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LABYRINTH

Progressive Metal • Italy


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Lab rinth biography
LABYRINTH is an Italian power metal band with a neo-classical, symphonic, and bombastic fashion in a style similar to that of their fellow countrymen RHAPSODY. This is a speedy neo-classical band with a strong HELLOWEEN influence. They have a similiar sound to ANGRA, SEA OF DREAMS, and STRATOVARIUS. Some QUEENSRYCHE-ish melodies set them apart from these other neoclassical bands.

Also of note, this Italian band recruited a fabulous non-Italian vocalist in Joe Terry on the debut and Rob Tyrant on the later material. This gives these guys a big edge over most Italian prog metal bands. "Return To Heaven Denied" is the best of the Italian releases for 1998. This is the most German sounding Italian prog metal disc that I've ever heard.

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LABYRINTH discography


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LABYRINTH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.20 | 13 ratings
No Limits
1996
3.91 | 18 ratings
Return To Heaven Denied
1998
3.08 | 19 ratings
Sons of Thunder
2000
3.97 | 14 ratings
Labyrinth
2003
3.57 | 14 ratings
Freeman
2005
2.75 | 12 ratings
6 Days to Nowhere
2007
3.62 | 13 ratings
Return To Heaven Denied Pt II - A Midnight Autumn's Dream
2010

LABYRINTH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

LABYRINTH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

LABYRINTH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

LABYRINTH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Midnight Resistance
1994
0.00 | 0 ratings
Piece Of Time
1995
3.91 | 2 ratings
Timeless Crime
1999

LABYRINTH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Return To Heaven Denied  by LABYRINTH album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.91 | 18 ratings

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Return To Heaven Denied
Lab rinth Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The first album in Labyrinth's Return to Heaven Denied series is a solid slice of no-nonsense power metal, with cheese strictly rationed, tight compositions, and competent performances from all the participants. I don't hear anything on it which bowls me over with its originality, but I can enjoy the album from start to finish without finding it trite or irritating in sections, and when you find power metal as hit-or-miss as I do that's an achievement in itself. (In particular, it's nice to see in Andrew McPauls a power metal keyboardist who is able to take a somewhat subtle and original approach to the music rather than laying on the orchestral effects and bombast thick.)

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 Sons of Thunder  by LABYRINTH album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.08 | 19 ratings

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Sons of Thunder
Lab rinth Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 for sure

Labyrinth from Italy is one of the bands I've enjoying a lot since their beggining 15 years ago , so here is the review of one of their best albums, at least to me. Don't look at the rating score only 3, because this album is a real good one in power/ progresive metal zone. This is their third album from 2000, released at Metal Blade. I saw mixed reviews, one said is excellent and gave 4 stars, other only 2, the truth is somewhere in the middle, is more then ok album in this field and desearve 3 stars, even 3.5. The music offerd is melodic power metal with progressive metal leanings not far from Rhapsody their country fellows but less symphonic, quite great in places, plus the keybords are used very well combining some very intristing passages with the guitar. Sons of thunder or Behind the mask are good examples of how Labyrinth understands this style of music. Well, overall a fairly good album, not realy something who will blow your mind, but well performed and why not the second best after previous album who was a bomb Return to heaven denid. Fans of prog metal might enjoy this album, even is not very complex is well constructed and have arrangements who will pleases every fan.

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 No Limits by LABYRINTH album cover Studio Album, 1996
2.20 | 13 ratings

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No Limits
Lab rinth Progressive Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

1 stars Ha ha this is so laughable I┤m about to explode. To think that I once listened to this and found it listenable is just a joke. This is the most cheesy italien power metal band around. To think that Fabio Leone ( called Joe Terry here, which is even more of a joke) from Rhapsody fronts the band on "No Limits" is really weird. What was he doing in a band like this. Surely bandboss Olaf Th÷rsen (ha ha, what is that for an italien name) can play and to a certain degree compose, but it all drowns in bad production and cheesy eighties keyboard power metal.

This one is ONLY for the completists ( are there any for such a band ????). Fans of Rhapsody should stay clear even though Fabio is in this band. It has nothing to do with Rhapdody. The standard is so low that I grind my teeth in despair.

Please save me from this terrible album.

