ARTIST: Kareli, Fabri (F.EA.S.T)
LABEL: Avenue Of Allies
SPONSOR: Gregor Klee
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Fabri Kareli - vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards * Mao Granata - drums
Additional Musicians: Alessandro Del Vecchio - co-lead vocals on 'Follow The Way' * Luke Ballabio - middle guitar solo on '(Ain't Done) Til It's Over'
TRACK LISTING: 01 Fire And Dynamite * 02 Feed The Hunger * 03 Love Renegade * 04 Dangerous Love * 05 Follow The Way (duet with Alessandro Del Vecchio) * 06 Cold Hearted * 07 (Ain't Done) 'Til It's Over (feat. Luke Ballabio) * 08 Win Or Lose * 09 Stormwind * 10 Broken Dreams * 11 Shock Me * 12 Burning Fever * 13 The Meaning Of Life
Italy has sprung many surprises over the last year or so. I mean - who hasn't been impressed by the many good bands coming out of that fair country. Shining Line
, the list goes on.. Adding his name to the ever growing pile is a chap called Fabri Kareli, who was picked up by AoA, probably with a word in the ear to Gregor Klee from Alessandro Del Vecchio, one of Italy's top rock producers going around at the moment. Just what the F.E.A.S.T acronym has to do with things is uncertain, but what we have here with his first album 'Rise' is a power packed affair that will appeal greatly to the guitar soloists of the world, as there is a lot of flashy guitar playing. It has a bluesy vibe too, but more in the style of Victory
, Gus G and Firewind
or John Sykes
even. Not that Kareli is in that same league yet (David Coverdale.. your future is safe for the time being..)
. Earlier this year, we saw AoA release the Skill In Veins
CD, and in a way, Kareli might be compared similarly, but I'm thinking this is much better, and for maximum effect, I reckon you should turn this CD up loud, because this boy can play. Kareli has been a regular fixture in the Northern parts of Italy for at least the last decade or so. He's played in Pino Scotto
's band, the former lead singer of Italian legends Vanadium
, plus he had his own covers band Mr No
, before returning to the hard rock scene with a vengeance. Fabri must be doing something right, as he has laid down most of the music with the exception of the drums. The results are impressive to say the least!
Driving hard from the outset, the album leads off with the powerhouse 'Fire And Dynamite', bringing in guitar riffs from a multitude of hair metal bands from the late 80's. 'Feed The Hunger' features acoustic guitar and symphonic keyboards, and could best be described as an anthem bordering on a power ballad. Fabri continues to impress on 'Love Renegade', his vocals the standout here, screaming and wailing with the best of them. 'Dangerous Love' has a bit of Steelheart
appeal, reminding us of their excellent 1990 debut. 'Follow The Way' sees Alessandro Del Vecchio joining Fabri for a bit of sing-a-long, the song itself is a bit of a hard rock stomper with an extended guitar solo, and a good one it is too! The power ballad 'Cold Hearted' is one of the better moments on the CD, its quieter passages showing a different side to Kareli's mostly hard rock tendencies. 'Ain't Done (Til It's Over)' has many Whitesnake
attributes, but in itself is not a direct representation of Coverdale's mob, both pre-and post '1987'. 'Win Or Lose' picks up the pace noticeably, a metal workout both boisterous and energetic. 'Stormwind' is a classic Euro hard rock anthem, while 'Broken Dreams' and 'The Meaning Of Life' both contain that 'epic' feel to them, and they also happen to be the longest tracks on the CD. 'Shock Me' keeps the energy levels up as we head into the back-end of the album, no let-up here, as does 'Burning Fever', which lives up to its songtitle, a feverish affair, the OTT guitar work a delight to these ears.
Altogether an impressive CD, and what's more, the CD jacket/inlay is superb, featuring some great photos, displayed in black & white for maximum impact - as photographers would have you believe. Following on from this CD release, Kareli has turned this project into a live band, also featuring Ballabio, Granata and bassist Angelo Perrini. As mentioned, if you are looking for a album with lots of flashy and fiery guitar playing this side of Gus G
, then Fabri Kareli is the man to check out. One to watch.. I give it a 9.
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