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Virgil Donati

Virgil Donati - In This Life - 2013 - Virgil Donati

This cd is probably going to end up as my favorite for calender year 2013, it is simply that good. Virgil Donati, the sensational drummer that has appeared in Planet X, On the Virg, Loose Change, Southern Sons, CAB, Ring of Fire, etc, etc, etc. has put together a great release with this, his actual first as a solo artist. Yet it has everything that the fans of OTV, Planet X, and CAB have come to enjoy, and that is, first class, top tier fusion music with a major progressive twist, and fantastic contributions from a wide array of old friends, and some new surprises as well: 01. Rhythm Zero - featuring, Doug Shreeve on bass, Marco Sfogli and Irwin Thomas on guitars, Sfogli has gotten a lot of noteriety of late with his involvement with Dream Theater vocalist James LaBrie and his solo efforts, Irwin Thomas is a former bandmate of Donati's from Southern Sons. Keyboards are courtesy of Alex Argento, from Italy, he released an incredible fusion cd called "Ego" a couple years back, a must have. This a a very complex and heavy tune, with excellent contributions by all, both Argento and Sfogli really shine here: 02. Eleven - feat. Evan Marien - bass, Sfogli - guitars, Ruslan Sirota - keys. Evan Marian, a bassist, Berklee grad, and one of the new sensations, shine on this song, as does Sirota on keys, this is an ethereal song, with Holdsworth like chord phrasings, and atypical odd time signatures throughout, nice to hear VD feature some of the newer players on the scene: 03. In this Life - title track feat. Doug Shreeve - bass, Sfogli - guitars, Brett Garsed - Guitars, Dennis Hamm and Alex Argento - keyboards. This song has a very Planet X feel to it, no surprise there I suppose, both Hamm and Garsed have contributed to the PX sound. Hard mathmatical fusion with sensational guitars: 04. Red Air - features - Shreeve, Thomas, Sfogli and Argento, yet another PX vibe tune, maybe this is the new VD band? we shall see, this is the kind of music that really sets Virgil Donati apart from the rest of the drummers out there, as he seems to have a trademark vibe to his arrangements and rhythmic complexity like no other. Even with this great new line up, the vibe transcends. Nice bass solo by Shreeve: 05. Paradise Lost - features - Alex Machacek - guitars, Shreeve - bass, Argento - Keys, Artyom Manukyam - cello. Perhaps the most ambitious sounding song I have heard by VD, very orchestrated, symphonic and sophisticated. Virgil offers some keyboards of his own on this tune. Machacek is amazing as always, and the harp sounds paired with the Cello is excellently integrated with the rest of the music. What a piece. The production is also very deserving of mention here: 06. The Fall of Dreams - Anthony Crawford - bass, Paul Sherman - Oboe/english Horn, Machacek - guitars, VD - Keys. This song like the previous are quite a change in musical direction for VD, showcasing his taste for more than just heavy music, but just as challenging none the less. Superb attention to detail in the orchestration, and great musicianship on display, for whatever reason this music gives me a bit of a Mahavishnu/Shakti vibe, a real treat for the ears: 07. Iceland - features - Tom Kennedy - bass, Rafael Moreira - guitars, Simon Hotsford - guitars, Jeff Babko - keys. Appropriately named song, features some old friends in Hotsford and Babko, who VD has collaborated with in the past. Some really intricate dual soloing by Babko and Moriera make this a special treat, as do their solos: 08. Trinity - feat. Shreeve, Sfogli, Argento, this is more high energy PX meets OTV music, great duets, and equally excellent solos, and some of the most obscene odd meter playing allowed in music: 09. Voice of Reason - featuring - Anthony Crawford - bass, Sfogli and Argento. A trudging track that has no repetition, at least that you can follow, this line up here shows that VD is ready to move ahead here, I truley believe his has found a couple of kindred spirits in Sfogli and Argento, two marvelous Italian musicians who are second to none. Hopefully their involvement here will allow the fusion circles to take notice: 10. The Empire - Feat: Shreeve, Sfogli, Argento, Hotsford and Argento. Why not end the cd in an epic, ten minute display of epic progressive infused fusion music, an adventure with no limits, and the usual display of world class musicianship played masterfully in a band setting, wow!!: So I typically do not enjoy reviewing cds track by track, I felt it was neccessary being each track had unique contributions from so many different artists. I have alway loved most everything Virgil Donati has done from a fusion perspective, OTV and PX will always rate with the very best fusion albums all time with me, and this cd is at the very least, a hint better than those, perhaps because of the contributions of each performer being captured in rare form on this cd. Again the production quality of the sound is as good as it gets, and the details and complexity of the music make it even that much more amazing, this is a masterpiece of heroic proportions, a rare and unique combination of excellence and mastery. A must have for you fusion fans out there. - Review by & © MJBrady © ProGGnosis 2000 - 2014 where appropriate - All rights reserved. http://www.proggnosis.com/Release_Detail.aspx?RID=40087

Another incredible album of complex but original progressive fusion from the Australian drum virtuoso, Virgil Donati aided by six guitarists, four bassists, five keyboardists, a cellist, and an oboist. Virgil Donati doesn’t do things by halves. Only the best musicians play on his albums, as Virgil only plays on the best artist’s albums. Virgil continues to push the limits of percussion and progressive fusion to astonishing new levels. VHR by A.O.O.F.C. Watch a documentary on the making of this album @ http://vimeo.com/74407115 and listen to Virgil’s “Just Add Water” album on this blog. Read more about him @ http://www.virgildonati.com/about_biography.php [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 153 Mb]


1. Rhythm Zero
2. Eleven
3. In This Life
4. Red Air
5. Paradise Lost
6. The Fall Of Dreams
7. Iceland
8. Trinity
9. Voice Of Reason
10. The Empire

All tracks produced, written and arranged by Virgil Donati


Marco Sfogli: guitar (1,2,3,4,8,9)
Irwin Thomas: guitar (1,4)
Brett Garsed: guitar (3)
Alex Machacek: guitar (5,6)
Rafael Moreira: guitar (7)
Simon Hosford: guitar (10)
Doug Shreeve: bass (1,3,4,5,8)
Evan Marien: bass (2)
Anthony Crawford: bass (6,9)
Tom Kennedy: bass (7)
Alex Argento: keyboards (1,3-5,8-10)
Ruslan Sirota: keyboards (2)
Dennis Hamm: keyboards (3)
Jeff Babko: keyboards (7)
Virgil Donati - drums: keyboards (5,6)
Artyom Manukyan: cello (5)
Paul Sherman: oboe/english horn (6)

1 comment:

A.O.O.F.C said...


P/W is aoofc