Out now on Mad Guitar Records
Guitarsnake aka Nicolas Notarianni is a French guitarist who first came to my attention on the Mad Guitar Records compilation ‘Melodic Soloists’, now we get to see what the man can do across a whole album with “Around The World”.
The first thing to strike me is that this album doesn’t follow the general guitar instrumental formula, the guitar is not always the dominant instrument and “Around The World” is much more about the song than the guitar work. This is to be praised as strong songs always serve lead guitar work better.
Opening with the 4 part “My Religion” we get a lush modern sound with good depth and width of production and a nice clean warm sound. Nicolas’ guitar work stays restraint through parts II and III of the 4 tracks and is none existent on the tracks I and IV bookends; it’s a strong opening piece and one that is superb as background music in the small hours of night. The title track serves up an almost West Coast AOR vibe is a nice bright tune, again very melodic on the guitar front (can anyone say Neil Schon?) whilst the more modern “In The Shadow” with its keyboard textures from Nicolas Notarianni is again easy yet enjoyable on the ear. “Somewhere In This World” would be the perfect accompaniment to a film recap where the love interests look back over their relationship blossoming. The tempo and heaviness is upped a little for “Surrounded” which again is full of strong melody and nice orchestration from the keyboards whilst “Last Goodbye” sees the new material out in tender fashion. Two remastered tracks “I Have a Dream” and “On The Road” are the heaviest offerings on the album and end this fine release.
“Around The World” is a mature and extremely enjoyable offering, immediately listenable, well suited to a variety of moods and an album that can lift one out of the deepest depression. The guitar work is mostly melodic, perfectly suited to the track and incredibly praise worthy. On the whole an excellent release and an early contender for guitar instrumental of the year – check it out.
Rating – 92%