October 30, 2021

The Grandmaster is the latest project on the Frontiers label and they most certainly make sure that their artists are kept busy, and why not, as the label is constantly looking for the perfect vehicle for the amazing singers they have in their roster.

Skywards brings together the immaculate German power metal guitarist Jens Ludwig of Edguy fame and another of the latest singing sensations from South America in Nando Fernades and with albums with Sinistra and Brother Against Brother behind him then Fernandes is also making quite a spectacular name for himself. Mirkko De Maiho was brought in to supply a pounding beat with his spectacular drumming and then we have another appearance from Mr Reliable with the ever present Alessandro Del Vecchio on bass, keyboards and backing vocals and it actually begs the questions as to whether Del Vecchio actually sleeps? The decision to pair Ludwig and Fernandes is simply sensational as the two sound as though they were simply made for each other with Ludwig being on fire with his huge riffs and breath taking guitar solos, oh boy, can this man play! Nando Fernandes takes another stride forward in his development with his Dio inspired delivery being simply perfect for the melodic metal on display here that is truly heavy and monumental whilst retaining all of the melody that makes this music so essential. The power and command that he has is incredible and shows that we have another new and genuine talent here and he is a singer who is going to be highly sought after and will surely be recoding brilliant albums for a long time to come.

Del Vecchio, as should be expected, has produced the album and his trademark touches are all over the work and he brings out the best on all of the participating musicians to help them produce an outstanding metal masterpiece that cannot help but call to mind the magnificent Rainbow at their best.

There is a lot of brilliant music around at the moment especially on melodic metal and listeners have to pick and chose their purchases very carefully but Skywards is one of those must albums from what can only be described as a dream team. Let’s hope that these musicians are keen to take this project forward so that there are more records and, hopefully, tours to look forward to.

Skywards

  1. Lunar Water (4:36)
  2. The Tempest (4:28)
  3. Someday Somehow (4:45)
  4. Dead Bond (3:30)
  5. Cannot Find The Way (3:20)
  6. Song Of Hope (3:59)
  7. Skywards – Earthwards (4:45)
  8. True North (3:37), Surrender (3:32)
  9. Turn The Page (4:43)
  10. The Source (4:40)