Arthemis - Back From the Heat
Underground Symphony
Power Metal
11 songs (45:05)
Release year: 2005
Underground Symphony
Reviewed by Cody
Surprise of the month

Arthemis's Back From the Heat, the latest from the Italian power metallers featuring Alessio Garavello and Andrea Martongelli of England's Power Metal five-some Power Quest. Undeniably power metal, Arthemis have released an album that is immediately adaptable to any power metaller. However, what makes Back From the Heat truly unique is its ability to appeal to traditional metal fans who are normally turned off by the stereotypical larger than life power metal outfit.

As most knowledgeable metalheads know, power metal is a genre full of bands from all over the world united under one banner: to make the campiest music on the face of the planet. Sure, there are some bands like Kamelot and Falconer that take different routes with a more mature metal sound, but the vast majority of power metallers feature tracks straight out of a Dungeons and Dragons DM handbook, or some philosopher's writing. Deep meaning is not generally what power metal is all about, and most power metal fans could care less. Power metal to me is about cheesy lyrics and grandiose neo-classical infused double bass melodies with glossy production; sometimes this formula works for the band based on their talent and technical craftsmanship, and other times...they fall flat on their faces. Back From the Heat represents the first.

Creating a formula based on largely traditional metallic riffs with some soaring melodic vocals, Arthemis manages to fight off that pesky problem facing most in the power metal community: repetition. Instead of lathering up the audience with over the top keyboard intros and solos, clever Italian actors doing voice overs to legitimize some lame medieval fantasy storyline, we are treated with guitar solo after guitar solo and, for the most part, quality vocal work.

The only real big hiccups on this album are the cover of Twister Sister's I Wanna Rock. Okay, this is a song that even Dee Snider admits was written just sell more records to the masses. Yes, it is a catchy song, but it is merely pulp fiction for the ear, I don't think anyone is going to debate this. So then I must ask the question...why oh why do we need a cover of this?! This B-side-ish song is completely out of place on a main release and should have been reserved on some EP. The second forgettable moment is the damn power ballad Ocean's Call. What a turd. This song sounds completely amateurish with bad vocals (what is the damn harmonizing? its horrendous!). Again, another throw away on an otherwise quality album.

Yes this album is definitely full of melody and has the trademark power metal sound, but like I mentioned before, if a band crafts a technically and creatively good album with superior songwriting abilities, its good metal! However, if the band constructs a standard issue album with standard vocals, standard songwriting ability, and standard conceptualization, that band is a waste of listening time. To the fans of classic traditional metal, do yourself a favor and listen to this album. If you are a power metal band, this puppy is a no brainer--go purchase immediately, or even exchange that latest Power Quest album for something that Alessio and Andrea are involved in that is worth listening to.

Killing Songs :
Star Wars, Thunder Wrath
Cody quoted 75 / 100
Jeff quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Arthemis that we have reviewed:
Arthemis - Black Society reviewed by Pete and quoted 80 / 100
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There are 9 replies to this review. Last one on Sat Oct 15, 2005 4:55 pm
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