Viana - 'Viana' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/39/46/df/viana-viana-48-1495133450.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 18, 2017    
 
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A rather splendid release indeed.

'Viana' is a new offering from Italian guitarist Stefano Viana about whom I know absolutely nothing, so for the benefit of this review I'm going to assume Stefano Viana is a relative newcomer unless anyone can tell me differently. The problem with a huge proportion of releases these days is that they're not real bands. They're projects, plain and simple. And whilst I have a certain amount of disdain for what can appear to be a plain and simple cash grab by many artists and labels, it's completely understandable that a newcomer's only option can be to enlist the tried and trusted talents of high class session players.

Stefano Viana is ably assisted here by Alessandro Del Vecchio (everybody), Anna Portalupi (Terry Brock, Hardline, Ted Poley), Alessandro Mori (Lionville, TP) – essentially the usual suspects. Drawing influences from the master Randy Rhoads as well as Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Whitesnake and Y&T, Viana finally delivers an album that was almost eight years in the making due to a number of personal issues encountered along the road.

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Musically, I'm not quite sure why White Lion jumps out at me because there is nothing that obvious, however, given Del Vecchio's recent run with Hardline, it's not that difficult to attribute the meatier bits to being reminiscent of 'Fever Dreams' from his sojourn with Johnny Gioeli and Josh Ramos. Stefano Viana's guitar is mostly extremely tasty, but he obviously has enough experience to play for the songs and not just for the solo. His performance is reminiscent of classier players such as Richie Sambora in his prime, with just an added hint of Neo-Classical.

Stefano Viana and his band have come up with a rather splendid little album, guaranteed to please the diehards of the genre. Special mentioned to Del Vecchio who not only co-produced and arranged but, for a small guy, possesses one mighty voice. What is it with diminutive keyboard players possessing such huge voices – Paul Hodson (ex-Ten) being another. Some of my highlights include 'Straight Between Our Hearts', 'Bad Signs' (which you can grab a sneak listen to on YouTube), 'Night Of Fire' and 'Living A Lie'. That being said, there isn't a duff track on the album and this one comes highly recommended!

It may have taken Stefano Viana over seven years, but it has definitely worth it. Go on, treat yourself, this is a rather splendid release indeed!

Kieran Dargan

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