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MARC RIZZO The Ultimate Devotion (2007)

The unquestionable talent and versatility of ex-Ill Nino, current Soulfly guitarist Marc Rizzo is displayed on this release, his second solo album following last years "Colossal Myopia".

This new album, entitled "The Ultimate Devotion" is an unpredictable mix with heavy metal, classical, flamenco and occasionally jazzy guitar providing the means for the first eight tracks with "The Riddle Of Steel", a classic slice of metal with almost "Maiden-esq" leanings at times proving to be the best of the bunch.

Mixing up some sublime Latin flavoured acoustic playing alongside a typically virtuoso performance of fretboard gymnastics adds something different to the shredder market and the likes of the title track and opener "The Ultimate Devotion", the excellent "Skankin To The Shred" and "Trentinarra" all benefit from this approach.

Final two tracks "Lived And Learned" and "All For Nothing" tread a significantly different path though with both being fast paced, thrash styled workouts punctuated by superb melodic soloing, whilst the addition of angry, roared vocals come as a surprise at the end of an album that is otherwise completely instrumental.

Ultimately it is perhaps only going to appeal to a niche market of fans particularly attuned to virtuoso instrumental albums although of course Soulfly followers will be interested to hear what's in Rizzo's backpack on this release and then sample the two thrashers especially. The mix of styles employed here is refreshingly unique though.


Review by Bill Leslie

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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