Published on March 2nd, 2018 | by Justin G.
Lione-Conti: Lione-Conti (Frontiers)
Now here’s a collaboration that is sure to get power metal fans’ attention. Lione-Conti pairs two titanic power metal voices, both veterans of Rhapsody or Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody (not to be confused with Rhapsody of Fire, which is Rhapsody with only the keyboard player left) – Fabio Lione (now with Angra) and Alessandro Conti (of Trick or Treat). The Frontiers label brought these two together alongside (surprise!) guitarist/songwriter/producer Simone Mularoni (DGM) and gave them a cover image of a lion fighting a swan (wait, a swan?). I guess Luca Turilli has an iron grip on all the dragons. Anyway…
Everything about this pointed to an Allen-Lande meets Rhapsody-style project, and that set expectations quite high. Unfortunately Lione-Conti doesn’t quite live up to those expectations. For their part, Fabio Lione and Alessandro Conti both turn in very strong performances. It’s always interesting to hear how Lione will approach an album, as his style on a Rhapsody album is more over the top and dramatic than it is on recent Angra releases. He’s more restrained here, which is appropriate given that Mularoni really didn’t write a typical power metal album. More on that in a bit. Conti sounds fantastic, but that’s no surprise. He shows why he’s such a rising star in this scene.
Mularoni’s songwriting is what sets the tone here, and is probably where the album falters a bit. Not that it’s poorly written by any means. If this were a DGM album, you’d hear zero complaints. But you don’t bring these two vocalists together and give them Kamelot-ish melodic hard rock turned progressive metal songs. This should have been much more bombastic and way more power metal-oriented. It would have worked as an Allen-Lande album, but seems like the wrong fit for Lione-Conti.
It’s tough to set those expectations aside, but if you can do that there is a lot to like here. As noted earlier, you’re still getting great performances from two fantastic singers, and Mularoni’s guitar work and production are always top notch. I could see fans of Kamelot, Allen-Lande, Pagan’s Mind and of course DGM getting a lot out of this album. For Rhapsody fans though, it just feels like a missed opportunity.
Summary: Strong, but not the triumph it should have been