Raven Black Project-Breaking Through The Mist

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Reviewed: December, 2021
Released: 2016, Indie
Rating:  4 /5
Reviewer:  JP

Normally we don’t go back and review older albums too often.  However, last month (October 2021) I read the biography of Andre Matos.  In those pages I discovered two bands that I was previously unaware of  (Art X and Raven Black Project) that Matos had participated in as a guest vocalist.   In an instance of metallic symmetry, both albums came out in 2016 and both are Italian Prog-power bands.  Both are solo albums with tons of major guest stars.  Naturally, I immediately ordered both albums and I have decided to review them as a pair this month.  Enjoy!

I was very pleased to acquire a hard copy of this.  It is a it obscure unfortunately, even Metal-Archives don’t have it listed but that doesn’t surprise me they miss a ton of stuff.  Regardless more people should know about this release.  Ricardo Bacchi is an Italian composer and guitarist and this seems to be his first major work and he decided to go big!  He wrote, recorded, produced and played guitar for this enjoyable release.

The CD itself is very well presented for an independent project.  The booklet has different art for each song which is always a nice touch, not many bands do that. It runs for 52 minutes across 10 songs.

Bacchi presents us a dynamic and stylistically diverse set of Metal tunes. Initially I had expected more of a consistent sound, a signature style if you will, instead of multiple styles.  To me this sounds more like a true solo artist doing different songs in different styles with different singers, than sounding like a band.  I guess that’s why the full title is Ricardo Bacchi’s Raven Black Project.

Strangely enough a slow melancholy song called ‘‘The Faithless and The Dreamer’ is a highlight  for me, even though I usually prefer the faster stuff.   It is a poignant recollection of the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001.  It starts with a haunting voice-over/audio recording (which may or may not be real but I suspect it is authentic) and the song has a unique  lyrical perspective on the events of the day. There have been many Metal songs about these attacks and this is one of my favourites. It is noteworthy how relevant the 9/11 attacks still are that an Italian wrote a song about it 14 or 25 years later.

As I mentioned in my preamble, one if the motivations for me to buy this album was the big number of guest stars, specifically Andre Matos. Oddly enough I felt his performance on the song ‘The Faithless and The Dreamer’ was not up to par.  It’s a great song but not what I expected from him. The song was recorded not too long before his death and word was that Matos had failing health, so that may have been a contributing factor.  It was great to hear James Christian  (House Of Lords) on the semi-ballad ‘Wasting Memories’, and Mark Boals (ex-Yngwie) always shines as he does on lead off cut, ‘My New Revelations’.

‘Road To Hell Paso’ is a speedy one, another highlight for me.  The album finishes off  nicely with a solid cover of Rainbow’s ‘Tarot Woman’.

Overall I was expected expecting a bit more speed, power and neo-classical influence on BREAKING THROUGH THE MIST  but it is a still a very fine collection of  Metal songs.  You should not hesitate to add this rare gem loaded with special guests to your library.


Line-up:

Riccardo Bacchi-Guitar

Guests: 

Jon Oliva-Vocals

Mark Boals -Vocals

Andre Matos -Vocals

Amanda Somerville- Vocals

Doogie White -Vocals

James Christianson -Vocals

Alberto Bolatti -Vocals