Hailing from Italy, Pentesilea Road is a post-progressive metal band that was formed in 2014 as a one man project by the guitarist Vito F. Mainolfi. Vito re-recorded in 2020 a full-length demo of 11 tracks and recruited several musicians in order to produce the first self-titled album of Pentesilea Road. The record was released on February of 2021.
This might not be strictly relevant to the music but I believe that needs to be taken into consideration when reviewing an album. More often than not we take it as granted and we don’t put much thought in it since we believe that for a band to record an album it needs to be in the same studio, in the same place. But many times, and quite more often now that we face a pandemic, that is not possible and an album may require to be recorded in many different parts of the world because the members are unable to meet.
Pentesilea Road’s debut is such an album, born through long-distance collaboration with each member recording their part in their country of residence. As a result, the guitars and bass were recorded in Netherlands, the vocals in Italy and Spain, the drums in Italy and USA and the keys in Italy. So, even we can visualize the chaos that can occur from such endeavor. Still, although the band didn’t have the luxury to be at one place, to bond and to communicate face to face, they managed to produce an excellent result, overcoming every obstacle presented. I believe that a variable like this, when is existing, should be considered as an important one to the overall result of the album.
The musical style of Pentesilea Road may be a blend of different genres with a foundation built around influences by progressive metal and post-rock. The two inspirations I have named specifically are the most prominent and easily detected since they conclude the very core of the album.
That combination of post and progressive is defined by the subtle complexity of the compositions. They are multilayered and of musical craftsmanship, showing off-I mean in a very good way, the skills of the mastermind of the band, Vito. Every part has its own distinct feature, a beautiful melody, a steady riff or a repeating drum beat with some fills, something that helps the listener to focus upon while experiencing a great composition of many different elements happening simultaneously.
Before closing-I don’t want to give out too much since you should experience this great album yourselves, I will return to the part with the long-distance collaboration because I forgot something. You see, among the musicians taking part in this endeavor are some very notable ones that will convince you to give the album a shot, if nothing else has achieved so.
In the songs “Shades of Night” and “Noble Art” the vocals are a kind offering of the great Ray Alder while in the songs “Memory Corners”, “Spectral Regrowth” and “Give them Space” the excellent and elegant drum work is done by Mark Zonder. Also, Michele Guaitoli sings in the tracks “Stains”.
By now I believe that you are totally convinced and intrigued to give the Pentesilea Road’s debut a shot. After all, it has everything from beautiful compositions of great skill and craftsmanship to excellent guests offering their own personal artistic approach. Highly recommend it, one listen and you will be definitely rewarded.