Inspired by the music of Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Ozzy Osbourne, Max Aguzzi founded Dragonhammer in 1999 with Gae Amodio and band released a string of Power Metal albums until his exit for personal reasons in October 2018. Now back with a new band in a different style, he’s joined by seasoned musicians Emiliano Cantiano on Drums (Shores Of Null, Ivory Moon), Fabrizio Sclano on bass (Ivory Moon, Too Left 2 Be Right), Alessio Erriu on Guitar (Novembre, OA-ex Ossimoro) in Aguzzi. The bands debut EP was recorded and engineered by Aguzzi himself at Daisy Studio before Mastering by Simone Mularoni at Domination Studio.
As you might expect given the influences and cover artwork, Aguzzi’s new style is one of Traditional Metal with Thrash leanings and the title track “Stronger Than All” sets out the marker for that while also laying down a gauntlet with a solo from out of nowhere that is simply spellbinding. Yes there are a few vocal issues in terms of pronunciation with lyrics in English not quite nailed, but then who hasn’t listened to Max Cavalera records from Sepultura, Soulfly or Nailbomb and thought the same thing but still headbanged? The sound actually has a lot in common with Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society and “Lost In The Desert” brings that home with the slide guitar of a biker bar anthem at home playing out on the Juke box at a desert truck stop bar in Utah. The Grunge of “Broken Light” brings an Alice In Chains vibe and the sing-a-long chorus will go down well live before the acoustic melody of “Nothing Else In My Heart” does likewise. The acoustic and electric guitars playing together creates a nice contrast and adds to the variety here while still managing to keep the flow of the record thanks to Aguzzi’s classic Metal vocal styling and a big in the mix drum sound, not forgetting those majestic solos. It’s clear that these songs are far more personal than the stories of myths, legends and warriors that runs through your traditional Power Metal acts material. Do we need another rendition of “House of the Rising Sun“? Probably not, but Aguzzi make it there own and it works very well indeed [7/10]
Stronger Than All
Lost in the Desert
Nothing else in my Heart
The house of the Rising Sun
“Stronger Than All” by Aguzzi is out 29th January 2021 via Volcano Records