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Cultreri, Tony: On Betrayal

On Betrayal is an all instrumental album featuring Tony Cultreri as a one man band. My guess is Cultreri is first and foremost a guitarist; his lead playing is melodic and tasteful. One of the things I immediately picked up on is the drumming, which is often choppy, with a lot of awkward stops and starts. “Order” features some nice volume swells ala’ Steve Hackett, with a bed of synths and strings. The second half of the disc could use more punch, it becomes more atmospheric and synth heavy, tracks such as “In Memory” and “The Way A Blue Sky Turns To Red”. “Destiny Refused” brings out the metal player in Cultreri, but again the drumming is clumsy, and the song doesn’t hang together well. That would be my overall assessment here, some good ideas, nice guitar work in spots, but I think Cultreri would be better served to work with other musicians and collaborators to bring out the best in his music. The album closes with the atmospheric “Requiem and Rebirth” followed by “Change And Redemption” which might contain his most enjoyable lead work, but the plodding pace set by the drums kills any momentum this track might have, which is the story of this album.

Track List:

  1. A Small Matter Of Destiny
  2. Bleak Statistics
  3. The First Betrayal
  4. The Second Betrayal
  5. An Optimistic Interruption
  6. Disorder
  7. Order
  8. In Memory
  9. The Way A Blue Sky Turns To Red
  10. Destiny Refused
  11. Requiem And Rebirth
  12. Change And Redemption

Added: March 28th 2023
Reviewer: Eric Porter
Related Link: Artists @ Bandcamp
Hits: 1354
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Cultreri, Tony: On Betrayal
Posted by Tony Cultreri on 2023-06-25 22:59:18
My Score:

How one can review an hour long piece of program music without even mentioning that it •is• program music is mind boggling to me. A deep exploration of the roller coaster ride that is betrayal, with a deconstructed head on the cover, it should be obvious to even the most casual listener that the “choppy“ feeling was definitely not accidental. This effect was achieved by carefully removing certain polyrhythms, as well as major or minor thirds, and shifting modalities, to give the listener an uneasy feeling until peace and beauty are once again realized. As far as starting and stopping, I can’t think of a single Prog album that doesn’t. Here, it illustrates the way betrayal keeps coming at you in different ways, no matter how you seek peace. As far as side two, I have no idea what “punchy” ambient music is. “Destiny Refused“ is a pre-finale bolero, in which all major characters, represented by musical themes, reemerge transformed, transposed, and mutated to illustrate the metamorphosis that only betrayal can bring. That is how it “hangs together”. This is the sole negative review my beautiful album has received. I think you are doing the kind listener a disservice. Those interested in a more thought out review might refer to Classic Album Review hosted by Barry Robinson, among many other considered opinions. Link:

Cultreri, Tony: On Betrayal
Posted by Victor Igorevich on 2023-05-12 20:05:01
My Score:

I love this album. It is a beautiful work of art that helped me through a difficult break-up m/

Cultreri, Tony: On Betrayal
Posted by Bill Sunkel on 2023-05-05 19:56:36
My Score:

The reviewer seems to miss the point of this album, which is storytelling. Admittedly, it's not an easy read, which perhaps explains the reviewer's failure to embrace or understand it after (what one can only assume was) a single listen. For those of us with longer attention spans, however, this is an emotional, nuanced and complex album that rewards the serious listener. Mr. Cultreri has defied the "attention challenged" culture of the moment, and in so doing appears to have befuddled those unwilling to engage (or perhaps incapable of engaging) at a deeper level.

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