Just under a year after the release of sophomore effort The Gathering (2016), Deathless Legacy are back for another horrific swing with their third full length Dance With Devils. Now this is a band whose lineup includes two “performers” going by the monikers The Red Witch and Anfitrite so there should come as no great surprise that the album is filled to the brim with Addams Family like antics. The band that started out as a tribute to legendary Death SS is in fact beginning to make a name for itself, sparing no expense in the areas of theatricality and the operatic thematic of horror. Showing no signs of quitting the trend, the third album of course deals with horror and tales of the supernatural, while the music explores different genres that border on the heavy metal that is the basis. From semi doom like ‘Join The Sabbath’ hinting of Candlemass to more straight up power metal tracks like ‘Curse Of The Waltz’, the album is stable in its thematic elements and driving keyboards while exploring different paths.
Slight symphonic elements that border on the power metal, with keyboardist Alessio Lucatti taking on a solemn aura reminiscent of Powerwolf’s Falk Maria Schlegel blend with clean stylistic riffage. The focus is seldom on the latter, and rather often on the keyboards and Steva La Cinghiala’s vocals, driving the music set to choral arrangements and a thick rhythm section. The guitars could have been more prominent, taking more focus instead of appearing mostly in the solos. As it is, the guitars don’t quite carry quite the punch that could have made the music stand out, but instead blend with the rhythm section a bit too much, with a few exceptions. However, much of the focus is instead – as mentioned - placed on the vocalist. La Cinghiala, carrying a very European pronunciation, sounds somewhat like a mix between Michela D'Orlando of Power Symphony and longtime White Skull vocalist Federica de Boni, with small hints of the very awesome London Wilde of American flesh eaters WildeStarr.
La Cinghiala carries the vocal duties of Deathless Legacy with poise and grace, delivering a solid performance. She manages to keep the balance between the cheesy theatrics and the straight forward heavy metal prowess required of her. While not particularly outstanding per se, her voice fits the music quite well; gruffer, almost barking out the vocal lines, in certain parts while soaring high in other parts. She doesn’t go into the melodramatic, but never feels like she takes anything to seriously. La Cinghiala fits just right. ‘Voivode’, featuring a violin coming in just before the solo duel between Lucatti and Gianni "El Calàver" Capecchi hits just the right notes between the operatic keyboard elements and dark and fleshy guitar work, and sports a menacing chorus with La Cinghiala being darker than ever.
While going much in the same vein as The Gathering, Dance With Devils still manages to outshine its predecessor. The growth is subtle, but reflected in the stable material. There are no tracks that stand out as bad, though some, like closer ‘Creatures Of The Night’ or slightly anonymous ‘Heresy’, aren’t quite as impactful as others. However, there is one thing that I keep wanting. Lacking on Dance With Devils is that long winding epic that explores its subject in depth while taking the listener on a journey spiraling deeper with each minute - think Iced Earth’s dark and menacing classic Dante’s Inferno (Burnt Offerings, 1995). It’s somewhat of a disappointment that the entire album sticks to conventional song lengths; only ‘Join The Sabbath’ stretches beyond the six minute mark. Hopefully the next album will delve deeper - there's clearly talent. Though I still have no clue what the hell the performers did in all this.
Standout tracks: Join The Sabbath, Voivode