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 Labyrinth by LABYRINTH album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.97 | 14 ratings

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Labyrinth
Lab rinth Progressive Metal

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

4 stars I am amazed nobody has bothered to write a proper review about this album as Labyrinth is a popular band...

Labyrinth are most known by their Return to Heaven Denied back in 1998 and I was also interested in that album, when as a kid I was watching in the pages of Metal Hammer being praised as a good return of power metal... I don't hide you that I was expecting to listen to a typical power-metal album at my first hearing. However, I was impressed...

The album is quite close to power-metal, no doubt about this. The big difference is that although there are some 'typical' heavy riffs, the melodies are very interesting. All songs sound 'energetic' with great vocals and speedy riffs are followed by 'catchy' melodic parts, which shows that this band has grown more mature in its song-writing. There are some more progressive moments with clever keyboards, but the album cannot be easily regarded as progressive, in my opinion... That does not mean that lacks innovative ideas, actually there are many of them in here.

The ultimate 'stand-out' from this album is LIVIN' IN A MAZE. A song with a melody that sticks into your mind...

Overall, a very enjoyable album, that could be a 're-invention' of power metal through some more 'proggy' paths... 4 stars deserved...

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 Sons of Thunder  by LABYRINTH album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.08 | 19 ratings

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Sons of Thunder
Lab rinth Progressive Metal

Review by The T
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars The first power-progressive metal album that I will review for PA, Labyrinth's SONS OF THUNDER is a true by-the-book release within that genre, with just a few outstanding elements that save it from fading into oblivion.

First, a word about the band itself: just like almost every power-prog metal group listed here on PA, Labyrinth's musicians are very, very talented at each of their instruments, and that holds particularly true about the guitarists: Rain's and Thorsen's fingers have that unique speed that this genre's axe-players usually possess; their solos defy the speed of light, scales go up and down like tornados. The keyboard player is talented, yet doesn't shine. Drums are played as is the norm in this genre: double-bass pounding at high speeds, a few fills here and there, some drum intros consisting mostly of bass drums and a few cymbals abound. The bass player follows suit, too, as he is very fast and precise. Finally, let's say a few words about the singer: Rob Tyrant (actually, Tiranti is his last name, don't understand the point in the name change) is a typical power-metal singer but with a twist: he has a tone that reminds me a lot, at some times, of Enchant's Ted Leonard's voice, high pitched but also very... "boy-ish". I think Tyrant is a good singer but nothing amazing, nor different...

...And that's the major problem with Labyrinth. Their music is, like their playing, completely by-the-book power-prog-metal, with the balance shifted more towards the "power" side than to the "prog" side of things. If we are to compare them with any band, let's say they sound a little bit like Rhapsody but less bombastic, a little bit like Angra but less interesting, a little bit like Stratovarius but more proggy, a little bit like Symphony X but DEFINITELY less prog. Actually, New Jersey's outfit is the band Labyrinth's reminds us the most, but a SIMPLER, MORE RUDIMENTAL version that is. Whereas Symphony X's music has a lot of time-signature changes, a lot of different ryhthms, a lot of melodic instrumental parts, this Italian band's songs are very much straight-forward: same time-signature all the time, same rhythm throughout each whole song, guitar solos only when guitar solos usually go: after the second chorus. So, structures are not one of Labyrinth's most arresting features, as they are rather common, rather trivial, rather uninspired.

And that's the major problem with this album: it lacks variety. Most of the songs follow the same pattern, the same formula; the choruses lack the catchiness that this genre's choruses cry for and need in order to survive (try Stratovarius' or Rhapsody's chorus: you won't easily forget them). And, my biggest objection about power-metal: the drumming: it's fast, no doubt; it's difficult to emulate, no question; it requires great precision and strength, for sure; IT'S REPETITIVE AND UNCREATIVE, that's its pricipal characteristic. All we hear is 16ths played till death in the double-bass drums, with no time for rest and no originality. And I have to say: you CAN be creative with the double- bass. Just listen to Portnoy's drumming, or if you want creative ULTRA-FAST double bass, try Meshuggah: those are bass drums played at the utmost speed, but also with the highest level of UNIQUENESS, with complicate, sometimes incredible patterns. So speed doesn't always have to mean repetitive. It's just some lesser power-metal bands that make us believe that.

