Some album covers reveal instantly what kind of music you may expect inside the sleeve or the jewel case. This was also the case with the CD I received from the Italian musician Freddy Delirio, with whom I wasn't familiar before listening to the first notes of his album Journey. It seemed that he was the keyboardist of the legendary cult band Death SS, the singer of the hard rock band H.A.R.E.M. and moreover a producer and sound engineer.
On the cover of Journey, his instrumental solo album, Freddy Delirio stands with his arms widely spread between some keyboards. That made it easy to conclude that the music on Journey would be keyboard orientated. The only remaining question was whether he wrote progressive rock tunes or some music related to the genre. Well, after listening to his compositions − mostly written and recorded in 1992 − it became clear that he was inspired by several prog rock musicians and by Rick Wakeman in particular. Delirio almost has the same style of playing and this also applies to the pace of the music. Listen to the opening track Dark Forest or to Flashover and you'll catch my drift.
However, throughout the album more musical genres can be heard like soundtrack music on Dreamland and Witches' Sabbath. Both pieces were indeed used for the soundtrack of the Italian horror movie The Darkest Night. Furthermore I heard also pieces in the vein of classical music like Ecstatic Music and Casanova (Rond˛) and even rock music with electric guitars. A good example is Celtic Memory on which guitarist Stefano Zanobini, the only guest musician on Journey, can be heard. Due to the use of electronic drums the music sometimes contains elements of disco and related dance styles of which The Triumph Of The Truth is a good example.
In 1992 this album was regarded to be a masterpiece by the press for its originality and thus it became a cult record. Later on Delirio composed other instrumental songs like Desire, Scarlet and Starlight. These pieces finish the album in style and are worth listening to. Again they showed his classical roots. As a kind of bonus a video clip of Lucifer Seats └ Droite has been included. It's a nice and artistic video with images of nature and in between you can see Delirio playing on the keyboards. This live footage proved again that he was strongly influenced by Rick Wakeman, the former keyboard player of prog dinosaur Yes.
Being a devotee of keyboard orientated progressive rock I certainly enjoyed Journey. The music on this album demonstrated that Freddy Delirio is a great musician and composer who can easily entertain an audience on his own. Well, he didn't need anybody to create this fine album, anyway. Sure, it would have been better if he had used a drummer of flesh and blood, but even with the electronic drums he managed to keep me focussed throughout the album, which is above all recommended to people who like many keyboards in their prog!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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