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Lucio Moriyama - Horizon

Lucio Moriyama
by Tommy Mulhern at 13 May 2021, 12:16 PM

The old lead guitar instrumental album is a strange one for me. The cynic would say its only purpose is to show off; look how fast I can twiddly twiddly or how much emotion I can string pull out of a single sweet sweet note. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to argue that there’s something far more profound going on here. There’s not; but like the best of it’s kind, there is enough going on in between and around to keep it interesting, and that’s the balancing act these albums, more than others, need to get right.

Lucio Moriyama was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1985. Although he played in numerous bands from his teens, he admits himself that he always wanted to be a show guitarist like his heroes Vai, Satriani & Malmsteen. Now I’m not overly familiar with these guys but my favourite guitarist John Petrucci, from DREAM THEATER, has released two solo albums, and has a few fully instrumental records done with the side project LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT, all of which I’ve always enjoyed. So, armed with this little experience of the genre I threw on “Horizon”. After my first listen I had the overall feeling that every riff was just a build up to a solo or a bit of grandstanding. A few more listens later and I realised that that was exactly their purpose, and that I should stop looking for deeper meanings. And once I made peace with this, I started to hear the good ideas and the cool riffs that were scattered throughout. From the pure heavy metal of “Hannya" and “Ikebana", to the ominous tones of “Void" and “Moon" to the more upbeat “Sunset" and “Champagne", there’s plenty going on here, and I’m glad I gave it the chance to develop. There are moments of the big three mentioned earlier but I kept being reminded more of someone like Gary Moore or even Neal Morse, especially in the slower parts. LUCIO deserves great credit for achieving such comparisons and especially at a relatively young age, as this kind of playing never comes from talent alone.

If this is the sort of album you regularly go for, well I can say, with some degree of confidence, that I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by his playing. He’s definitely one to watch out for. As for anyone else, like me, who is just looking for an escape and a bit of fun you could do a lot worse. I'd say I’m destined to remain in the second camp but with a little more understanding now than I had before.

Songwriting 6
Musicianship 8
Memorability 6
Production 7

3 Star Rating

1. Neon Tokyo
2. Hannya
3. Landscape (Into The Void)
4. Void
5. Dirty Heart
6. Horizon
7. Sunset
8. Champagne
9. Moon
10. Ikebana
Lucio Moriyama – All music
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 11 June 2023

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