Frontiers Records
Release date: June 9, 2006

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Most will recognize the voice from the popular USA session group, Toto, during their Fahrenheit and The Seventh One period (circa 1986-1988). Notwithstanding that high profile spot, the name Joseph Williams might even sound familiar. Perhaps it’s because he’s the son of John Williams, one of Hollywood’s most well-known music composers for his work on such movie classics as the Indiana Jones and Star Wars series of films. It took Frontiers Records’ President & Executive Producer, Serafino Perugino, to convince Joseph to temporarily shift his focus from his own career work in film scores back into the Melodic Rock arena, thus the Vertigo project was born.

The first Vertigo release was received with such a positive response that a second album was inevitable. This brings the story forward to 2006, and the aptly titled 2 release.

In the corporate Information Technology sector, being “repeatable” is considered to be an endearing quality. In 2, that endearing term applies as well to Williams and Frontiers Records in that they have kept the foundation of Vertigo solid and consistent. They accomplished this by bringing in another Frontiers’ “Superman,” Fabrizio Grossi, to once again produce and play Bass and Keyboards. Additionally, Music Composer/Producer/Arranger/Keyboardist Joey Carbone has supplied the songwriting, but this time with some help from Williams himself. The musician list rounds out with Italian guitar virtuoso Alex Masi, and heavy hitting drummer Virgil Donati (Soul Sirkus, Ring Of Fire).

Now, the first inclination might be to think this is a Heavy or Hard Rock release because Masi’s and Donati’s names are on the credits. Well, not quite … the music still holds to the “Toto-ish” Melodic Rock formula, with some slight Christian overtones. Don’t let the “Christian” reference cause you to overlook this disc though! Where other releases of this type might be more into preaching, this CD actually provokes one to think more about one’s life, how it’s being spent, etc. That being the case, there isn’t a lot of flashy, self-indulgent soloing by Masi or Donati on this album. They are both more in a completely confident and supportive role, and give the music a little “edge” here and there. Sure, there are some cool, albeit short, tasteful Masi solos, but for the most part, the strength of this release is Williams’ vocals and the strong songwriting.

Prizewinning tracks, to name a few, are the catchy, melodic and thought-provoking “In The Blink Of An Eye,” “All For You,” “Hold Me,” “Part Of Me,” and the Williams-penned “I Wanna Live Forever.” All of these tracks have as much melody, lasting value, and power as anything on Toto’s last exceptional release (Falling In Between). Certainly, there are a couple of the complementary ballad tracks, which are well done, but not as memorable as the up-tempo tracks that grace four-fifths of this CD.

Hopefully, the Vertigo project will continue churning out quality future releases like these. Perhaps using other outstanding guitarists and drummers on every release (the first Vertigo release included ex-Dokken, Headrush guitarist Alex De Rosso). Once again Perugino seems to have the foresight to envision these excellent, perhaps “ad-hoc,” Melodic Rock projects (e.g., Place Vendome, Ambition, etc.). Bottom line, the second (2) time seems to be a charm, as this just constitutes a fine piece of quality Melodic Rock with sensible and moral lyrics. Maybe not everyone’s “cup of tea,” but certainly one that belongs on the Melodic Rock Top Ten list for 2006!


Joseph Williams – Lead Vocals, Piano
Virgil Donati – Drums
Fabrizio V.Zee Grossi – Bass, Keyboards, Production
Alex Masi – Guitars

Additional Musicians:
Jason Scheff – Background Vocals on “Hold Me”
Masayoshi Yamasuka – Drums on “I Wanna Live Forever”
David Harris – Piano on “Save It All For Me”


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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