DANIELE LIVERANI – Genius: A Rock Opera – Episode 2: In Search Of The Little Prince


Frontiers Records
Release Date: May 24, 2004

User Review
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Daniele Liverani, the guitar/bass/keyboard virtuoso (Empty Tremors and Khymera), has released Episode 2 of his Genius rock opera, a story developed by Liverani around the main character (Genius) and his friend (Twinspirit 32) and their escapades in the forbidden Dream World. Episode 2 starts with the two friends trying to escape from the Maindream Soldiers, and includes a quest to save The Little Prince who has been kept prisoner with various events transpiring along the way. The 11 tracks, comprising upwards of 75 minutes, are split by the narration of transitional events by Philip Bynoe.


Liverani has assembled quite an impressive cast of vocalists for this album, each who serve as characters in the story line. There are 9 in total, with some of the more known names including Mark Boals (Ring of Fire), Russell Allen (Symphony X), Edu Falaschi (Angra), and Eric Martin (Mr. Big). All vocal performances are strong, and persons who are fans of these vocalists won’t be disappointed.

A few of the songs are notable as above average efforts: “Valley” and “Fight Again” are aggressive songs that mesh the music quite well with the vocals and story line, and “My Dear Son” and “To Be Free” are the slow-down songs on the album containing beautiful melodies and genuine vocalist emotion. In these songs, Liverani is indeed successful in putting all the elements of the story in phase with the music and lyrics.


The difficulty with putting to song a pre-written story is to create innovative musical patterns to go along with it. It’s easy to get caught in the trap of just creating background sounds that outline the lyrics — lyrics that are heavily weighted towards conveying a complex series of events. Largely, Episode 2 falls victim to creating unmemorable music at the expense of allowing the characters to perform their story segments. Additionally, many of the vocal passages, though well-performed as noted above, lack cohesive catchiness – they’re just a bunch of words without poetic meter and largely without choruses that have been put into song to delineate the train of events occurring in the story line. Lastly, Liverani is not successful in creating “personality” for the Genius character – to be inspirational and to keep your attention, Genius needs to be someone you root for or can identify with in some way. The Who’s rock opera classic Tommy was the benchmark for this accomplishment. Listeners rooted for Tommy, but similar affection and dedication towards Genius when listening simply isn’t attained.


Episode 2, overall, is a heavier album than Episode 1, and definitely boasts a more impressive character (vocalist) line-up. Fans of any of these performers will be well served to check out this album to hear more by their favorite performers. The average Metalhead, however, would be better served to check out Liverani’s instrumental album, Daily Trauma (see the Metal Express review), as it better epitomizes a true work of art that need not rely on gluttonous quantities of lyrics to convey Genius’ Dream World adventures!


Guitars: C+
Bass: C+
Percussion: B
Vocals: A (multiple vocalists)
Lyrics: B
Recording Quality: B
Originality: C
Overall Rating: C+
Website: danieleliverani.com


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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