When I reviewed the album Visions From Cosmos by Italian progressive metal band Lucid Dream (see review), the last line I wrote was that it would be interesting to hear a guitar album by the three instrumentalists. My request was almost rewarded; Lucid Dream's guitarist Simone Terigi released an album of his own, without the help of his fellow band mates. The only help on the album came from cello player Nicola Paoli and percussionist Davide Zalaffi.
On Visions From Cosmos Simone stayed close to the style of Joe Satriani, so my first thought was that he would continue to do so and I expected a nice and powerful album, but I guess I overlooked the title of Simone's solo album; Rock Meditations. The CD is smooth and relaxed, almost like a new age album, but with the exception that Simone plays a mighty impressive guitar over the mostly acoustic guitar lines that are the basics of the album. When you listen to the ten minute long opener; Sea Notes, the gentle sounds of waves that reach the shores flow into an acoustic guitar that plays the melody. Over that base Simone's electric guitar replaces an imaginary vocalist and tells the story of the sea. In the electric parts you can still hear the Joe Satriani influences with the cool effect of the wah wah. Another long song, clocking ten and a half minutes is The Heart's Home where the sounds of the mandolin remind you of the Led Zeppelin song The Battle Of Evermore- the song that placed the mandolin on the map of rock music. Halfway through the song, it gets electric, but the bluesy feeling of the band I referred to earlier stays intact. The cello in Lardee gives the song a darker and moodier atmosphere and reminds me a bit of the Away With Words album, Jim Matheos of Fates Warning made in 1999.
The strong point of the album is the fact that you don't really miss the presence of a rhythm section, Simone basically uses the same approach on every song; laying down an acoustic melody, sometimes adding an electric guitar to gain some power and over this laidback and relaxed melody, he plays his electric guitar in an emotional and expressive way, sometimes replacing imaginary vocals, but always very tastefully.
Simone Terigi did not make the usual album a rock guitarist would make, not using bass or drums, but just relying on his impressive way of playing the guitar. The outcome is an album that is perfectly suited to play on an early Sunday morning; coffee and a croissant within reach or late at night when you would like to finish the day with a nice glass and music that makes all your sorrows go away.
***+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Robert James Pashman)
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