Typical debut, but improvement needed
Heavy/progressive metal band, Marble, are relatively new and unknown in the metal world. Forming in 2003 in Italy, the band released a demo in 2006 entitled Tails Of Dreams And Reality. For the next two years the band worked on their debut release, under a little know record company; Y Records. The end result is A.t.G.o.d., or simply known as At The Gates Of Destruction.
At the time of the CD's recording and finishing touches in 2008, the band consisted of bassist Daniel Fleba, guitarists Paul Beretta and Omar Gornati, drummer Gianluca Bassignani and vocalist Jack Cherubini. Since the album has been released, guitarist Omar Gornati has left the band and has been replaced by 17 year old Brian Belloni.
Vocalist Jack Cherubini is not the most talented singer in the world. In fact, I would consider him to be an average vocalist at best, thus the reason why it is so hard to enjoy this release. Cherubini's vocals are quite inconsistent; at times he is able to deliver great passages, but at other times, his delivery is poor, weak and sometimes inaudible. His thick Italian accent does play a part to an extent, but in many songs, Cherubini struggles to sing in time with the music and often rushes his vocals; cutting words in half or even missing them. His greatest weakness is with Marble's faster tracks, as he does not have the power nor the delivery in his voice; and ultimately his vocals fade behind the music.
But on the other hand, during Marble's more slower, ballad-esk tracks, Cherubini's vocals are much better, allowing him to greater express himself and sing with more melody and conviction. Music-wise, Marble has not shattered any barriers here and it is what you'd expect from a debut album in the heavy/prog metal genre. The song arrangements are enjoyable and creative, but they are just missing something overall to keep the listeners attention and interest for the entire CD. Once again, being a debut, this would be expected; allowing much room for improvement in the next release or so. Despite this, the guitar work of Paul Beretta and Omar Gornati are very good, filling songs with solid and expressive riffs and solos. Also the drumming of Gianluca Bassignani is very good; and one of the reasons this release wasn't given a lower mark.
Although there are no killer tracks to mention here, as the majority of them are average to decent; I must say that there were three which I felt stood higher than the rest. Broken Promises is a mid-paced track, featuring nice piano passages throughout. This is one of those times where Jack Cherubini does sing well, showing off his melodic and emotional side; while the song also boasts a catchy chorus. Chaos To Control is a faster track, consisting of rapid riffing, double bass drumming and a hot solo to boot, probably the best on the album. Although I mentioned that Cherubini's vocals struggles against the faster tracks, this time around however, the music may be fast but it is on a lower level in terms of ferocity. The third track I'm mentioning is a ballad called Alaska. Containing violins, acoustic guitar and piano, the song begins softly, until the drums and guitar enter towards the middle of the track. The song ends nicely with a soulful guitar solo. It is also one of Cherubini's best performances vocally.
I feel the problem for Marble on this release, is basically consistency. Jack Cherubini needs a fair amount of work on his vocals, mainly delivery and power. Second, the songs are good, but some are just plain boring. There is not enough passion and diversity in the songs and I'm sure this will addressed for Marble's sophomore effort. Still, A.t.G.o.d. will appeal to a great deal of prog metal fans, but more for the music rather than the vocals; while traditional metal fans will really need to hear this one before making any kind of purchase.