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On disc: Tommy Vitaly

Just Me - Lars Bjørn - 7 stars
Hanging Rock - Lars Bjørn - 8 stars

Hanging Rock

Hanging Rock
(Ice Warrior Records - 2012)

Tommy Vitaly is the Italian guitar player who specialize in writing songs and then let a number of guest performers appear on his records, but he get help from the bass player Andrea 'Tower' Torricini and drummer Rhino to appear on all tracks. That was the introduction. Vitaly made the first solo record, Just Me, in 2010 and why not continue this style where he last time had Thomas Vikström to sing two of the songs and the rest was instrumental. This time it is only two instrumental songs and the 7 others are with guest singers, and what a list it is, Mats Leven, Carsten Lizard Schultz, Todd LaTorre, David DeFeis, Michele Luppi and Zak Stevens.

A different concept, but still in the Tommy Vitaly spirit when it comes to the music, the first one is Betrayer, fast and pounding where the traces of Judas Priest runs through the veins of the song and the voice of Mats Leven sparks the ignition for a super album. Run With The Devil gives Carsten Lizard Schultz (Evidence One) the opportunity to impress with his explosive voice on this melodic and hard driven song where also the great keyboard work as well as fantastic guitars from Vitaly himself makes the difference. Hands Of Time is next and Todd LaTorre, (Crimson Glory) takes over the microphone and supplies aggressive singing in this speedy metal creation where the harmony in LaTorre's voice gives it all a great flow and forceful metal impression. The atmosphere is changing in Forever Lost, David DeFeis (Virgin Steele) makes this epic metal song both melodic and strong with his melodic and constructive way to give songs personality. It goes in a relaxed tempo but the magic in the song is wonderful. Idol is full of power stricken rhythm and the cooperation between the drums and the voice of Michele Luppi (Thaurorod) works superb, one of the best songs on the album. Misanthropy is an instrumental piece of epic metal with rhythm and solo make you in a good mood, great work there. Heavy Metal Gods is another aim at the sky with Carsten Lizard Schultz (Evidence One) again doing the vocals, forceful pressuring metal in a melodic and well-written style where the guitar solo is served by another guest performer, David 'The Shredder' Shankle, best known from his time with Manowar. The title song is Hanging Rock, instrumental and strong in the build, but not leaving the greatest of impression to remember afterwards, but still OK for give a little variation for the album. The last song is called Ice Warrior, and also here we are in the epic metal section, powerful and driven by a great rhythm makes a good base for Zak Stevens (Circle II Circle) to do the vocals on the last song for this album.

Last but not least credit are also to Ferdy Doernberg and Norifumi Shima for their solos on the album. The concept is not used so often to have guest performers to the songs, but it works for Tommy Vitaly, and the record get extra personality for the professionalism during the production work.

8 stars

Lars Bjørn


Just Me

Just Me
(Rock It Up Records - 2010)

I have looked forward to this personal album from Italian guitarist / pianist Tommy Vitaly from Florence. He is basicly known for his work with his band Seven Gates, but he finds the time to make music for his own amusement. Lots of people worked with him on this CD. Fellow classical oriented keyboard player Vitalij Kuprij (Artension) and David Shankle (DSG and Manowar) appears as guests. The band is with 3 guest stars: vocalist Thomas Vikström (Candlemass, Stormwind, Therion, Mehida), bass player Andrea 'Tower' Torricini (Taringa, Killing Touch), drummer Rhino (Manowar, HolyHell), and the boss himself, Tommy Vitaly on the guitar and piano.
Tommy has same kind of ideas as David DeFeis (Virgin Steele) about making personal musical compositions that doesn't fit into specific categories. The CD shows that Vitaly is creatively skilled, and writes music when he has some good ideas. The problem is that such an album is only for people who have the patience to listen to something brilliant, but unfortunately almost too much out of the ordinary. Another problem for Tommy Vitaly is, that only 2 of the 11 songs are blessed by vocals of Thomas Vikström. The other 9 are instrumentals. That could be a problem commercially, but no doubt that the album holds great quality.
Anyway, the song Fly High, Touch The Sky is almost taken directly from Seven Gates theme song Message To The Stars. The other vocal song, Ready To Die is the best 'metal' song on the album. It gives the CD a power boost with super drums from Rhino, spade from Shankle, elegant screams from Vikström. Ready To Die is clearly inspired by Swedish band Dream Evil's music, the Swedish who also makes this type of very melodic metal.
All in all, a beautiful mix of instrumental and epic classic music with a melodic touch of today's metal. An album Tommy Vitaly can be proud of.

7 stars

Lars Bjørn


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