Some bands take themselves very seriously indeed and could even be called po-faced and then there are those that revel in absurdity, adding a little humour to the proceedings and taking a lighter attitude to life and music. Such bands like Evil Scarecrow and Gloryhammer are totally crazy and play with tongues stuck firmly in cheeks but because they add humour it does not mean that they are not serious about their music. Another band that revels in the lunacy of it all is Italy’s Skeletoon, a heavy metal band that delights in what they call nerd rock given that much of their look and seems to come for the love of comic books, fantasy and horror.
Band leader and vocalist Tomi Fooler (quite possibly not his real name) used to front a Helloween tribute band called Jack-O’-Lantern but he closed the band in 2011 to form the new outfit Skeletoon and they have now previously released three albums of pirate, space and horror influenced mayhem with last year’s They Never Say Die even being Goonies based, enough said! Apparently, all of the albums are interlinked into something of a power metal saga and so now come to the latest release and the much larger than life Nemesis which is, apparently, the start of a new story arc, the saga of the Multiverse Superheroes. I shouldn’t bother too much about the concept; just accept it is some sort of crazy world overflowing with heroes and major acts of derring-do.
Musically, this is very well played and orchestrated operatic/symphonic power metal with just about everything, including the kitchen sink, thrown in for good measure. This is not a tasteful metal album but it is not meant to be, it is fun metal and, paradoxically, both absurd and serious at the same time. The musicians are excellent with Tomi Fooler having a truly outstanding high register metal voice with elements of Halford as he hits those high notes and this truly is his band. The guitars come courtesy of Andy Cappellari (lead) and Fabrizio Taricco (rhythm) with bass from Giacomo Stiaccini and a hugely stirring shift on drums from the powerhouse that is Enrico Sidoti. The guitar is wonderfully excessive and is exactly as required as this is no place for good taste or even restraint, just huge and bombastic metal that is as exhausting as it is rewarding. Imagine Stratovarius, Edguy, Dragonforce, Helloween and Rhapsody Of Fire coming together and given liberal quantities of wine and then shoved into a recording studio and I would imagine you would get something like this. As with earlier releases, there are several high quality guests featured with Bill Hudson (NorthTale), Giacomo Voli and Roberto De Micheli (both Rhapsody of Fire), Melissa Bonny (Ad Infinitum/Evenmore) and Alessandro Conti (Trick or Treat/Twilight Force) all adding to the mayhem.
Nemesis is not for the faint of heart but it is a rollickingly good metal album being fast paced, furious and with plenty of outstanding individual performances to thoroughly revel in. I challenge you listen to this over the top maelstrom of an album without a smile on your face!
Nemesis track list
- Prelude: Falling Galaxies (0:50)
- Brighter Than 1000 Suns (4:49)
- Will You Save Us All? (feat. Alessandro Conti) (4:05)
- Nemesis (feat. Melissa Bonny) (4:24)
- Starseeker (5:47)
- Cold The Night (5:28)
- Follow Me Home (3:41)
- Wake Up The Fire (fest. Bill Hudson) (4:38)
- Il Tramonto Delle Ere (4:57)
- Arcana Opera (feat. Simone Mularoni/Giacomo Voli/Roberto De Micheli) (8:05)
- The Nerdmetal Superheroes (4:26)
- Carry On (4:57)