Dario Lorina is one of those guys who many people have seen and heard but may not be fully aware of who he is because, despite being in the Metal business for years and years, he has not been recorded on a lot of albums. He has played with Jani Lane, Lizzy Borden, Zakk Wylde (solo) and a few more and toured lots of places, but his name recognition outside the guitar world, is a bit lower.
I believe that his is new solo album, DEATH GRIP TRIBUALTIONS will go a long way to rectifying this situation. This is his second album and he is still signed to Shrapnel Records so you know the quality is automatically high. The 12-track instrumental album runs just under and hour and perhaps unfortunately discards (or neglects) the long-standing tradition of instrumental guitar albums having bizarre song titles. Rightly so perhaps that the song titles are ‘serious’ because he is serious about impressing his audience. More than just a mere collection of shred, Lorina showcases a wide style of songs and styles. That is always the catch-22. If you demonstrate on a solo album that you can play multiple styles, you run the risk of having your work /album seen as schizophrenic and too ‘song’ based. Conversely if you just shred for a hour, people may just label you as a one-trick pony.
I feel that DEATH GRIP TRIBULATIONS manages to walk that fine line of having good songs, lots of flair and flash but still having a bit of a signature sound and identity. Not an easy task and he mostly avoids the pitfall of saying, ‘Here is my blues song, here is my jazz song, here is my fast song, here is my country-picking song’ and so on.
Lorina takes some risks, such as the acoustic piano introduction on the tender and slow, ‘Heart Of Night’, with some beautiful and understated guitar work and some strings sections. Another one of those more experimental experiments is the track ‘ Same Dice’. It has a bit of a jazz / big band thing going on, with lots of saxophone, an instrument usually shunned in Metal unless you are a 1990’s David Lee Roth solo album. In retrospect, I really like those 1990 Roth solo albums, so it works for me. Elsewhere, the guitar is up and front, ripping and fast giving fans lots of energetic and exciting tunes. It is hard to describe music without comparing it other artists, so let’s describe what Lorina does not sound like. DEATH GRIP TRIBULATIONS is not neo-classical like Malmsteen, it is not weird and quirky like Vai. It is not full-on Shred like Joe Stump nor is it angular proggy like a Petrucci solo album. This falls more in the Joe Satriani / David T. Chastain arena, strong songs great playing. It reminds me a bit of another young hot-shot on the scene by the name of Ethan Brosh, whose solo album I reviewed here last year. To summarize all that name-dropping, Lorina has his own style, can play like hell, without sacrificing the song.
I enjoyed his first solo album from back in 2013 and I had the pleasure of seeing Dario with Lizzy Borden. I can attest that he can shred, even within the confines of the structure of Lizzy’s band. If you are a fan of any sort of instrumental guitar based Hard Rock and Heavy Metal this is a no-brainer to buy.
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