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Sammy Berell - 'Passion Dreams' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/fe/d2/d8/Sammy-Berell-Passion-Dreams-55-1503310217.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 21, 2017    
 
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Berell's style will appeal to fans of the guitar virtuosos from the eighties era.

Taking his cue from eighties Metal guitar virtuoso icons like Yngwie Malmsteen, Sammy Berell's debut album clearly shows his love of those artists who inspired him and he has created a very retro sounding album. It could have easily have been written and recorded in the mid-eighties when Malmsteen and Impellitteri were at the height of their popularity. It's produced by Daniel Flores who, as I've come to expect, provides a sterling production job yet again! He gives the songs a nice polish and modern production values but he doesn't hinder or disguise the extremely throwback sound of the songs – he allows them to revel in their eighties glory!

To be honest though, the album fails to ignite my interest and I found it a very uninspiring collection of songs. There's no denying Berell's immense guitar talents which he showcases at every given opportunity, even at times when he should possibly just let a song breath. There were a couple of occasions where there was a cool keyboard lick or intriguing guitar riff and he just widdles loudly over the top of it! Music is always about the songs and nothing on this album resonates with me or even remotely captures my attention.

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Berell's style will appeal to fans of the guitar virtuosos from the eighties era, his songs contain the same sort of bombast and pomposity alongside strong Classical music influences. This is clearly an album for fans of the guitar, it's guitar widdling overload, but therein lies my problem with it – it's guitar widdling overkill. I know lots of people who like fast-paced, high pitched noodling who will be frequently unleashing their "O" face throughout this album, but for me personally, it tends to be too convoluted for my simplistic tastes and leaves me bored.

Singing the majority of lead vocals is Michael Vescera who is in full-on eighties Metal wailing mode, some of his performances would make Rob Halford proud. Lyrically the album is a tad underwhelming, although some of the more fantastical lyrics should appeal to retro Metal fans who like Dio and such like. Goran Edman, who guests on a couple of tracks, has a voice which is much more to my liking, but the songs he sings on still have little impact on me either. Fans of this style of music should check out 'Passion Dreams', 'Star' and 'Starlight' which are the strongest tracks for me.

Paul Woodward

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