For people who are still unaware of the musical capacities of the Italian guitarist Daniele Liverani, I would like to introduce him first. Liverani received a classical piano education in his teens, but at the age of seventeen the electric guitar became his second passion. On this instrument he started to make demos that eventually resulted in his first solo album called Viewpoint (1999). Meanwhile he became part of the Italian progressive metal band Empty Tremor as a keyboard player, and ever since his career seems to be unstoppable for this musical master mind. Besides Empty Tremor and an occasional solo album, Liverani initiated the Genius trilogy, which was his progressive solo project with quite a number of famous guest vocalists. With Khymera he introduced melodic rock and in Cosmics he added fusion to his already impressive list of musical genres. With his band Twinspirits he sought the edges of progressive rock and now he recorded Eleven Mysteries, a new solo album that highlights his capacities on the electric guitar.
Alongside Daniele Liverani, the other musicians on this album are Marco Zago (keyboards), Paco Barilla (drums) and Tony Dickinson (bass). On Eleven Mysteries Liverani shows different aspects and styles of guitar playing. You'll hear solid pieces in the vein of Tony MacAlpine, Marty Friedman and Yngwie Malmsteen in songs like Mysterious Impulse, Humiliation and Nervous Forces, but also incredibly melodic guitar lines in Supreme Gladness. In this piece the guitar almost has a clean sound with a quite impressive structure. The track All Is Pure is a real emotional highlight.
In several compositions small soundscapes from various sources are embedded adding nice effects to the songs. The fact that the keyboards and the piano are Daniele's other main instruments pays off, because keyboard player Marco Zago gets plenty of room to excel. Most compositions contain a fine balance between guitar and keyboards, but especially in the last two mentioned songs. In other pieces, like in the instrumental hard rock piece Survive, the keyboards remain in the background, while the drums and the bass get their turn in the fore.
With Eleven Mysteries Liverani surprises the listeners with eleven different moods, styles and impressive playing. For me I'm glad he did, because sticking to the same style, especially in the old eighties shredder style, takes too great a toll after a few songs. A song like Freedom blends many styles and as far as I'm concerned this is one of the highlights. It offers great interaction between the instruments that are always secondary to the overall sound. A special mention applies to Eternal, the album's final song that starts as a regular shredder composition, but gently segues into a more fusion-driven song, wherein bass, drums and keyboards get room to shine. This is a very impressive and worthy end to an album containing many musical directions that offers something for everyone.
****+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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