keys, vibrant guitars, pulsing bass, and wonderful drums all form the foundation
of this musical journey that is "Keystone". Alessandro Bertoni is a young and
talented musician with a bright future and so much to offer. "Keystone" is his
debut album, and it is fully instrumental.
"Sweeping" keys doesn't quite cover the myriad of styles shown on this album.
Atmospheric, spacey, searing, grand, and beautiful; Alessandro performs
admirably and with plenty of skill and an ear for richness. His guitarist Brett
and his bassist Ric are fine musicians, too. The solos are amazing, and Ric
especially seems to drive the music with a subtle little crunch that is so
satisfying. Drummer Virgil has plenty of awesome beats to offer, but, like the
rest of the band, usually sits back to let Alessandro do his thing.
starts off with a three-part epic called "Megas Alexandros" that is engaging and
varied in tone. This is a really strong introduction, and feels just right from
the very beginning. The rest of the album is lush and rich and well-played, and
everything feels so perfect and possibly even robotic.
that's just my issue with this album. Especially with an instrumental album, the
band needs to make sure that the tracks are distinguishable from one another. I
feel that "Keystone" falls into this trap, as the tracks are all very similar
and have the similar structure of the musicians simply taking turns to impress
us. After the three track opener, it just feels like you've heard all the tricks
in the band's bag. In the end, the album fails in this way, even with all the
amazing elements, as I feel it lacks direction.
"Keystone" is certainly a great debut for Bertoni. It's thrilling at points, has
great production, masterful musicianship, and even some inspiration. Yet, after
an excellent opener, it loses creativity and I lost interest. I want to hear
more from Alessandro Bertoni, and I expect he will come back with guns blazing.