Most of you know Michael Pinnella from SYMPHONY X where he’s done some amazing keyboard work, but I’ve yet to experience the talented American as a solo artist, “Enter By The Twelfth Gate” is the realisation of a project he wanted to be his own with no outside influences or contribution, it’s the work of Pinnella’s finished musical studies and the very heart and soul of his musical universe.
Thirteen tracks of instrumental music, some are Classical and some are inspired by the seventies Prog Rock sound of DEEP PURPLE, E.L.O. and EMERSON LAKE AND PALMER. Now, usually I don’t get carried away while listening to instrumental albums, but Pinnella has managed to get my attention with his flawless playing and inspired song writing, it’s obvious he’s studied music for a long time, he’s close to what you’d call a perfect musician, which is heard on this album and not only in SYMPHONY X.
The album has nothing to do with Metal music, only keyboard sounds handled with such sophisticated manners. “The White Room”, “Edge Of Insanity”, “Welcome To My Daydream”, “Live For The Day” and the title track work the with the aforementioned Prog Rock sound, while the remainder of the album’s tracks are made up of various Classical and Symphonic moods. My favourite pick is the three movement piano concerto, I really like the way how Pinnella deals with this approach by setting a piano against the orchestral parts.
The sound production is logically weaved around Pinnella’s keyboards. The drum parts are sequenced and could’ve been louder to get a more synchronised result, it’s no fatal catastrophe, but it would score more points in the end.
Musicianship and inspiration, those are the two keywords for Michael Pinnella’s first solo album, he has more than enough of both, hopefully he hasn’t drained himself of creative ideas for the next SYMPHONY X album. If you like wicked keyboards and Classical Music, then check out “Enter By The Twelfth Gate” and prepare yourself for the pleasurable tour de force that is Michael Pinnella. (Online December 16, 2004)