Journey to the eye of a secret through reefs and riffs on young Italian guitarist’s debut offering.
If a romantic story may wear mysticism as its armor, it can easily bend if the armor gets heavy – easily but not necessarily, as this record proves with a flair. The flurry of picturesque images is projected onto a hard rock veneer here, but Gabriel Gianelli, the project’s seer, embroiders his enigmatic context by adding unexpected detail to the flow. A flute hasn’t been as organically bound to a grind since JETHRO TULL took home a Grammy for the Best Metal Performance, and prog moves lead most of the performances away from any heroic notion that could have otherwise marred the sight.
As heftier tracks reveal an alternative edge, sharpened in the clench of Gabriel’s guitar and producer Fabrizio Grossi’s bass, “The Fisherman” or “I See” don’t try to escape theatricality, yet the equally funky “Falling Skyward” appears to be very emotional in its lyrical rage. Oftentimes, pieces such as “Pharaoh’s Phoenix” branch out towards folk – acoustic “Oniric Isle” an epitome of traditional sensibility – while “Why” where Garrett Holbrook’s many voices shine, opens up to a fusion-like delight. It’s from there that the path of freedom is emerging to triumph in the march of “Felicity: Part 2” and once again outline Gabriel’s wizardry as both composer and player, the freedom which would take many artists many years to find. Given a clear vision, here’s one impressive start.