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Sfogli, Marco - There's Hope (8,5/10) - Italy - 2008

Genre: Instrumental Metal / Instrumental Rock
Label: Lion Music
Playing time: 48:58
Band homepage: Sfogli, Marco

Tracklist:

  1. Stll Hurts
  2. Andromeda
  3. Seven
  4. There's Hope
  5. Spread The Disease
  6. Farewell
  7. Sunset Lights
  8. Genius
  9. Never Forgive Me
  10. Memories
  11. Texas BBQ
Sfogli, Marco - There's Hope

Marco Sfogli is an Italian guitar player. According to his biography, he started playing music at the age of 4, and then picked up the guitar and drums at the age of 9 and 12 respectively. He’s recorded and toured with some of Italy’s top World Music bands, as well as having played on James Labrie’s and Jordan Rudess’ solo albums (both from DREAM THEATER). He decided to write an album showing his influences, and the result is “There’s Hope”.

 

His biography mentioned that he was heavily influenced by DREAM THEATER’s “Images and Words” and that’s what made him practice the guitar so diligently, and the first track sounds like it belongs on said DREAM THEATER album. It has the same mood as “Another Day”, actually. In true solo instrumental guitar records, this one covers all musical territories. There is a blues track (“Spreading The Disease”), the balls out Metal track (“There’s Hope), the slow ballads (“Seven” and “Memories”), and a Country song (“Texas BBQ”).

 

You can tell who his favourite guitar players are. The two most obvious names that come to my head are Joe Satriani and John Petrucci (DREAM THEATER). A lot of the riffs are very reminiscent of “Images and Words” and “Metropolis, Pt 2”, but that’s not a bad thing. The lead guitar playing is very heavily Satriani influenced in that it has the same knack of melody that the guitar legend has.

 

His biography also mentions that the drumming helped him gain a lot of rhythmic and percussive sensibility, and the amount of Funk influence in his guitar player is phenomenal. There is a good amount of “swing” in his melodies, which make the album very fun to listen to.

 

“There’s Hope” does have one major problem, though. Even though the music is very high quality, intelligently written and arranged, and the album is very diverse, the game of “spot the influences” is WAY too easy. I guess it can be forgiven that it’s Marco Sfogli’s first solo album, but some songs hold up a huge neon sign that says “I LISTEN TO SATCH!”

 

That’s just nitpicking, though, considering how good the album is.

 

Recommended for guitar/instrumental/shred enthusiasts.

(Online May 15, 2008)

Armen Janjanian



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