HistoryThis Massa-based band was born in 1991 and soon changed its name from Sons Of Thunder to Labyrinth. The band’s line-up was Frank Andiver - drum, Andrea Bartoletti - bass guitar, Andrea Cantarelli - lead guitar, Carlo Andrea Magnani - lead guitar and Fabio Tordiglione - vocals. The group came to the scene’s attention through the Midnight Resistance demo in 1995. Underground Symphony issued an EP by the band in 1995 called Piece Of Time. Labyrinth next obtained a contract with Pick Up Records and began its journey through a myriad of record companies. The debut featured Joe Terry on vocals. The band’s main market was soon established to be Japan.
The group signed with Metal Blade next and played the Gods Of Metal festival in Italy. Rob Tyrant left the band in 1998 and would be replaced by singer Morby of the band Domine. The band was given another break when it secured the opening slot for Hammerfall’s European tour. Tyrant would return in 1999. He is also known as a Eurobeat artist, Powerful T. The band issued a mini-CD called Timeless Crime in 1999 before playing at Wacken. Sons Of Thunder - the band’s early monicker incidentally - would be produced by Neil Kernon, but Thörsen would soon depart. The various members would take part in various side projects, like Shadows Of Steel, Athlantis and Odyssea. The band signed to Century Media in 2003.
Freeman would appear on the Spanish label Arise and (perhaps consequently) the label would soon declare bankruptcy. The album itself would be heavily criticized and disdained for its commercial sound. Pier Gonella would also join Necrodeath in 2006. The group would find an Italian label next, namely Scarlet Records. 6 Days To Nowhere would appear in mid-2007. Scarlet Records issued a compilation of the band’s music called As Time Goes By” in 2011. Roberto Tiranti left Labyrinth in the summer of 2014. In a statement the singer insisted, “I've had the best band I could have had to express myself in that field and I'm sure I won't ever be part of any other band of similar type, it would be stupid, incoherent and unfair to Labyrinth.” The band hired drifter Mark Boals of Yngwie Malmsteen, Ring Of Fire, Royal Hunt, etc. fame. Sergio Pagnacco was on bass. Labyrinth would return with a new studio album, called Architecture Of A God, on April 21st 2017 through Frontiers Music. The band reformed with singer Roberto Tiranti. Also in were bassist Nik Mazzucconi, drummer-for-hire John Macaluso (TNT, Riot, etc.) and Oleg Smirnoff (Vision Divine and Edritch) on keyboards. Labyrinth, which had its reunion show at Frontiers Metal Festival in Trezzo Sull'Adda on October 30th, 2016 playing Return To Heaven Denied in its entirety for the second time ever, saw the recording released as a CD and DVD through Frontiers in January 2018.
LABYRINTH - LABYRINTH - CENTURY MEDIA
When it comes down to it, Labyrinth will always be Labyrinth. The Italian band can get fast and heavy, but will always choose to emphasize the cleanly-played melodic passages. The kick-off riff to Just Soldier (Stay Down), for instance, rips, yet is instantly ruined by desultory synthesizers. The band can best be described as a cross between Helloween and Dream Theater, heavy at times and pompous at other times. They are obviously good at what they do, but this keyboard-laden sound is past its prime by now. In the same context, the singer hits those high notes which can occasionally get on one's nerves. They are impressive, but can and do get out of hand here and there. Elsewhere, the best thing on this album is the fluid guitar solo charges. They accompany the songs and complement the aforementioned bursts of heaviness well. What else is there to mention? The band also presents a few drum machine parts, as well as slower passages and ballads. All this is within the context of a very good sound courtesy of Noise Factory Studio.
Labyrinth has it in it to be a real heavy metal band, but instead chooses to temper the approach by unnecessary and commercial elements. - Ali "The Metallian"
LABYRINTH - FREEMAN - ARISE
Freeman is a new Labyrinth album featuring a new line-up on a new record company which consequently has translated into a new sound for the band. The sextet is still recognizable in sound, but fans should expect a band that is more rock-oriented, less into fantasy and probably consciously striving for a more modern sound. The Italians' progressive tendencies, keyboards and high-pitched vocals still exist, albeit tempered and enveloped in an up-to-date fashion. Also worthy of note is the promotional photograph which has the band in straitjackets, a poor cover shot and a promotional CD hampered by edited music (sigh). - Ali "The Metallian"
LABYRINTH - 6 DAYS TO NOWHERE - SCARLET
Labyrinth has outdone itself and recorded its worst album yet. 6 Days To Nowhere is weak in every respect including vocals, drums, riffs and sound. It is shocking how an album this poppy, silly and tired can be termed metal. In the '70s, '80s and part of '90s 'metal' signified heaviness, extremeness and above average power, but nowadays apparently anyone can slap a 'prog-power' tag on anything and sell it as heavy metal. Truth be told, 6 Days To Nowhere is too light for VH1, too poppy for Much Music and too soft for Eurovision. The horrid drumming which often sounds like fingers snapping, the constipated singer whose sex is anyone's guess on a song like What??? (precisely), the soft rock songs with soothing melodies, the flamenco arrangements and pompous arrangements negate the need to even mention the comical synthesizers.
Labyrinth’s album title says more than any review could. Metal Blade, Century Media and Arise Records could make nothing of this band and took the financial hits. Scarlet Records was pre-warned. This album is sterile, feeble, offensive and on the cutting edge of blandness. - Ali “The Metallian”