Dino Fiorenza - 'It's Important'

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Dino Fiorenza - 'It's Important'

Not an album for everyone, or indeed a listening experience for every occasion.

If I was to tell you that Dino Fiorenza is a hugely respected bass player who combines "8 finger tapping with slap" in the world or rock and fusion, and then mention that 'It's Important' is an instrumental album, then I think you can guess that we are now residing in Shredsville. Whoa now! I know that some of you are already frantically scanning for the next melodic-rock album review on the page, but actually in between the thunderous and hugely impressive bass contortions and guitar whoops and whirls, lay some incredibly well crafted songs. Add to that a guest list that read like a shredder's delights and you are assured that the musicianship on display here is unquestionably of the highest calibre, with the results being an album that is both accessible and challenging in equally pleasing measures. I can't pretend that 'It's Important' is easy listening, or that the more AOR fixated of you will be humming along with these songs, however if the likes of Steve Vai, Joe Satriani or Vinnie Moore have ever grabbed your attention and you have a sprinkling of the more angular and fusion influenced side of prog-metal on your shelves, then I would happily suggest that there's much here to for you to savour.

There is though on some occasions an extremely fine line between showmanship and self indulgence, and to be brutally honest it isn't one that Dino always manages to stay on the right side of. The likes of 'Tap That Bass', 'Say Go' and 'All Is Lost' illustrate the aspects of this album that highlight Dino and his guests at their best, with guitarists Fabrizio Leo, Francesco J. Perticone and Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson) all choosing to add powerful riffs to the virtuoso playing in a manner that creates real songs and grooves that you can easily latch onto. The other side of the coin is spun on the self explanatory 'Serenity Funky', the faux-country speed-picking of 'The Devil And The Holy Water' and in places 'Slap Machine', where the musicianship outshines the songs and even the usually tasteful Neil Zaza can't quite save the latter of those three songs from galloping off into the category of impressive over captivating. That said, the positives do come in stronger numbers than the negatives and the more restrained tones of 'Little Toy' are a really pleasant surprise on an album of this nature, while the bass thundering of 'Liquid' are just too strong to resist.

Not an album for everyone, or indeed a listening experience for every occasion, however if you want to venture outside of the "usual suspects" for a virtuoso instrumental album that rocks, then you could do much worse than approach Dino Fiorenza's 'It's Important' with an open mind.

Steven Reid

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