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"Gates of Doom" (Panastudio Productions)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

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Fabrizio Chiruzzi is a young, hotshot guitar player from Italy who melds subtle classical influences into his compositions. "Gates Of Doom" is an all-instrumental CD that has five tracks of guitar-heavy songs without the heaviness normally associated with metal instrumentals.

Four of the five tracks have New Age-like foundations which, of course, won’t get Rough Edge readers out of their seats to find "Gates Of Doom" at their favorite Internet CD retailer. However, guitar slinging and great musicianship are prominent in Chiruzzi’s songs. Since there are no drums, Chiruzzi utilizes the guitar and keyboards to accentuate his compositions with a sense of rhythm not unlike some of the tunes on Joe Satriani’s "Not Of This Earth."

"Nameless Love" has a Satriani-ballad feel to it without relying too much on the Southern California instrumental style. The title track clocks in at nearly ten minutes with many soaring melodies and lead lines that recall the days of Yngwie J. Malmsteen’s more lucid moments. "Blue Tears" quietly paces itself through a number of satisfying movements while Chiruzzi explores the depths of his soulful playing. "Second To None" is a love letter of sorts to all the 'shredders' that have influenced Chiruzzi during his nebulous career. "Second To None" is the kind of track that guitar fanatics pore over for every tantalizing detail hearing past guitar greats surface through the very capable hands of a new talent. Meanwhile, the epic "The Eternal Nush" may qualify as a journey unto itself; despite its length, "The Eternal Nush" maintains a strong center and never implodes due to indulgent playing. 

Chiruzzi proves to be a formidable talent as far as technique goes. Chiruzzi's songwriting is quite advanced for someone who’s only been playing music for only six years. Without a doubt Chiruzzi has a future in the guitar instrumental scene.

Guitar fanatics can take my two and half (out of four) rating with a grain of salt - what "Gates Of Doom" lacks in heaviness it makes up for it with stellar musicianship and stunning technique. "Gates Of Doom" has a lot in common with Hess's "Opus 1" (see my review of Hess by clicking here). However, fans of heavy rock instrumentals would be a bit disappointed and frustrated by Chiruzzi’s patient approach.

Fabrizio Chiruzzi plays all guitar and bass on "Gates Of Doom" as well as handling all production, recording, and mixing chores. Chiruzzi is joined by Francesco Panasci and Ricardo Dalli Cardillo on keyboards.

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Rating Guide:

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) A classic. This record will kick your ass.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) So-so. You've heard better.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

restinks.jpg (954 bytes) Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2002 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 20 Jun 2018 01:36:50 -0400.