Power of Metal.dk Review

Alessandro Bertoni
Style: Progressive Rock
Release date: 9 September, 2013
Playing time: 40:59

Sweeping 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.

The album 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.

However, 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.

01. Megas Alexandros Pt. 1 (3:55)
02. Megas Alexandros Pt. 2 (4:39)
03. Megas Alexandros Pt. 3 (4:44)
04. Pacifica Rampage (5:09)
05. Tertium Non Datur (5:29)
06. Galactic Halo (3:38)
07. The Keystone Age (4:14)
08. Magnolia Sunrise (4:11)
Label: Generation Prog Records
Distribution: Generation Prog Records
Artwork rating: 80/100
Reviewed by: Jason Spencer
Date: 30 April 2014
Website: www.alessandrobertoni.com