Metal To Infinity

Tommy Vitaly might ring a bell to some of you. No? Remember Seven Gates; the Italian neo-classical Power Metal band? Oh, that makes a point! In psychological terms they talk about the term ‘aha-erlebnis’, literally the ‘aha experience’, meaning you recognize something while using the word ‘aha’! At least this guy proved with Seven gates how to pull the strings and right now he’s representing us his first solo-album. This record listens to the name “Just me” and I think the man just wants to show us who he really is, musical wise and what kind of music he adores.

The man wasn’t afraid to ask some friends to help him out with this release. Thomas Vikström (Stormwind, Candlemass, Audiovision, Brazen About, Therion) is responsible for the vocals, Rhino (ex Manowar) is behind the drums and further on you’ll hear David Shankle (ex Manowar, DSG) on the guitars, Andrea Torricini (ex Vision Divine, Wonderland) on the bass guitar, Vitalij Kuprij (Artension, TSO, Adagio, Ring Of Fire) and Giuseppe "Maestro Mistheria" Iampieri (Bruce Dickinson, Rob Rock) behind the keyboards. Not bad at all!

With this impressive line-up mister Vitaly starts the album that is, in my opinion, mainly influenced by Yngwie Malmsteen’s records. It was a long time ago Malmsteen took me by the throat with one of his albums, I doubt he will ever do it again. Nevertheless the hooks, riffs and the atmosphere on the first two songs reminds me to the stronger releases of this Swedish Metal God. “Fly High, Touch The Sky” Vitaly is more neo-classical Power Metal, mainly the European kind of Power Metal. For some reason this specific track didn’t do anything to me, that’s a pity, for sure when I hear the rest of this CD. This has nothing to do with Thomas Vikström’s voice, which stays impressive but on “Fly high…” it missed the right mood to me.

What I adored was the “Air” track, a theme from J.S. Bach, extraordinary! At this point Vitality proves again being a fan of  Malmsteen, he even more shows what a fantastic and well trained guitar player he really is. Especially on these instrumental tracks this record pleases me a lot. They’re played with a lot of passion, with the right feeling to touch my soul! By “Passion”, another fantastic instrumental by the way, this shredder also shows that guitar heroes like Steve Vaï or Joe Satriani were an important source of inspiration! “Ready To Die” is another song with vocals and sounds more traditional, more neo-classical to be right and once more it could have been a song for one or another Malmsteen album. This release contains fast fingered guitars, spectacular keyboards, technical played drums and I can easily decide it is full of first class instrumental songs. By the orchestral “Just Me” Vitaly plays music that comes straight from his heart. I believe this is Tommy Vitaly as he is, not influenced by any one. This track left an impression behind and is surely heart breaking!

This is a very good album, no doubts about it. Tommy Vitaly gives us a beautiful ‘business card’ with “Just Me” and forever he will belong to the crowded world of Guitar heroes. The positive point is that emotions are more important to him than just shredding around, than just showing how fast he can play. Vitaly is a first class song writer but if Vitaly would ever decide to write an album with ‘full’ songs I will be more critical…

My Points: 83 / 100 (Review by Officer Nice)