Review Summary: a journey of a new sound, full of: characteristic voice, thoughtful lyrics, vibrant guitars and a new sound of several original music styles.
Last week, while looking for new music on bandcamp, I stumbled upon Mad Duck's release: 'Braggart stories and Dark Poems' and I was positively surprised by the way they are re-imagining Classic Rock.
Mad Duck released their first album in November, 2017 presenting their fresh new vision of traditional rock and metal. The founders of the band are two brothers: Luca and Stefano Primavesi who have been collecting and recording material for a while before releasing their work - and this record was worth waiting for to my opinion!
A very well-tuned vocal leads ‘Renegade’ opening the album and gives a general feel to the record: incredibly powerful vocals - imagine something between Jorn Lande and Jeff Scott Soto- , versatility of sound, and the aspect of story-telling. No wonder the album’s name is ‘Braggart Stories And Dark Poems’, these are not just the rhymes that go together, these are trips that you follow the band to, each of them is a story that unfolds in front of you as the song begins and brings you a different musical experience every time - wether it’s a colossal hymn to rock-and-roll (‘Never dies’) or a deep confession that won’t leave you indifferent (‘The lightning thief’). Almost all the lyrics on the album are based and inspired by the worlds’ most famous authors: from Edgar Alan Poe to William Blake.
Thus, second song of the album is an allusion to one of William Blake’s poems of the same name - ‘Tiger’. It also stands out as you can have a full experience of Luca Primavesi’s guitar skills that make the song(s) even more powerful: it’s as if it takes you by the hand with the first riff and doesn’t let go till the last chord. You will get the same impression when listening to ‘Down among the dead men’ which is actually related to the 1728 folk English drinking song.
When listening to ‘Tiger’, you can trace some slight musical references to Bon Jovi while ‘Eldorado’ might allude to Megadeth(!) with it’s striking open guitar riffs. That subtle similarity kept on coming to mind throughout the album, while the overal impression it gve to me was some serious Dio-ish songwriting/story-telling with Rainbow - Strangers in us All sound and classic heavy metal with glam rock coating, if that makes any sense... And it's nicely diverse, like ‘City of Darkness’ is melodically different from other songs which is another proof that the album is quite versatile. My only criticism is that the rhythm section is a bit 'plain' and monotonous, but then again that lets the vocals and amazing melodies to shine!
The album’s final track ‘Never Die’ is truly full of energy showcasing almighty vocals in its full capacity once again. Musically ‘Never die’ very much reminds of the first track of the album ‘Renegade’ which was that makes it a perfect circle: blogging and the end, a journey of a new sound, full of: characteristic voice, thoughtful lyrics, vibrant guitars and a new sound of several original music styles.