Me" is the first solo foray of Tommy Vitaly, otherwise guitarist of Italian
Power Metal band Seven Gates. The album is an (almost) instrumental affair
with its music clearly influenced by the like of Yngwie Malmsteen and
enjoyed "Just Me", even though I was sometimes irked by its lack of
originality. For example 'Fly High, Touch the Sky' sounds a lot like
Helloween's 'Eagle Fly Free', 'Ready To Die' seems to be (to my ears, at
least) the doppelgänger of Iron Maiden's 'Fear of rhe Dark'... ...you get
the idea! Sometimes the musicianship is so good that this parallelism didn't
bother me - for example 'Storm of Fire' sounds like Malmsteen playing
Classic Rock and is one of the album's better tracks. Similarly, 'Passion'
is a Gary Moore-style blues number which Mr Vitaly plays with an incredible
amount of... well...passion.
There's also a
version of Bach's 'Air on a G String' - a tune that has been recorded by
many other Metal guitar virtuosos, such as Uli Jon Roth and Yngwie
Malmsteen. Quite frankly, Tommy Vitaly's rendition is not the best one I've
ever heard. But there are several tracks into which the listener can immerse
himself - for example apart from those already mentioned, I also liked the
ballad 'Eternal' which is done entirely on piano.
"Just Me" is
yes the album title of Tommy Vitaly but there's also a mouth-watering
line-up of musicians who participate. This includes Mistheria, Vitalij
Kuprij, bassist Andrea Torricini (Wonderland, ex Vision Divine, ex-Shadows
Of Steel), David Shankle and Rhino (these last two respectively ex-Manowar
guitarist and drummer). There's also Thomas Vikstrom (Therion,
ex-Candlemass, Brazen Abbott) who sings in the album's only 2 vocal tracks:
‘Fly High, Touch the Sky’ and ‘Ready to Die’.
All in all
"Just Me" contains some good music with Tommy Vitaly's guitar having a great
vibrant sound. Worth checking out.