Now don't get me wrong, the album is not bad. It has a few good songs (specially the two first songs, they stand out above the rest by a LOT). The story is, incredibly, rather coherent and not as fantastic and ridiculous as many in this genre's albums (we don't have dragons and swords here, though I happen to like the band that deals with that). But the record gets boring halfway down, and what's the main reason? Uninspired playing, repetitive playing. We have a few good guitar solos but NOTHING WE HAVEN'T HEARD BEFORE.

That's my biggest complaint: this album is one more from the lot.

There's a few good bands that play power-metal with prog elements, and only some of those actually manage to truly play PROG-METAL: Symphony X comes to mind; Angra a little bit lower in the scale; Rhapsody, though cheesy at times, plays compelling, entertaining music. Stratovarius plays very melodic, catchy metal. But Labyrinth is just another one, not a great representative of the genre.

Recommended for: fans of power-progressive-metal that tend more to the "power" side; fans of power-metal; fans of speed and blazing solos.

Not recommended for: fans of real progressive metal, fans of unique, original music. Also not recommended for people that love their album covers: this one has one of the ugliest, most awful, cheesy ones.

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 Timeless Crime  by LABYRINTH album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1999
3.91 | 2 ratings

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Timeless Crime
Lab rinth Progressive Metal

Review by BlindGuardian38

4 stars This is a short album since it is an EP but i think it is a very good one. I like this version of "Save Me" better than the version on Sons of Thunder. The other tracks are all very good on this one, the vocals and instrumentation is good. This is a must have for a big Labyrinth fan since it set the stage for Sons of Thunder not to mention the cover art is awesome, much better than what they are doing now with their cover art.

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 Freeman by LABYRINTH album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.57 | 14 ratings

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Freeman
Lab rinth Progressive Metal

Review by progarctica

4 stars Ok i'am very old fan of Labyrint back in 1998 when the 'Return to heaven deinied'.First i think is not prog-metal but more power-metal..Anyway for this album the beat is more soft in the same melodic ways..tipical chorus the voice of Roberto Tiranti progress every album ..Maybe pop aspect in this album compare with this old stuff. For my first listining i havaing little deception because is very different style i find!!! More listning and i' apreciate that .I'ts good...

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 Sons of Thunder  by LABYRINTH album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.08 | 19 ratings

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Sons of Thunder
Lab rinth Progressive Metal

Review by Marc Baum
Prog Reviewer

4 stars After the great power metal album that was Return to Heaven Denied, Labyrinth are back a couple of years later with an album that... well, an album that for the most part is good. Fast Italian power metal with a lot of cool riffs and guitar solos here, not an overdose of keyboards like Rhapsody and their countless ripoffs provide. The songwriting is a little original, and there's a whole lot of technical skill in the band.

Roberto Tiranti (who calls himself Rob Tyrant) is a great vocalist, one of the only guys with an Italian accent that isn't so thick you can't understand what he's saying. Andrea Cantarelli shreds quickly and has some nice rhythm guitar backing it up, and Andrea de Paoli knows how to be a pretty good keyboardist without killing an entire song with them.

The first song is "Chapter 1", which is a great song. The following song is "Kathryn", which deserves mention because it's one of the best progressive power metal songs I've ever heard. Really. The title track isn't bad either, but through out the album you have some forgettable songs. "Touch the Rainbow" and a cover called "I Feel You" stand out, while the ballad of the CD," Love", isn't half bad. Roberto's vocals need some polishing on a lot of the songs, though. There's also a bit of sub-par songwriting throughout the album, but as a whole it fits to the concept behind it. The production by Neil Kernon sounds a bit too bass-focused and unclear, but it is easy to overhear that problem with the concentration on the music.

