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Alterium “Of War and Flames” album review by Curtis J. Dupree

Alterium band Mattia Gianelli 274789

Bursting out of the gate with their full-length debut is Italy’s Alterium. Led by vocalist Nicoletta Rosellini from Kalidia and Walk in Darkness, the band brings a highly infectious brand of melodic power metal to the table that is sure to please fans of the genre. While the band isn’t necessarily reinventing the wheel, the band does know their craft and the result is ten songs of high quality music. 

The production is clear without being too bombastic. Rosellini’s vocals are given the prominence they deserve but the guitar work is also thankfully allowed to shine. All the musicianship is of the highest quality. In addition to nine original tunes Alterium also gives us a Satabon cover (“Bismarck”). 

The band begins with “Drag Me to Hell.” This is a good, catchy, and speedy opener for the album. I would expect Frozen Crown fans to find a lot to like here. The riffing is quite good, as is the militaristic prechorus. My only critique is that the transition to the bridge feels a bit awkward. We do get a nice solo, though. 

Siren’s Call” slows down slightly and gives us a nice, melodic riff. The verse melodies are quite lovely. The chorus picks up the speed and gives us a big hook. We get a forceful bridge section and an appealing solo. 

The title track features a quality symphonic opening. The verses on this song are quite catchy and the chorus is powerful. Rosellini just wails here. 

I really like the blend of keyboards, symphonic elements, and riffing in the opening for “Firebringer.” The track overall keeps a speedy pace. The verses and chorus are hooky, with the chorus taking on a pleasing anthemic quality. 

Crossroads Inn” sounds like a pirate shanty, bringing thoughts of Running Wild to mind—which is certainly not a bad thing. The song boasts a sing-along chorus and a nice solo. What the song lacks in intensity it more than makes up for in memorability. One thing that Alterium does well here is pacing their album. It’s not frontloaded with the stronger or heavier tracks, but it ebbs and flows nicely. Sometimes it feels as if crafting albums is a lost art; Alterium reassures us that that is not the case, and for that I am thankful. 

Beginning with a militaristic beat with a melodic riff over top, we come to “Shadowsong.” The prechorus is a hooky highlight, with a great use of rhythm. The chorus is equally appealing, with more of a driving feel. 

Crystalline” is a lovely ballad. Rosellini proves that she can carry a song like this with absolutely no issues. Her voice is quite powerful and it elevates this song. Those who miss the days of big power ballads will find much to like here. I also want to highlight the guitar solo, because its emotional nature fits the song perfectly. We also get a lovely piano section.

Picking the pace back up is “Heroine of the Sea.” This song is sure to stick in your head after only a listen or two. The song marches along in quite the catchy manner and then gives us a pleasing sing-along chorus. This track is definitely one of the most immediately memorable here—and that’s saying a lot. 

Chasing the Sun” features one of the best riffs on the album. However, while every aspect of this song is quite good, the transition into the chorus feels a bit awkward. It’s certainly not enough to sink the song’s quality too far, but it does stick out a bit. 

The album concludes with a cover of Sabaton’s “Bismarck.” Not only is it a good cover, but it’s also a testament to Alterium’s songwriting abilities that this cover in no way overshadows the originals. 

Alterium has delivered a winner with Of War and Flames. The press release describes the album as “classy power metal.” It’s hard to think of a more appropriate description than that. Nicoletta Rosellini delivers a powerhouse vocal performance, elevating even the less exceptional tracks into something worthwhile. But she alone doesn’t make the album as good as it is. Credit must also be given to guitarists Paolo Campitelli and Allessandro Mammola, bassist Luca Scalabrin, and drummer Dario Gozzi. The musicians all bring their A-game to the table, and it shows. The songs are quite good, featuring all the elements needed to make this style of music soar. Make sure you check out Of War and Flames when it drops; but don’t be surprised if the songs won’t leave your head. 

Curtis’ rating: 8.75/10

 The pre-sale is available at:

Alterium album 637029

“Of War And Flames” track listing:
 01. Drag Me To Hell 
 02. Siren’s Call
 03. Of War And Flames 
 04. Firebringer 
 05. Crossroads Inn 
 06. Shadowsong 
 07. Crystalline
 08. Heroine Of The Sea 
 09. Chasing the Sun 
 10. Bismarck 

Nicoletta Rosellini – vocals
Paolo Campitelli – guitars
Alessandro Mammola – guitars
Luca Scalabrin – bass
Dario Gozzi – drums

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