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Ferro, Gianluca: Unheimlich

Bipolar Zombie Attack!

Taking distinct influences from the likes of Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, and John Petrucci, prolific Italian guitarist Gianluca Ferro has crafted another winner in his increasingly impressive discography. Having taken part in progressive metal bands such as Time Machine, Heart of Sun, and Arkhe (among others), Gianluca has been constantly proving his worth as a multi-faceted and talented guitarist. His latest solo album, Unheimlich, shows him in his most comfortable and confident state in his entire career. Taking his influences from the shred-metal scene and seamlessly melding it together with progressive metal and jazz fusion, Gianluca Ferro has created a one-of-a-kind prog metal album that I'd encourage all fans of instrumental music to check out. While I do have a few knocks regarding the playing time, there's more than enough great material here to satisfy me and (I would imagine) most other prog metal fans.

The music here is a mixture of progressive rock/metal, jazz fusion, shred metal, and even touches of instrumental thrash metal. Although this doesn't sound like something that's new, Gianluca Ferro manages to combine these sounds into an instrumental mix that's simultaneously enjoyable and original. One thing that impressed me more than anything else on Unheimlich was the sheer technical capabilities of Gianluca Ferro. The man can handle emotional passages like Yngwie Malmsteen, complex time signatures like John Petrucci, and shredded passages like Steve Vai, resulting in not only an impressive sound, but an overall well-rounded musician. His backing cast is equally impressive, featuring excellent musicianship in all departments. Compositionally, Unheimlich can be a bit unfocused at times, and the near-70 minute playing time doesn't help. It's simply too long, and, as a result, a bit of filler sneaks its way into the album. The best songs here are, in my opinion, the terrific "Bipolar Zombie" and the fast-paced opening "Olympia's Strangely Mechanical Actions". In terms of production, Unheimlich is also great, and boasts a terrific and professional sound.

Conclusion:

I'm not usually a huge fan of instrumental music - many instrumental releases tend to feel like an endless noodling-fest with little musical value (for me at least). Every now and again I hear a stellar album like Unheimlich that makes me wonder why few instrumental artists can succeed as effortlessly as Gianluca Ferro has here. This isn't a perfect album, and the playing time can be a bit tedious in the end (I would've preferred it to be 15-20 minutes shorter), but it's still an excellent release well deserving of a 3.5-4 star rating. Gianluca Ferro is a fairly new name to me, but I sincerely hope to hear some more great material from him in the future! This one comes highly recommended to all fans of instrumental jazz-influenced prog metal!


Track Listing
1 Olympia's Strangely Mechanical Actions 3:43
2 Accelerating Future 6:26
3 Moroccan Dilemma 2:44
4 Crimson Robotron 1:56
5 Solaris 5:36
6 Metanfenasia 6:08
7 Life In A Raindrop 1:59
8 Cyclopic Overtone 5:34
9 Overture 1089 X 9 2:24
10 Bipolar Zombie 6:35
11 Black Lydian 1:58
12 On A Day Like Today 4:46
13 Ulam Spiral Dysporia 5:24
14 City Rises 5:05
15 The Bunraku Puppet 7:16

Added: January 19th 2011
Reviewer: Jeff B
Score:
Related Link: Gianluca Ferro Website
Hits: 601
Language: english

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