If you like your metal played with skill and technicality look no further than this album. Not only that, Labyrinth obviously have some of the most talented musicians in this kind of music and they have the songwriting skills to back it up. The only thing is that this album is harder to get into than their other albums due to the fact that it's quite also a bit more progressive than before. And because of the fact that they don't really follow the typical power metal song structure formula means that this will definately take time to grow on the listener. Chances are you probably will have trouble remembering the names of the songs because they aren't ambigously repeated again and again in every song, but because of the awesome melodies and hook lines this album should be one to stay in the regular rotation of a power/progressive metal fan.

album rating: 8/10 points = 80 % on MPV scale = 4/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

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 Return To Heaven Denied  by LABYRINTH album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.91 | 18 ratings

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Return To Heaven Denied
Lab rinth Progressive Metal

Review by Marc Baum
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Labyrinth's excellent second effort "Return To Heaven Denied" was released at a time, where symphonic metal reached it's peak. Bands like Rhapsody, Blind Guardian, Virgin Steele or Savatage were on the top of their game. The less well known Italian underground hopefulls Labyrinth showed with their good debut "No Limits", that there is still place for innovations in terms of symphonic speed metal, with their next album they simply improved their progressive sensibilitys and showed it off.

Already the opening piece "Moonlight" presents the symphonic speeders in full flight, with new singer Rob Tyrant, new keyboarder Andrew McPauls and new drummer Mat Stancioiu (great Italian pseudonyms), fantastic acoustic guitars, which foreshadows their more progressive influences on the whole album. "New Horizons" is one of the best examples for the more complex songwriting skills of the group in that matter. Wonderful catchy ballads like "The Night Of Dreams" and "Falling Rain" were powerful emotional and heart wrenching at the same time, with the superb "Lady Lost In Time" and the heavy anthem "Thunder" the definite highlights already made out and the album closer "Die For Freedom" set the perfect impression to an excellent record.

For die-hard proggers this is a quite unrelevant release, but fans of prog metal and specially those who listen to bands like Angra or Rhapsody should definitely check it out, there is nothing disappointing to find at all. The production is excellent, with powerful guitar and bass sound. As I liked this band from the very first time, "Return To Heaven Denied" still remains as their best album for my taste.

album rating: 8.5/10 points = 86 % on MPV scale = 4/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

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 No Limits by LABYRINTH album cover Studio Album, 1996
2.20 | 13 ratings

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No Limits
Lab rinth Progressive Metal

Review by Marc Baum
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Song writing-wise "No Limits" is an album which mixes progressive-flavoured songs with straightforward, more or less conventional Power Metal songs and, unfortunately, some songs that sound out of place compared to the rest of the material. The whole package comes with some admirable musicianship; the disc is full of spectacular guitar work (solos!!) and Joe Terry’s (Fabio Lione's pseudonym on this album, he went to the famous epic metal band Rhapsody after this album) role as vocalist probably couldn’t have been played by anyone else.

The progressive-flavoured songs are arguably the best songs on here, as they provide some magical moments and make things quite original. An excellent example is "Midnight Resistance" which successfully interweaves dream-like magical moments with some faster parts. The title song is another such song. It starts with a fantastic intro, and proceeds in similar fashion to "Midnight Resistance" in building up the song. "In the Shade" sounds almost out of place with its Progressive-Thrash-tinged riffing (which isn’t representative for the album). Nonetheless, it’s one of the better songs.

You can find some straightforward Power Metal in songs like "Mortal Sin", which apart from its intro is basically an up-tempo Power Metal song. "Dreamland", which has some excellent riffing, is another such song, with flowing and straight to the point song writing. "Piece of Time" is no different; a pretty simple, melodic song with no stops and a refrain that’s often repeated throughout the song.

Then there are the weaker songs, and it’s quite surprising to find them here, since the rest of the material is so excellent. "Vertigo" is one of those songs. It’s almost a techno-metal song and the keyboard and vocal style is horrible. "The Right Sign" is similar. It’s hard to call it a Metal song simply due to the keyboard playing. The last two songs "Time Has Come" and "Looking For", although not horrible, are two pretty uninspired – and unnecessary – ballads/outros.

Throughout the disc, there’s a pretty heavy usage of keyboards. If you don’t like keyboards, you just won’t like "No Limits", but us who don’t mind, will find that the keyboards serve an important role, and for the most part gets the job done, even if there are some questionable influences present.

All in all, "No Limits" could probably have used a little bit more work on the song writing as the consistency is somewhat lacking, but when the album does work it provides some magical and downright amazing moments which have virtually no counterpart in Metal. It’s a shame that the band never went on to perfect this style of music as the results would have been interesting, but as it happened, their follow-up "Return To Heaven Denied" marked a departure to a more conventional form of Power Metal.

album rating: 6.5/10 points = 67 % on MPV scale = 3/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

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