This year has been quite a busy one with guitarists releasing solo albums. Some are purely instrumental and we know of the masters who stand strong on these. Some have numerous contributors, like Leo Viridi does on his debut album LV1. Although I may be strange in that I enjoy the strictly instrumental albums, there is a diversity when multiple artists contribute their piece to the guitarist’s vision. One would think this would lead to dissension or chaos, but on Viridi‘s release, it lends itself to a unique perspective.
Viridi, who is self-taught, began playing at 17 years of age. When asked of his contributors to LVI, he replied, “The album has contributions from people from Greece, Germany, England, Ireland, Canada, and USA.”
Let’s see how this album flows together.
“Something to Prove” immediately comes rocking in full force with the grooving rhythm and Dani Carroll’s vocals, bringing to mind the band Heart. Its has a rhythm that recalls “Barracuda,” and Viridi proves his axe skills from the start. “April Showers” is slower and feels bluesy and more melancholy. For some reason, however, just doesn’t fit with the other songs. “Disillusioned,” my personal favorite on the album, is masterful and massive. The rhythm gallops along forming little whirlwind that simply plays with your senses. “Blood of Warriors” is also phenomenal. Put this song up there with anything you have heard from Testament or Exodus. Here you are hearing the vocal contributions of Henning Basse of Firewind.
“From the Inside” is a decent hard rocker that has a bit of that Godsmack heaviness to it. “The Belligerent Dr. Ink” is thoroughly captivating, like Steve Vai on overload. I love when guitarists make their instruments scream and wail. Words to the wise – blast this track in your car, preferably on the highway though. “Fazed and Distressed” kicks some ass, kind of like adding Janis Joplin to Megadeth. The album finishes with “Self Centered” and of particular note is the fantastic drumming.
Leo Viridi‘s streak is undeniable. The axeman’s ability to find an endless amount of road on the fretboard for fluttery melodies and decisive rhythms fuels this wonderful little masterpiece.
LVI is out now. Buy it here!