Lion Music (2012)
Most know this Italian musician as a composer and keyboardist for acts like Twinspirits, the Genius rock opera saga, and Khymera among others. He also is quite the virtuoso on the electric guitar, as this instrumental record “Eleven Mysteries” highlights. Surrounding himself with a mix of Italian and American players like keyboardist Marco Zago, bassist Tony Dickinson, and drummer Paco Barilla’, the 11 songs reflect a wide array of emotions- incorporating shred chops with shuffling rhythms and not losing sight of keeping the core essence down to earth for the average listener’s benefit.
Sometimes the light, soothing jazz bass/keyboard sounds set the mood into the next metal montage as in the epic “Eternal”. Other times Daniele chooses to revert to his progressive roots with more of an emotive, open soloing stance such as the one chosen throughout “Inspiration”- where he lets Marco trade off with a wide range of 70’s organ, keyboard and piano tones. The uplifting chords and atmosphere on “Giving” energize the middle portion of “Eleven Mysteries”- and I love the pitch bending antics from Marco as well as the furious rolls out of Paco. There are plenty of chances to take in Daniele’s quick shredding skills- “Humiliation” and “Mysterious Impulse” being the two dream tracks for all neo-classical progressive metal guitarists to study and worship at the altar of. “Supreme Gladness” is a bluesy ballad worthy of Gary Moore’s finest 80’s offerings- and an area I hope he continues to explore on future records.
The best compliment I can pay to “Eleven Mysteries” is the fact that I felt just as engaged in these compositions as if they had vocals- knowing they are pure instrumentals. Daniele composes with one foot in the hands of extracting the most ability out of the players and another focused on the needs of each individual composition. As such, “Eleven Mysteries” has cross genre appeal for those who like neo-classical, progressive metal or just solid instrumental music in general.
Rating: 4.5 / 6
Composed by Matt Coe