the level pretty high to the disadvantage of others… Anyhow, Mezzopalo succeeded in an nice album and 10 songs that vary enough, but there is still a lot of work ahead. Some of the songs have a nice guitar solo (‘No Reaction’), while others have remarkable arrangements. A track like ‘Conversations’ takes 6,5 minutes, and starts really modest, but as you might expect, a long duration has the possibilities to add a lot of twists and turns in the arrangement. So does Mezzopalo and the guitars of Nicola Conci and Michele Pezzé have tons of time to explore the song to its limits!
Those that are more into the straight forward Hard Rock’n Roll better listen to track 7 ‘Skeletons’, as the pace is direct and full speed ahead! ‘Bad Habits’ has the same ingredients and properties. The closing track is called ‘Another Sip Of Hell’ and that can be nominated as best track on the album. Plus 7 minutes of musical pleasure and craftsmanship with a voice that opens pretty high. This song is in huge contrast with tracks like ‘Honolulu’ which I consider as too simple and average. I hope that the band will focus in the near future on tracks with a longer duration, as it seems that those are best, as every member is capable to get everything out of his instrument, unlimited.
Mezzopalo succeeded in an average album with a few highlights, and as you can expect, the listener wants a lot nowadays, so let’s focus on the next album, with hopefully a road ahead that is not too steep. All in all, an album with a few joyful moments, but we would like to hear more quality tracks in the future instead of only few. https://www.facebook.com/mezzopalo
My rating: 72 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard
50- : Rubbish