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Born in the late 60's, Chesy hails from a Welsh mining village with a long name and was pretty glad when he got the Hell out of there. He got into Rock/Metal in about 1980, thanks to a TISWAS related incident (Rainbow video for All Night Long) and thankfully has never looked back. Chesy often sang solo in the school choir, but thanks to a puberty related incident his voice is now completely bolloxed, although in his own head Paul thinks he sounds like a blend of Coverdale and Dio (R.I.P). He was brought up on the classics - Deep Purple, Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, Rush, Whitesnake and loved melodic rock and the Hair Bands of the 80's. (Nowadays, he has progressed a little and prefers a more technical and/or progressive metal - Dream Theater, Rush, Symphony X, Porcupine Tree, Pain Of Salvation, Spock's Beard. He hates Black and Death Metal (can't stand the grunting) but for some unknown reason loves the magnificent Opeth! He wont stop this blog until his beloved FM finally play the likes of the NEC as a headlining act!!!

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Viana - S/T Album Review


Viana – ST

Viana is the brainchild of Stefano Viana, of which the band name originates from. He took up the guitar aged 16 after a typical Randy Rhoads ‘experience’! He is certainly not the first to be influenced by Rhoades, and definitely will not be the last. Basically this album has been a loooong time coming. It’s roots started back in 2009 with Alessandro Del Vecchio writing and performing the lyrics and vocals respectively.  In came some of the more renowned Italian session musicians – Anna Portalupi on bass, Alessandro Mori on drums, Gabriele Gozzi on backing vocals, and Pasquale Indo on keyboards. Apparently a serious personal problem puts his album on hiatus until April 2016 where he handed the reins over to Alessandro for mixing etc. With the ear that Ale has, he decided to bring in an additional guitarist, Francesco Marras to round off the sound and the band.

On early inspection, you can tell that Viana is influenced by 80s rock bands.  Opening track ‘Straight Between Our Hearts’ is standard melodic rock fare, but not in a bad way. ‘Bad Signs’ is the song to pick as a promo/single for the album, as it highlights the vocals of Del Vecchio, and also the interplay with the BVs of Gozzi and the whole composition in general. It typifies the sound and melodic direction that Viana are heading in. ‘Feel Your Love Tonight ‘ is a ballad that ticks the boxes with its lightness of the verse and then the punch of the chorus. ‘Night Of Fire’ has more of an 80s straight for the jugular riff. The verse here is a bit weaker than its predecessors, but again Viana have a knack for a strong chorus that pulls the song up by its britches. ‘Follow The Dawn’ is your melodic rock staple ballad, before ‘A New Love’, ‘Living A Lie’ and ‘Just To Sing’ and ‘Open Road’ pick up the pace and shows the type of songs that Viana are best at, and give the album a strong finish.  ‘Thet Place Is You’ is the one gem of the ballads –Del Vecchio has this nice throaty rasp that displays the emotion needed for a song like this.


Considering the time it has taken to write and produce / mix this album, and what with the talent involved, I was expecting something much bigger. That said, it’s a good album, but its not brilliant. Its let down by the quality of some of the songs. Its consistently average. Average can be good, but there’s currently a lot more bands playing this music much better and effective than Viana. However, the up-tempo rockers are much better than the ballads, and this is where I’d concentrate in future. Hopefully it will not take Stefano another eight years to complete the follow up.

70/100

Viana –
Stefano Viana – Guitars

With special guests….
Alessandro Del Vecchio – Vocals
Francesco Marras – Guitars
Anna Portalupi – Bass
Alessandro Mori – Drums
Gabriele Gozzi – Backing Vox
Pasquale India – Keyboards

Tracklisting
Straight Between Our Hearts
Bad Signs
Feel Your Love Tonight
Night Of Fire
Follow The Dawn
A New Love
Living A Lie
Just To Sing
Open Road
That Place Is You

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