Tommy Talamanca - Na Zapad

Guitar players always seem to wield the most talent in a band and sometimes have to compromise with their other bandmates on albums. No wonder they go off and release solo albums. I donʼt know the exact reason why Tommy Talamanca went off and did his own solo project, but I do hear a guy who wants to explore his inner musical talents. For those who do not know Tommy Talamanca is the virtuosic guitarist for the Italian Progressive Death Metal band Sadist. He plays with extreme fluidity and creates very progressive musical atmospheres. His solo release, “Na Zapad”, is a mind altering piece of progressive metal exploration. Tommy is also a great keyboard player and I think the background noise created by the keyboards on this album gives it a pleasant sound. Of course this guy can shred with ease and he has a clean crisp tone which reminds me of Steve Vaiʼs tone. On this album Tommy creates multiple innovating sounds by using distorted/acoustic guitars and other string instruments. His musicianship is unbelievable at times, but then there are times where I am lost in a world of endless string picking mixed with keyboards.

How this album starts out gives the listener a preview to Tommyʼs guitar keyboard emphasis. The song “Vostok” has this extraterrestrial space theme playing in the background as the guitar glides over each note. Towards the end of the song he brings in the electric guitar and offers a small technical metal taste. I think on song number two I hear more of his progressive metal style come out and he mixes it up with these brief vibrant acoustic riffs. I really like track two 'Arevelk-Arevelk' because the song gives off this epic symphonic feel. For the rest of this album Tommy plays with tremendous musical talent. He seems to be a huge fan of progressive fusion music because this album is one long creative journey. As a fan of such virtuosic guitar players as Steve Hackett, Jeff Beck, and Jason Becker I am able to appreciate what Tommy Talamanca offers on this album. Still I find after listening to the able a couple times I get overwhelmed by this Italian guitar virtuosoʼs style. Also, the alien like keyboard effects become a bit goofy towards the end of the album. In a way his music would be perfect for a science fiction movie or video game.

“Na Zapad” is an album that displays one manʼs virtuosic talents for the metal world to check out. I am pretty sure this is a far cry for his work in Sadist, so any Sadist fans looking for heavy Progressive Death Metal need to wait a bit for the next Sadist album. Sometimes it is good for a guitar player to venture out and come up with a release that shows people what they are capable of doing. There is no question that Tommy Talamanca is a great guitar player and keyboard player. I would strongly recommend this album to people who like virtuosic progressive metal with an emphasis on the guitar. For those who like simple heavily distorted fast paced music I think this album might be too much for them to comprehend. Still worth checking out and definitely music for young guitar players to look up to.


1. Vostok
2. Arevelk'- Arevmutk'
3. Wala
4. Dia-Ballein
5. Syn-Ballein
6. Oeste
7. Nbb
8. A O
9. In The Mouth Of Madness
10. Na Zapad