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Tommy Vitaly - Just Me

Tommy Vitaly
Just Me
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 11 November 2010, 5:11 PM

After being a centrepiece for many years on the Italian Power Metal band, SEVEN GATES, Tommaso Vitali aka Tommy Vitaly decided to let his talents run free while beginning a new journey in a solo career. As many Neo-Classical influenced guitarists as Vitaly, like Malmsteen, Ziras and others, the road taken was rather expected although on Vitaly's case it seems that most of his efforts on his debut album, "Just Me", were shared by displaying material that is very similar to someone else's.

I can say that after I listened to TOMMY VITALY's, right for the first time I could trace every step he made on the album, as if I were a prophet of some sorts.Well, a prophet I surly not but "Just Me" is just so predictable that it can kill you. Moreover, Vitaly took the services of the amazing THERION vocalist, Thomas Vikström, to sing to natural EU Power Metal songs, "Ready To Die" and "Fly High, Touch The Sky".

Both songs were performed with elegance, yet, most of the tracks can derive the feeling that Vitaly clearly inserted a few verses of someone else's work as parts of HELLOWEEN, GAMMA RAY and FREEDOM CALL to "Fly High, Touch The Sky" and IRON MAIDEN sections on "Ready To Die". Let's just say that I found it quite peculiar how such a talented player as Vitaly, and he is high quality guitarist, couldn't find his way out from banality and from stumbling upon sections that are so similar to other songs. In addition, hard as it may be to say this but even some of Vitaly's instrumental work sounds too close to something Malmsteen wrote in the course of this widespread career. Being a shred guitarist of the Neo-Classical world is fine but what about putting something of your own to the mischief?

About that, Vitaly did put something from his own arsenal, yet, you can't compare it to what I mentioned earlier. Within the album Vitaly composed great instrumentals as "Just Me (the orchestral version) + Just Me (the normal version)" as both were fine intro and outro, "Passion", "Finally Free" (with guest appearance of Mistheria on keyboards) and "Eternal". Most of those were very short verses of how Vitaly is being displayed both as a guitarist and both as a keyboard man.

Last thing I want to take your attention to and that is the production. The album was produced by Vitaly himself with the help of mix & mastering by Frank Andiver. Sadly, I have to say that part of the reason I had somewhat a hard time with the album was because of the production's quality. The main problem that stood was the Phase issue. Almost all the channels including lead guitars, keyboards, vocals and drums were on mono mode. While listening to it, I found myself being attacked from only one side as the other was left almost bare of sound. Someone should have checked this prior to the release as the experience was damaged.

In short, "Just Me" is the first step of TOMMY VITALY out of the SEVEN GATES realm and into a different world of Metal. His efforts were notable and he established a fine lineup to make this one go. However, originality and production rate stood firmly against him on this one and he should pay notice to that.

3 Star Rating

  1. Just Me
  2. The Raven Attack
  3. Fly High, Touch The Sky
  4. Air (theme by J.S. Bach)
  5. Storm of Fire
  6. Passion
  7. Ready to Die
  8. Finally Free
  9. The Fury
  10. Eternal
  11. Just Me (orchestral version)
Thomas Vikström - Vocals
Tommaso Vitali - Guitar , Keyboards
Andrea Torricini - Bass
Kenny Earl "Rhino" Edwards - Drums

David Shankle - Guitar
Vitalij Kuprij - Keyboards
Giuseppe “Mistheria” Iampieri - Keyboards
Record Label: Rock It Up/IceWarrior Records


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Edited 07 October 2022

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