|Review: Frank Caruso - Kaleidoscope|
Label: Underground Symphony
Year released: 2007
Genre: Melodic Heavy Metal
Review online: February 24, 2007
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Rated 3.67/5 (73.33%) (3 Votes)
10 years in any industry is one hell of a commendable milestone. To celebrate his rather lucrative career thus far, Arachnes axe-master extraordinaire Frank Caruso has released a collection of his solo works that he has been sitting on for a couple of years; a complication than spans material from all of his creative outlets. Primarily instrumental, "Kaleidoscope" encapsulates Caruso's inexhaustible disposition along with his blinding talent when it comes to fretboard dynamics. Covering practically every metal avenue possible, Caruso mindlessly combines genres like a blender, sweeping effortlessly from melodic metal ("Walking on a Blue Sky") to Rush-style technicality ("White and Black"). Whilst the album is mostly dominated in the classic mould of hard rock and metal, mainly Deep Purple and Iron Maiden, there are echoes of his more neo-classical work with Arachnes – including some reworked tracks from "Parallel Worlds" – along with some pulsating power metal from his Firehouse days. In his unique style, he incorporates elements of such axe-wielding institutions such as Moore, Petrucci, Satriani and the infallible Malmsteen whilst merely paying homage to his heroes as apposed to aping their styles exactly. Arachnes vocalist Enzo joins his brother's parley to perform on an outstanding rendition of Rainbow classic "Kill the King", and stays around long enough to lend his sonorous wail to the old Firehouse track "Labyrinth" which finishes off proceedings.
Unique performance and quality production aside, instrumental projects never fully capture my attentions – with the exception of Michael Harris' latest "Orchestrate"– so unfortunately, the musical chiaroscuro of "Kaleidoscope" falls flat on personal taste. Yet, for those shred metal aficionados who have a penchant for the beautifully melodic, and insightfully articulated, the man behind one of Italy's most prolific power metal acts will rock your metal socks off. Even if it is home to the world's worst song title – "Ice of Fire".
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