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   SHINING FURY
Last Sunrise
2004
Metal Blade
http://www.shiningfury.com


rating: 3,5/5

1. Intro
2. Broken Hopes
3. 060501
4. Sleepin' Coma
5. Snake's Game
6. Last Sunrise
7. Memories
8. Speed Of Life
9. Declaration Of A Cheat
10. Net Love
11. Rosanna

After a classical intro with children's voices "Broken Hopes" sets in and immediately gives away the band's style: epic-euro-speed-power-metal. Or "happy" metal. As you may know it's in general a genre I don't like, but it wasn't that simple. I was compelled to listen to the whole CD, and more than once. Although I find some songs or parts pretty cheesy ("060501"), there's more to it. There are some well-written songs on it and there are as many references to Metalium, Symphony X or fellow Italians Labÿrinth as to Strato or Helloween. The only thing I find over-the-top on a regular basis on this CD is Ross Lukather's fast drumming - I get the urge to keep the cafeine away from him ;) At the end of "Sleepin' Coma", that I find pretty good except for the chorus, I start to notice singer Francesco Neretti when he hits some higher notes. And then "Snake's Game" sets in and I'm blown away by this more traditional song, more hardrock-ish, darker and with amazing vocals that give me goosebumps! Francesco is suddenly singing with so much soul and power, the faster songs just don't do justice to his voice. And not to the rest of the band either BTW. Everything is in place here in this song. Great musicanship, great composition, building up to a chilling emotional chorus, woah!! What a surprise after all the speedy songs. It's back to more "happy" business after that, although I do like "Last Sunrise" (Metalium-ish except for again a too cheesy chorus). "Memories" is again a song that stands out because it's totally different and fascinates me. After a long intro of a couple fighting, a sensitive ballad starts with even some saxophone in it and along the way the song builds up to a emotional and heavier second half. Francesco really sings his heart out on this 8+ minute (incl. the intro) song, a beautiful melodic guitarsolo isn't missing either! If this is how the band can sound like, it beats me why they have to play fast without having the chance to put as much fire in it. But I guess that's a matter of personal taste. "Speed Of Life" is pretty good, nothing over the top there, and "Declaration Of A Cheat" isn't as fast either with a bigger part for the keys. "Net Love" starts acoustic, then after a minute the speed-attack is back, but no cheese ;) Nicely it fades out in the same acoustic way to lead us to the cover on the album: Toto's "Rosanna". I'm not particular fond of the original, but I find this version no improvement. On the contrary, the double-bass parts don't fit at all. Not a very powerful closer unfortunately.
I have to say that this must be my most played "happy" CD (or at least for my taste - I can already imagine the discussions with labelboss Trengert on this one haha! Hi Mike! ;)) If you check this CD at your local CD-store, be sure to listen to more than the first few songs to get a good idea of it.

submitted by Marlies 06.01.2004

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