Italy's one and only Gamma Ray tribute band, Deimos, is ready to do more than cover versions of classic tracks. This four piece from the north spent three years honing their skills, before finally commencing the work on an EP of original material. With the help of some friends, including metal guitarist extraordinaire Chris Caffery and vocalist Raffo Albanese of From The Depth, their dream became a reality. With five tracks of pure progressive power metal, with a splash of 80's hair metal influence, "TerminUs" signifies the arrival of Deimos.
There is something about "Wargreed" that conveys a classic metal style, be it the duel guitar attack of the rolling bass line. Singer Antonio Pecere, most notably of Crimson Dawn, provides the vocal tracks with a style that could be labeled as a subdued Rob Halford. His range is impressive, even when the mix is not. The guitar playing is top notch, and you would be hard pressed to find a missed beat from the rhythm section. The sounds of war serve as a segue from first to second, with "Gates Of Babylon" giving you a massive opening riff. The band hits their stride here, with a pounding drum beat to match the intensity of the guitars. Pecere is at his best, commanding the room with every note. Every element comes together, with a collage of spoken words layered atop a smooth bass line. Caffery cuts in, taking the lead with a ridiculous guitar solo. Not to be outdone, the band kicks things into high gear and shreds along, hitting every possible note along the way. Potential meets performance.
The raucous opening to "Vultures Lead Our Way" only helps to build the momentum gathered. Once again, a classic metal style comes through clearly in the building riffs. It would be impossible to ignore the consistency at play in the drumming, with Massimo Goletti pounding the skins in a way that demands, at minimum, a slow head nod. Somewhere amidst all of this, they strike the perfect balance between heavy aggression and flowing melody. As things slow down for "Locked Heart," you find yourself awash in a staggering duet between Pecere and Paola Gemma. Her voice is such a stark contrast to what the first three tracks have given you, that it leaves you a puddle of your former self. But, fear not, because this is not a sappy ballad to skip. Instead, they take their proven formula and add a second, enchanting voice to the mix. Together, they form a duo that is not to be trifled with. Clean guitars and bass are a solid foundation to build on, growing in sound and scope as the track progresses. A true sign of the talent at play here is taking a track that tops seven minutes, and making it fly by like a song of half the length, and half the content.
And, as a fitting finale to their debut, "Stonetears" sees the band with From The Depth frontman Raffo Albanese, who has a voice all his own. It's as if the old adage of "saving the best for last" has come to life, with every aspect of this track blowing you down. Albanese gives a mind blowing performance, but only with the aid of some of the most energetic guitar work the band could muster. There is not time to dial back the speed and power of this one, as it delivers fill after fill, roll after roll for a solid four minutes of over the top metal action. There are closing tracks that guide you gently to the finish line, and there are those that push you out a seventh story window. This is the latter, a closer of best kind, one that leaves you wanting so much more.
I have long been of the opinion that cover bands are the bane of the music world, giving anyone who can pick up an instrument a way to capitalize on the work of others. So, seeing a tribute band emerge as a true powerhouse in their field of expertise is refreshing, not to mention impressive. Deimos can go on paying homage to Gamma Ray, a band that truly deserves the respect of those who have heard them. But it is time to forge their own path, create their own identity. If the five songs on "TerminUs" are any indication as to what the future holds, no one will ever refer to these guys in the context of any other band again. Deimos may end up with a few tribute bands of their own.
Official Site - http://www.metaldeimos.net
Myspace - http://www.myspace.com/heavymetaldeimos