S91 – Volontà Legata

Progressive metal has been running strong ever since a band called Dream Theater released an album called ‘Images & Words’; some might even argue that the style was up and going years before that, as well. Italian act S91 seeks to uphold the legacy of music by taking the sound and mission of progressive metal, and combining it with the signature sound of their country’s monstrous prog scene. While this is a combination of sounds that sparks interest in me at first, the band’s debut ‘Volontà Legata’ is faster to inspire a sense of indifference over anything else, despite demonstrating some solid potential throughout the course of this album.

‘Volontà Legata’ is not the first thing that S91 has recorded, but it witnesses a stark move towards more drawn out compositions, and somewhat heavier performance. As far as metal goes, S91 are actually quite conservative in terms of heaviness, and instead seek to flesh out their sound through harmonies and keyboard textures. Truth be told, it’s a formula that has already been done to death, and S91 does little to juice the sound up into something new or fresh. What ‘Volontà Legata’ passes me as is a generic symphonic metal album, sans the symphonic aspect.. The female vocals only further the comparison to bands like Lacuna Coil or Delain. To their credit though, S91 have done something that I do not think I have heard much in progressive metal, that is to combine the sounds of Italian prog with the done-to-death Dream Theater formula. While the usual suspects that make up the progressive metal sound are certainly here in the sort of doses one might expect from a tame record of the sound, I am also hearing Premiata Forneria Marconi, and while this stylistic fusion isn’t done with as much conviction as I would have liked, it is certanly a promising step that could see the band break out of their rather generic ground in the future.

Being a metal band, it should be mentioned that S91 revolves their music around Christian concepts, and some listeners may have a bone to pick with that. Being an English-speaking listener not (yet) fluent in the Italian language, I can only understand bits and pieces of what the soft voice of Maria Londino sings, and the phonetics of the language work very well all the same. Christian lyrics are usually not an issue- after all, if it’s what inspires someone to create art, than it’s as good as anything- and even if I could not directly relate to what is being sung here, it shouldn’t deter from the listening enjoyment. There is some very good musicianship here, particularly a Petrucci-esque guitar solo on the album’s centerpiece, ‘The Seal Of The Living God’. S91 do not entirely impress me with this album, but they have enough promise as a group to keep me interested in checking out whatever they may release in the future.


1. Golgota (3:42)
2. Volontà Legata (6:03)
3. Memories (9:41)
4. Ribelle (9:06)
5. The Seal Of The Living God (17:58)
6. Spazio Inconcepibile (5:33)


* Maria Londino – vocals
* Sefora Bonaccorsi – vocals
* Tania Petrone – vocals
* Francesco Londino – keyboards
* Francesco Romeggini – guitars, vocals
* Giacomo Manfredi – bass



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