It is fair to say that there is a proliferation of bombastic, slightly symphonic metal bands knocking about at the moment, and you can add Italy’s Xeneris to that list. Formed from the ashes of Kalidia – one of the finest exponents of power metal from that country – this debut takes everything great about this sort of music and gives it a bit of a spruce-up.

In a crowded market, one way to get heard above the noise is simply to be really good, and that’s where “Eternal Rising” comes in. “Barbarossa” moves from overbearing and ominous to fun in the blink of an eye, and “Before The River Of Fire” does likewise. It is striking that, however epic these songs sound, there’s no excess fat, even if Federico Paolin enjoys shredding the solos.

And if they soar, then it’s the title song that soars highest. Heavy but always accessible, “Pandora’s Box” is extremely well done, and “A New Beginning” is more melodic but equally skilled. The thing about this sort of music is that it all sounds like a soundtrack to the most opulent film you can imagine. Like Game of Thrones in scope (but not bad, and that is a hill I’ll gladly die on), “To The Endless Sea” is huge and soaring. The Eastern flavors of “Shahrazad” aren’t far behind.

All of “Eternal Rising” has an inescapable class. “Scilla And Cariddi” is played impeccably, and the voice of Maryan is second to none. “Burning Within” puts the “power” into “Power Metal” and parps in the way that only this stuff can, and when “The Glorious Fight” thunders, it prepares for war in a very gladiatorial type way.

“Equinox” brings the curtain down in a sea of melody and stacked harmony. It says much for this collection that such a song (think something from the Frozen soundtrack) passes for stripped-down.

If you like minimalism, skip this. If you like “less is more,” forget it. If you want bombast on an epic scale, “Eternal Rising” hits the spot.

Rating: 8/10

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