Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Eric Pellegrini - Volume I
Eric Pellegrini is certainly a talented guitarist with some good ideas and a knack for throwing together some interesting guitar parts. The focus of the music seems to be on the guitar work - the vocals are just there, they don't add much of anything. The music is backed by a very mechanical sounding drum machine that sounds like some basic MIDI samples - something that I'd lament on a demo, but will outright complain about on anything else.
The production overall is pretty dry and inconsistent - the guitar tones vary throughout, from a chunky, crunchy chugging tone to a few different sweet tones for the solos. The guitar work is a little bit inconsistent, but seems pretty honest and it's clear that this guy is a good guitarist. The vocals don't have much depth. The drums could be lower in the mix considering that they're not the best sounds, but they are written fairly well to follow the guitars and do what they need to do. The drum solo/intro in "The Ringmaster" is interesting, but with the poor tones, it is pretty irritating.
The songwriting is choppy - a clean neo-classical guitar section is wedged between blasting death metal sections on "The Black Feathered Vixen". He has a decent idea of how to mix up different parts, but the death metal sections often seem forced, either that or everything but the death metal sections seem forced - guitar solos comes from nowhere more randomly than in a Necrophagist song. The death metal parts are inconsistent but I don't they come naturally, the lead guitar work, melodies, and prog-tinged stuff seem to be his forte, so I'm not quite sure why he's doing death metal. The rhythm playing and vocals are alright, but the death metal riffing isn't what stands out here. I suppose it's better than generic prog-guy wankery the whole way through. Amidst all this disjointed nonsense, there's some great lead guitar work, like the extended solo later in the aforementioned song. His talents make it pretty easy to look past the shortcomings.
The different songs more or less show different takes on similar concepts and ideas. I wouldn't call this a full-length, it's more of a demo showing songwriting and guitar skills of a capable musician who could do some good things with other musicians. Eric Pellegrini is a capable and talented musician, this album isn't anything special on its own, but he could easily exceed it if he were in a proper band. This isn't an album I'd go back to listen to, but if I was looking for a guitarist, I'd know where to look.