DANIELE LIVERANI – ELEVEN MYSTERIES

Released 20 July 2012 on Lion Music

Better known as the keyboard wizard behind Twinspirits, Genius Rock Opera, Cosmics, Khymera etc, Daniele Liverani has turned his attentions to his first love – the guitar – for his first solo instrumental offering for Lion Music entitled “Eleven Mysteries”.

Anyone that is familiar with Liverani’s other bands know he is a strong songwriter well able to pen interesting vocal compositions with deft touches, fortunately this has translated to his guitar album which is an accessible collection home to rich melodies over strong songs.   This only enables Liverani’s guitar technique, featuring all the tricks and skills you’d expect from a student of 80’s and 90’s guitars, to pack the expected punch from an offering from Lion Music.

Although one might expect Liverani to use his multi musical skills to perform all instruments, he has used the album as an opportunity to bring new names to fold, with the album welcoming drummer Paco Barilla’, bassist Tony Dickinson and keyboardist Marco Zago to the scene.  All are strong players in their own right with drummer Paco Barilla being a particularly noteworthy find.

Onto the tracks and we get a multi-faceted album from the Jason Becker like uber shred of  “Mysterious Impulse”, progressive overtones in “Inspiration”, metallic riffery in “Nerve Force” and the delicate ballad “Supreme Gladness” (a highlight to these ears). The obligatory Vai/Satch like track often found on guitar albums is well catered for with “All Is Good” whilst “Giving” injects a sprightly new world Steve Morse like vibe with nice keyboard solos from Marco Zago,    “Humiliation” and “Freedom” are focused around more tight riffs but lack a little in character, something which cant be thrown at final track “Eternal” which covers numerous styles and is a good closer.

Daniele Liverani won’t win awards for breaking new ground in guitar instrumentals with “Eleven Mysteries”, but what we do get is a well played, well produced and more importantly well written album, home to fine performances within enjoyable songs where the focus is on just that – the song.  Liverani’s impressive guitar work is the icing on this enjoyable cake.  One to check out.

Rating – 84%

-xXeDlEvaZo

JON LORD – RIP

It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Jon Lord, who suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism today, Monday 16th July at the London Clinic, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Jon was surrounded by his loving family.

Jon Lord, the legendary keyboard player with Deep Purple co-wrote many of the bands legendary songs including Smoke On The Water and played with Whitesnake & many bands and musicians throughout his career.

Best known for his Orchestral work Concerto for Group & Orchestra first performed at Royal Albert Hall with Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1969 and conducted by the renowned Malcolm Arnold, a feat repeated in 1999 when it was again performed at the Royal Albert Hall by the London Symphony Orchestra and Deep Purple.

Jon’s solo work was universally acclaimed when he eventually retired from Deep Purple in 2002.

Jon passes from Darkness to Light.

Jon Lord 9 June 1941 – 16 July 2012.

JOE STUMP – REVENGE OF THE SHREDLORD

Released 17 August 2012 on Lion Music

Out of the dozens of shredders who used to flood the market with release upon release of sweeped arpeggios and shredded scales, precious few are left. Joe Stump is one of those few. Albums like “Speed Metal Messiah” and “Virtuostic Vendetta” proved that the instrumental genre still has plenty to offer, even (or especially) after grunge and nu-metal’s assault on music.

If you’re even remotely familiar with Joe’s music, this album will hold no surprises. After the brief intro “The Ritual Begins”, the album kicks off well and true with “Man Your Battlestations”, an uptempo Yngwie/Macalpine mashup. “Pistoleros” benefits from a lower tempo that allows the ideas to come to fruition.

Joe has favored a single coil type tone for years now, and I don’t think it’s ever been more obvious. This unavoidably raises the Yngwie content of the album, even if Joe is far more than a mere copycat. Musically, the album took me back to the first wave of instrumental shred releases. Macalpine’s “Edge Of Insanity”, Moore’s “Mind’s Eye” and of course Yngwie’s “Rising Force”.  “Shredlord’s Sonata” should help me prove my point…

One could argue that the compositions merely serve to showcase the guitar pyrotechnics.  Well… Duh! Instrumental albums were never about sing along epic choruses, now were they?  Even so, the lyricism of “In The Master’s House” or “Evil Beasts Below” puts to shame the naysayers who listen with trend-corrupted eyes rather than open ears.

“The Black Knight’s Castle” is a fierce barnstormer of a track that hints at Rainbow’s golden era, while “Enter The Coven” ups the stakes when it comes to heavy. The unaccompanied “Strat Out Of Hell” is a bit pointless. Like Joe forgot to put the song behind the solo. “White Knuckle Mayhem” starts of melodic but then proceeds to do full justice to its title. For “The End Approaches”, Joe once again pulls out all the stops in an epic metal tune that more than tips the hat to Yngwie.

It may be my advance copy, but overall production seems a bit weaker than on its predecessors.  The drums especially sound artificial and boxy. Nevertheless, this is another solid release by a guitarist who has risen to the top of his field.

Rating – 89%
Review by Sancho