If like me you're sick of your Avenged Sevenfold albums squabbling with your Bullet For My Valentine collection and you're looking for a peace maker to separate the warring factions then Italy's Broken Melody could well be your answer. A hard edged melodic metal band that would fit in comfortably between the two in more ways than just alphabetically.
Having only formed in 2006 the Italian Stallions have wasted little time in stampeding their way along the hard rock highway. Already they have an impressive 2 EPs and 2 full albums under their collective leather belts. What we have here is the second of these albums. A 10 track CD showing the abilities of a band who've honed their skills by playing countless electric shows as well as some more intimate acoustic showcases. These Mediterranean metalheads have been around the block more times than a cruising Hugh Grant and know their instruments like he knows Acacia Avenue.
Recorded in Parma at Real Sound Studios last year following a brief foray into the UK live scene, 'Mirroring Identities' springs into life with 'The Beast Within' howling its way through the first six minutes, displaying some wicked soloing that'll have you making your best Dave Murray face - it's instantly likeable, nothing wrong with that. No Harlot here though, sorry Hugh time to move on. 'I Live Again', 'Breaking The Chains' and 'Return Denied' are three other standout tracks - traditional metal with a contemporary edge, all quick and slick with cutting riffs. Gunshot drums blasting through them as Melody frontman Francesco Palmieri lets rip, almost duelling for lead position with the twin six string attack coming from Roberto Ortu and Emanuele Ninu.
But Broken Melody aren't all Bullets and Vengeance. A lighter and more, if you will, middle of the road element of the band is revealed in three separate "lighters up" ballads that could give all smoke alarms cause for new batteries. 'A Question To Your Heart' and my personal favourite 'Dark & Light' are just the type of classic acoustic led beauties that you could imagine Joey Tempest wrapping his brilliant white teeth around. While 'Dreaming Of A New World' moves with a slightly heavier sway, bringing those traditional metal guitar influences soaring to the soloing fore once again. Melody fixed.
Unfortunately there's only one thing that holds 'Mirroring Identities' back and that is just how instantly forgettable it all is. Having listened through several times as soon as it's finished I'm still at a loss to actually remember anything I've just heard. As likeable as it is playing through and with the musicianship being simply faultless, it's just a shame it doesn't stick in your head. In the quest to catch themselves some new fans I can't see them having much success without at least one sharp hook. Italian fellows love their football, right? So these guys should know you can be the most talented team in the world but you still need a goal scorer up front to make the difference. 'Mirroring Identities' is an impressive set piece played out in the middle of the field. But the back of the net ain't in sight just yet.