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Fianna - "The Beginning" (CD)

Fianna - "The Beginning" CD cover image

"The Beginning" track listing:

1. Shoulder To Shoulder
2. The Beginning
3. Too Late
4. Retrieve

Reviewed by on August 16, 2010

"Great guitar playing isn't enough to save an disc when the sound quality is bad, as, unfortunately, is the case with Fianna's 'The Beginning.'"

Fianna's "The Beginning" is an unfortunate example of how bad production can just about wreck good playing. There are plenty of moments in which the band's technical skills are on display, but the tinny sound makes for a disappointing listening experience.

These Milano, Italy-based thrashers have instrumental chops to spare. The double-guitar assault by Dianluca Beritognolo and Alessandro Cannatelli on "Shoulder To Shoulder" is quite impressive. Beritognolo's vocals are in the Tom Araya mold, more shouted than sung, but given the martial nature of the song, they work well. The band, by the way, is named for a band of legendary Celtic warriors, with this tune serving as a bit of an anthem. It's the best song on the EP, but even it is hampered by the production, with Mauro De Brasi's drums sounding quite weak.

The title track, "The Beginning," has some good guitar moments, but the bad production often reduces the faster sections into a muddle. "Too Late" fares a bit better, partially because it's a little slower.

The disc ends on a poor note with "Retrieve." I'm sure that the complex opening would be impressive live, but it's impossible to figure out what's going on here. And, once again, De Brasi's drums (and Marco D'Andre's bass, for that matter) have absolutely no heft to them.

Great guitar playing isn't enough to save an disc when the sound quality is bad, as, unfortunately, is the case with Fianna's "The Beginning." Here's hoping the band's next effort has production that better shows off its members impressive skills.

Highs: "Shoulder To Shoulder" and "Too Late"

Lows: Bad, tinny production that severely hampers the listening experience

Bottom line: A thrash EP that could've been much greater with better production.

Rated 2 out of 5 skulls
2 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)