Eleventh Hour - Memory of a Lifetime Journey

Eleventh Hour Memory of a Lifetime Journey cover
Eleventh Hour
Memory of a Lifetime Journey
Independent Release
Ah, I like a lot Italian things, but I am a bit hit and miss when it comes with Italian bands (partly because there are just so many of them) some I love, some not so much, some have potential while every now and again, there’s the hapless extreme metaller or dodgy power metal wannabe, that’s really horrible and just whines that people don’t get them…
Now Eleventh Hour were formed in 2014 by guitarist Aldo Turini, who wanted to publish some stuff he had written over the years he enlisted the aid of Giuseppe Carella for the orchestral arrangements to finish up the basic form of the songs and by the end of that year, he had a band formed around him, enlisting producer/keyboard player Alessandro Del Vecchio (also a music teacher) as a singer (who is known from his involvement in a good many Frontiers projects) that must have aided in re-writing some songs as he appears as a co-writer, Luca Mazzucconi (N.F.D, Lahannya) on drums, GianMaria “Black Jin” Godani on bass and Alberto Sonzogni (The Black Phoenix, Timesword) on keyboards, which is a little bizarre as Del Vecchio is more than capable of the task.
The result is ten tracks that are modern, melodic and multifaceted, quite adequately produced and well instrumented, with arrangements that seem to be quite distant to the average symphonic metal mediocrity yet familiar… for instance the melodic opener “Sunshine’s Not Too Far” almost sounds like softened down Symphonic metal with arrangements a hundred times better than your average Rhapsody clone, great melodies, some pretty great singing and a nice chorus that owes a bit to melodic rock.
“All I Left Behind” maintains the style but feels more aggressive and different, but again has an impressive chorus that makes everything right.
“Jerusalem” is more epic and pompous and doesn’t happen until a bit “in” the tune again with the chorus tipping the scales decidedly… as it should be...
“Back to You” begins like a minimalist ballad, but soon evolves into a more “typical” 11th Hour, tune, but keep going back and forth… the bizarre “bagpipe”/key melody that is mixed underneath it all, (and at least with a nice sample) is quite a surprise too, if you are able to pick it up…
“Sleeping in My Dreams” (duh) is another ballad that has a soft piano and the occasional string encompass the beautiful vocals – there’s even a dueting part with some un-credited soprano. Beautiful.
“Long Road Home” is a semi epic track, a bit like a mix between Ten and Rhapsody – if such a thing existed and it’s quite nice...
The bizarrely titled “Requiem from a Prison” is a lot more metallic and quite more contemporary in its feel, without feeling out of place however.
“Island in the Sun” had me thinking whether this was gonna be an Alcatrazz cover, which it’s definitely not, but it feels canonical in the album, if not a bit more keyboard tainted than usual.
“After All We’ve Been Missing” is slower, darker and more prog, but a little too repetitive and underwhelming, however not bad…
Last but not least, “Here Alone” is a sad string laced sad ballad, an elegy that closes the album in a sorrowful but majestic way, offering little in the way of elation.
A surprising “marriage” of the best aspects of melodic rock with some bizarre symphonic metal ideas that are all tampered until they fit together and feel harmonious and a pretty good album actually… since all its songs seem to have been “written” and not just “happened” randomly. Well worth checking out…