MARCO FERRIGNO – Hanging Gardens

MARCO FERRIGNO - Hanging Gardens


Label: Lion Music
Release date: August 24, 2006

User Review
9/10 (1 vote)

He is unknown to most people, but Mexican guitarist Marco Ferrigno is a rising star in the underground virtuoso field. Ferrigno released his first album, The Quest, in 2001, and collaborated with Javier Leal and Vitalij Kuprij on the album Promised Land in 2003. He is a former student of the great guitarist George Bellas, and is, of course, very influenced by Bellas, but his music also sounds like it’s influenced by Tony MacAlpine, Francesco Fareri, and Yngwie Malmsteen.

Since the release of Promised Land, Ferrigno has been working on his new release; Hanging Gardens. Bringing his fierce shredding into the Neo-Classical style, and mixing it with some Progressive tendencies, makes Ferrigno succeed in making a good record without following the Malmsteen-pattern many Neo-Classical guitarists get into. To help him set the record straight (literally), Ferrigno has brought along bass player Tony Franklin (Jimmy Page, Blue Murder, David Coverdale) and drummer Marco Minnemann (H-Blockx, Paul Gilbert, T.M. Stevens) to back him up.

According to Ferrigno, he “… had the freedom to use various types of odd tempos, poly-rhythmic lines, and time modulations based on a 16th and 8th note pulse.” You can really hear that on the record’s first track, “Temple Of Time.” The track starts off nice and easy, and then it picks up the pace and varies in tempo. The solos are mainly based on melodic minor modes, in addition to the usual mayor modes. That goes for most of the songs on this record.

Next is the much slower tune, “Night in Babylon.” You get a kind of John Petrucci feel on the melodic parts of this one, and Ferrigno shows that you don’t need to speed things up to the limit to make it sound good. Also, his teacher and mentor, George Bellas, assists Ferrigno on this cut. It’s great to hear the two of them speed things up during the mid-part of the song, and then lets it fall back to the melodic line again.

“Tower of Babel” is probably the most Progressive track on Hanging Gardens. In this tune, Ferrigno has teamed up with his good friend Javier Leal (who also produced this album). You can feel the passion in the song with the emotion-filled melodic dual guitar parts. There are also some Jazzy parts in the song where you really get the feel of Tony Franklin’s bass guitar. Franklin gives listeners more impressive bass play in “Sacred City.” His fretless bass really stands out in this tune, and gives it a steady and strong melody. You get more of a Jazz feeling in this tune as well.

“Meditteraneo” is the strongest cut on the record. It’s got more of a pure Metal feel to it, as well as a mighty orchestra feeling from the keyboards. This track also provides some excellent drumming by Marco Minnemann, and it has so much variety to it that the only negative thing to say is that it’s too short (lasting for “only” 4 minutes)!

“Secret Garden” starts off with Franklin’s fretless bass experimenting on Minnemann’s Jazzy beat. This tune also features Javier Leal and it’s great to hear the two guitarists play so good together. On top of it all, Ferrigno gives you a lesson in acoustic guitar picking that not even Al Dimeola could have done better.

“Varanus Komodensis” is perhaps the most “Malmsteen-inspired” tune on the record, and starts with some emotional arpeggios. Though it’s a beautiful tune and Ferrigno’s playing is very skillful and great, it’s not unique in the way the other tracks are. It becomes more of a repeat of the other tunes on the record and doesn’t stand out much from the rest of the tracks.

Fortunately, the last cut, “Closer to the Wind,” has more feeling and a stronger melody line to it. This cut has a unique sound brought by the keyboard, and Ferrigno’s insanely fast arpeggios combined with a strong melody line make this song the highpoint of the record along with “Meditteraneo.”

The whole album is mighty and powerful and the content is varied, but only to a certain point. Minnemann is a drummer that should cause you to take notice. His rapid and eventful drumming fits Franklin’s sophisticated and Jazzy sound perfectly, letting Ferrigno play his guitar to the limit. To bring these two along for the recording of Hanging Gardens was a stroke of genius. Ferrigno’s shredding is awesome, and he is a guitarist you ought to be aware of in the coming years.


  • Kristian Singh-Nergård

    Kristian is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He is Metal Express Radio's Marketing and Communications Manager, and on occasions also reviewer and photographer. Based out of Oslo, Norway, Kristian is a bass player and owner of the independent record label Pug-Nose Records. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2006.

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