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Leo Viridi – LV1 Award winner

Leo Viridi
by Rachel Montgomery at 07 August 2019, 7:10 AM

Self-taught guitarist LEO VIRIDI is debuting his first solo album, with talent from MEGADETH as well as other big names. What comes out this collaboration is a lovely-sounding variety of songs; while it can sound more like a playlist than an album, it’s beautifully produced.

April Showers” opens with a nice, soft melodic guitar and a female vocalist. My one complaint is that the production muddies the vocals so I can’t hear what she’s singing, but other than that, it’s a pretty song. However, the opening track makes me wonder if this is Metal. Easily, it’s Hard Rock, but does it cross the line into Heavy Metal? I’m reserving judgment until I listen to some more tracks, but if this is Metal, the opener is one of the softer songs.

Blood of Warriors” is where it gets Metal. With machine-gun guitars and hammering drums, it’s reminiscent of 1980s tracks, especially with the wah pedal guitar solo. Again, the production sounds muddy. This track and the last one makes me wonder whether this is a compilation album; the styles are so different.

The intro in “Disillusioned” has a lot of interesting facets: the melody in the opening riff has typical chords, then sweeps, traditional chords and more sweeps. The instrumental continues with some nice play between the bass and the melody, combining Thrash elements, melodic arpeggios, high sweeps and unrelenting bass chords.

The melodic, female vocals are back in “Fazed and Distressed”. This song sounds more like a typical Symphonic Metal song with ambient riffs and flying, legato vocals. The vocal quality is beautiful and the interplay between the instrumentals is intense and wonderful. It sounds almost syncopated, especially in the chorus. So far, this is my favorite song on the album.

From the Inside” is the heaviest song so far, despite utilizing a melodic vocal style. It’s a lot like the last track, except with more vigor. The album gets heavier from there. The gravelly, masculine vocals are back for “Self-Centered”, and the machine gun-guitars are more amped. The intro is short, and the vocals come in syncopated within the first twenty seconds. It feels like a “part two” of the last song. The soaring guitars in the outro make a great exit.

The album goes back to a more 80s style with the opening of “Something to Prove”. The chorus brings it back to later Hard Rock and Symphonic Metal with a slower, melodic vocal line. At this point, it feels like a “part three”, and the compilation feel of the beginning of the album, which I found interesting and groundbreaking, is gone. It’s much too similar.

The final song, “The Belligerent Dr Ink,” is faster and thrashier, especially with the sweeps in the beginning of the instrumental. Throughout, it’s a hard-hitting song that plays the album out.

Overall, the order of songs is unusual for a Metal album; most bands in the genre don’t open with their slowest song unless it’s a short, ambient intro. The instrumentals are great, the harmonies are wonderful, and the vocals are spot-on. My main concerns are the muddy vocal quality on some of the tracks, and the last few songs which all sound too alike. Despite this though, it’s a high-energy album that is worth checking out.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Something to Prove
2. April Showers
3. Disillusioned
4. Blood of Warriors
5. From the Inside
6. Self-Centered
7. Fazed and Distressed
8. The Belligerent Dr. Ink
Leo Viridi – Guitars & Bass
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 21 January 2020

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