Label : Dragonheart Records/Audioglobe

Review by Tony Cannella

It is hard to believe that the Italian traditional heavy metal band White Skull released their debut album back in 1995. And with their latest album, “Under This Flag” has just released their ninth album. The band has gone through a number of lineup changes throughout their history; including a time with a male vocalist, fortunately the band came to their senses and re-formed with Federica De Boni she is the singer for them, in my opinion. With all of the metal bands coming from Italy, White Skull were one of the trailblazers for the current crop even though musically they are quite different than a lot of the current Italian metal bands. “Under This Flag” is just a full-on heavy metal assault from the opening song “Hunted Down” to the closer “Redemption” and everything in between. There are very few quiet moments and certainly no ballads – not that White Skull were ever a band to write many ballads, the closest thing to a ballad is “Red Devil” which quickly heats up and leaves any thoughts of a ballad behind quickly and turns into an anthemic metal track. The band performs with all the enthusiasm and fire of young band. Lead vocalist Federica delivers her vocals with ferocity, power and not much in the way of subtlety. The production is relentless and in-your-face; a fact brought forth on songs like “Bottled Mind”, “Lost Alone”,“Under This Flag” and “War After War”. The riffs come fast and furious throughout this disc which lasts almost an hour. When it comes to writing straight-forward heavy metal songs, there is no way you can question White Skull’s conviction or sincerity. With such a large body of work, you would think that it might be difficult to maintain that hunger, but with “Under This Flag” White Skull has managed to do that. White Skull just seems to get better and better with age and with “Under This Flag” has recorded quite possibly the best album of their long career.

Rating – 90/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Hunted Down
  2. Bottled Mind
  3. Red Devil
  4. Lost Alone
  5. Under This Flag
  6. A.O.D.
  7. Prisoners of War
  8. War After War
  9. Nightmares
  10. Freedom’s Not Here
  11. You Choose
  12. Redemption

 

Line Up

  • Federica De Boni Lanier – Vocals
  • Tony Fontò – Rhythm Guitar
  • Danilo Bar – Lead Guitar
  • Jo Raddi – Bass
  • Alex Mantiero – Drums

 

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