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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!!!

Saturday 13 June 2015

Room Experience - ST Album review

There seems to be a small but very dedicated band of Italian musicians that seem Hell-bent on trying to inject life into Melodic Rock and keep the AOR torch burning bright. The guy behind Room Experience (I’ve heard of worse names, but not that many!) , a certain Gianluca Firmo, who is a keyboard player and songwriter, accumulated over 100 songs and decided that it was time to get some of them professionally recorded.

So apart from approaching that bloke who runs a well known Melodic rock label, what do you do? Well back in 2013 Gianluca probably typed ‘Italian AOR’ into Google, and about 6 names appeared – most of them have had significant input in the recording and production of this album. Initially he approached Davide Barbieri (Charming Grace), and Pierpaolo Monti (Shining Line, Charming Grace, Lionville) asking them to produce the album. A singer was needed to give the songs the voice they deserves, so in came the British vocalist of PC69 and Voodoo Circle, the excellent David Readman. He (David) was introduced to Gianluca by the Italian AOR ‘go to’ guy, Alessandro Del Vecchio

Gaps were filled with a multitude of melodic rocks finest – Amos Monti (Shining Line, Lionville, Charming Grace), Steve De Biasi (Charming Grace), being the core foundation, with the likes of Sven Larsson, Ivan Gonzalez, Stefano Zeni, and more joining the Room Experience family

So what do we have? Ill tell you what we have – Room Experience is a melodic rock lovers aural feast.  The keyboards are place at the forefront of Room Experience, and so they should be. Many bases are covered here, from punchy AOR (Shock Me, One Way Out) , to Westcoast ballads(The Only Truth, Only Goodnight), to more radio friendly power and riff based rockers such as the driving with the top down ‘Not Yet Time For A Lullaby’. David Readman gives his all in these songs  and doesn’t appear just a man brought in on a pay cheque to do music by numbers. Because of this the songs have a substance and are believable. Gianluca deserves his time at the front and does so for most of the last song Only Goodnight, before Readman wades in and struts his stuff to take it up a notch on the grandiose scale. But wait……let the song run through and there’s a bonus hidden track to savour.

Good things come to those who wait. For Gianluca, his collection of songs written over two decades, has been a long time coming, but for him in particular the long wait has been a worthwhile one.

If you have a love of tinkly, parpy keyboards, soaring and polished choruses, with a bit of parmeggiano reggiano sprinkled like fairy dust over the whole proceedings then Room Experience is definitely for you.

P.S. A bonus edition exists (probably sold out by now) that includes ‘Only Goodnight’ sung by Readman, and a couple of bonus tracks

SCORE 85/100


David Readman (Pink Cream 69, Voodoo Circle) - Lead & Backing Vocals

Gianluca Firmo - Keyboards, Backing Vocals & Lead Vocals on "Only Goodnight"

Davide "Dave Rox" Barbieri (Wheels Of Fire, Charming Grace) - Keyboards, Acoustic & Electric Piano, Acoustic & Rhythm Guitars, Backing Vocals

Pierpaolo "Zorro11" Monti (Shining Line, Charming Grace, Lionville) - Drums & Percussion
Amos Monti (Shining Line, Charming Grace, Lionville) - Bass

Steve De Biasi (Gunshy, Charming Grace) - Guitars

But that’s not all... Making special guest appearances are:

Alessandro Del Vecchio (Revolution Saints, L.R.S, Three Lions, Shining Line) - Hammond on “Rainbow In The Rain"

Ivan Gonzalez (Secret, 91 Suite) - Guitars on "Another Day Without You", "No Sign of Summer" & "Tomorrow’s Came"
Sven Larsson (Street Talk, Fergie Frederiksen, Lionville, Charming Grace) - Guitars on "The Only Truth"

Stefano Zeni (Wheels Of Fire, Charming Grace) - Guitars on "Queen Of Every Heart"

Boris Matakovic (Human Zoo, Charming Grace) - Sax on "Tomorrows Came"
Elena Aurë (Charming Grace) - Backing Vocals on "Rainbow in the Rain" & "Tomorrows Came"

ROOM EXPERIENCE released their debut album “Room Experience” via MelodicRock
Records/Cargo Distribution on May 22

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