• Fighting for classic heavy metal - A review of Charizma's "We Fight for the Sky"

    Харизма - Бьёмся за небо (2017)

    Moscovian sextet Charizma played melodic power metal in its early years but is now playing classic heavy metal after numerous line-up changes since its inception thirteen years earlier. New singer Sergey Skitaletz makes me think of Aria’s new frontman Mikhail Zhitnyakov. His melodic and powerful vocals manage to sound both raw in the lower registers and epic in the higher passages. This mixture of melodic and raw passages suits the intriguing Russian language really well. Despite not being truly unique, the energetic and energizing vocal performance is this record’s most distinguishable feature.

    Instrumentally, the band is very solid and handles both gloomier tracks like the galloping epic ‘’Знаки судьбы’’ in the key of Iron Maiden and more melodic tracks like the emotional half-ballad ‘’ Ты ветер, ты пепел’’ that could come from Scorpions really well without standing out. The few keyboard passages sound somewhat artificial in otherwise solid tunes like ‘’ Русский солдат’’ but they are so underused that it doesn’t leave too much of a negative impression. The lyrics are also classic heavy metal standard dealing with history and legends and a shot of patriotism that is a little bit too present in many Russian metal bands.

    If you are a fan of traditional Russian heavy metal in the key of Aria, Black Coffee and Master among others, you will definitely enjoy Charizma’s release from start to finish. It’s an enthusiastic, juvenile and well-crafted traditional heavy metal gem but it clearly isn’t the most inspired and surprising record. Since the album is both physically and digitally available for a decent price, I would recommend Бьёмся за небо to melodic heavy metal fans with a weakness for the Russian language and culture.

    Final rating: 75%

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