Marc Rizzo - The Ultimate Devotion

A short but sweet flamenco part serenades our entry to Marc Rizzo’s 2nd Shrapnel Records LP “The Ultimate Devotion” and its opening title track before bursting into a thrash attack of no remorse, with plenty of shred guitar and plectrum picking above the 12th fret that balance themselves throughout the song’s entirety with the briefly visiting Latin interludes whose acoustic nature here and there ensure the song takes on new heavier dimensions each time it thrashes on again, whence one welcomes next song “Ascension”

Sticking to more use of distorted guitars than clean acoustic overall, the Latin inspirations do however take over metal in “Ascension”, and it is safe to say this is purely what Al Di Meola would have sounded in his heyday had he had a go at metal. To guitar connoisseurs reading this, there is no clearer way to describe this track.
So there you go. The 1st two tracks alone are enough to say this album is what “Thursday Night in San Francisco” (guitar trio album with Paco De Lucia, Al Di Meola and John Mc Laughlin) would have sounded if Marc Rizzo had to replace John Mc Laughlin.
When tracks like “Angelina Song” or “Mamasita” - themselves more something one would expect to find on a Di Meola or Dino Saluzzi album - sit side by side by thrashy numbers like “The Riddle of Steel”, the result is a solo album which breeds an element of fresh air among the myriad of instrumental guitar albums that have for so long since Satriani or Vai been needy of such a breeze.

And to ensure an even more balance, the last two tracks on this release have an own character separate from the rest. Here, Marc Rizzo thrashes on all metal and hardcore just as a garage band would do, with crossover metal vocals included.
Overall, this is music with pulse and emotion, not too much of any style to put off anyone and of course with enough metal to keep all SOULFLY fans – of whom Rizzo is guitarist – guaranteed to hold their horns up in unison headbang.

1. The Ultimate Devotion
2. Ascension
3. Sinceramente
4. The Riddle Of Steel
5. Skankin To The Shred
6. Mamasita
7. Trentinarra
8. Angelina's Song
9. Lived And Learned
10. All For Nothing

Mascot Records
Reviewer: necrogool
Feb 26, 2009

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