Avispa 2016


Black Moon

Spanish guitarist’s first solo venture – in the company of kindred spirits and benevolent ghosts.

Classic hard rock, refined but infectious: that’s what Paco Ventura’s first album under his own name is all about. That, and paying homage to a certain axeman, although if a reference in the record’s title may be oblique, the music says it all. There’s no hiding Ventura’s influences from “Vencer Tu Miedo” which could have adorned any RAINBOW album, to “The End” – voiced by Joe Lynn Turner in electric and, as a bonus, exquisite acoustic settings, but not before Javier González offers, in the beginning of it all, “El Final” with a sharper, Spanish edge.

What could seem as a blatant attempt to engage international listeners, what with Göran Edman and Fabio Leone delivering English versions of a couple more tracks, reveals more imaginative detail on close inspection, as the former adds an a cappella intro to “Get Over It Forever” and a host of guest six-stringers augment Pablo’s filigree assault. Bristling with hooks, “Solo por Ti” and “Buscando la Luz” are heavy and melodic, the latter imitating live rendition, yet it’s impossible to not smell a whiff of Iberia about the title track which sucks John Norum in its festive sway, and “El Juego” wherein Patrick Rondat injects a bit of rage, while Bruce Kulick chimes in on “En Tu Piel” to paint it blue.

“Black Moon” doesn’t try to be original but as a tribute to Ritchie Blackmore’s halcyon days it’s almost perfect.


September 8, 2016

Category(s): Reviews
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