Destinia is a project by Japanese Metal guitarist Nozomu Wakai. He released his first album in 2014 and on this follow-up, called Metal Souls, he is joined by Ronnie Romero (Rainbow, Lords Of Black), Marco Mendoza (The Dead Daisies) and Tommy Aldridge (Whitesnake). Not a bad line-up for what is an 11 track melodic metal offering. Make no mistake however, it is a showcase for Wakai’s guitar histrionics and each song is a clear build-up to a fretboard work out. Although to give him credit, there are strong melodies in all of the songs, not just widdling for its own sake. Romero, as ever, has a voice that fits well within this neoclassical backdrop, but with a few too many screaming bits for me. Mendoza and Aldridge do what they do best and provide solid, heavy rhythm. ‘Metal Souls’ and ‘Raise Your Fist’ provide the obligatory pacey and powerful heavy metal.
‘The End Of Love’, ‘Be A Hero’, and ‘Rain’ are much more melodic rock oriented. The audience participation song, ‘Take Me Home’, has the necessary infectious chorus and just avoids becoming a cliché. ‘Promised Land’ is my pick, with its Rainbowesque structure and the best solo…simply because it is more restrained and thoughtful. So, if you enjoy guitar wizardry of the shredding variety, I have no doubt you will enjoy this collection. Wakai has huge ability and is, to my ears, from the Chris Impellitteri school of guitar and, like him, his compositions would benefit from the “less is more” ethos. Still worth a listen.