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Black Rose Maze - Black Rose Maze

Black Rose Maze
Black Rose Maze
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 01 September 2020, 12:22 PM

Black Rose Maze is the project of singer Rosa Laricchiuta and this self-titled debut is an album of driving hard rock that backs up her unbelievably powerful voice. A showcase for Rosa’s own songs, it also includes cuts that were penned for her by the likes of Clif Magness, Nasson, and Alessandro Del Vecchio. This album contains eleven new songs.

“In the Dark” leads us off.  It opens with a dirty riff and some pig squeals. Rosa turns it up in the chorus, reaching the high ranges easily. It’s Hard Rock, but also has some Pop appeal, which is never a bad thing. “Laws of Attraction” features Jeff Scott Soto on guest vocals. At first, Rose takes the helm, then passes it on to Jeff, and then they duet from there. The music is sort of overly simple, not really getting the track off the ground. “Let Me be Me” is a mid-tempo number that opens with a brief guitar solo. Then, Rosa comes in with some poignant vocals. The music really needs some work here. The sound is just too expected…too safe.

“Free” is also a mid-tempo number that has an honest and positive quality to it. The chords stay in the major area, and the melody is dialed up here. This would make a first good single for the album. “Look at Me Now” opens with clean guitars and some vocal pleas from Rosa. “Look at me now…who died and made you king…your words count for nothing…you promised everything” she croons. The harmonies in the chorus are nice and full. “Maze” has a bit of a darker sound. But again, those riffs you have all heard before. The album can’t stand on the voice of Rosa alone.

“Let Me Go” is another mid-tempo song without much imagination in the music. The bridge to the guitar solo is a nice addition, but the band has to come up with riffs that support Rosa’s vocals in the right way. “Only You” is the power-ballad on the album. It has a simple and quiet feeling that turns into emotional peaks later. “Earth Calling” is the first track that features some original riffing. The song is rich and full and supports her vocals quite well. She is given free rein to just sing away, and away she sings. “You Can’t Stop Me” features a faster groove. The verses are tense and lead to a big chorus. “You can’t stop me, I’m not backing down” is sort of a battle cry.

“Call me Now” closes the album. It opens with piano and strings, leading to guitars. It has both a hopeful and doleful sound…almost as if she is reaching out. It’s a good, emotional closing song. I have to say that overall, despite the wonderful vocals of Rosa Laricchiuta, the rest of the band did the album a disservice by not coming up with original riffs or ideas. Maybe this is the way she wanted it? Freedom to just sing and make the vocals take center stage while the rest of the band totes trite riffs and things that are easy to sing over? I don’t know, but it seems a huge waste of her talents as a vocalist.

Songwriting: 3
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 3
Production: 9

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. In the Dark
2. Laws of Attraction
3. Let Me Be Me
4. Free
5. Look at Me Now
6. Maze
7. Let Me Go
8. Only You
9. Earth Calling
10. You Can’t Stop Me
11. Call Me Now
Lineup:
Rosa Laricchiuta – Vocals
Jeff Scott Soto – Guest Vocals
Alessandro Del Vecchio – Bass, Keyboards
Andrea Seveso – Guitars
Michele Sanna – Drums
Erika Ceruti – Backing Vocals
Record Label: Frontiers Music
     


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