MASSIMO IZZIZZARI – Unstable Balance

MASSIMO IZZIZZARI - Unstable Balance
  • 8.5/10
    MASSIMO IZZIZZARI - Unstable Balance - 8.5/10


Lion Music
Release Date: January 26, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

It takes a certain breed of music fan to listen to, dissect, and enjoy guitar instrumentals … it takes just as unique of a breed of musicians to create entertaining ones. Italy is throwing another of her sons into the ring with the guitarist whose last name could win a Scrabble tournament (if the rules allowed proper names and contained more “z” tiles), Massimo Izzizzari (his website refers to him as “Max”). Massimo has had a diverse career, playing guitar since he was eleven and then moving into playing covers at the age of seventeen of such greats as Joe Satriani, Greg Howe, and Yngwie Malmsteen. In the following years, he did something perhaps not as predictable for his age by focusing his playing on Jazz-Fusion guitar playing and studying the styles of such unprecedented greats such as Scott Henderson, Pat Metheny, Mike Stern, and John Scofield. It’s a dignified mixture of all these influences that Massimo brings together in his first solo release Unstable Balance.

There’s no way to put it more bluntly, but Unstable Balance is an entertaining and interesting guitar album that combines Shred, Funk, Jazz, and Rock, all delivered with style and melody. Massimo keeps the music entertaining by infusing into each song great feel and melody, much akin to early Greg Howe. Massimo has the true gift to make his guitar sing in lieu of a vocalist.

From start to end, there’s not a bad track amongst the ten offered up here. The album closer “Teresa” is a ballad full of string bends, melody, and some nice runs, and will most assuredly be the least favorite for guitar freaks. Nevertheless, the first nine tracks should provide an exhaustive journey up to that point. Album opener, “Unstable Balance,” glimmers with a Funk influence, but this doesn’t prevent Massimo from shredding the lead out. “Access Denied” rides on the fringes of Jazz-Funk, but has Massimo laying down an awesome melody line that acts like the song’s chorus all before ripping into a shred solo. “Television Man” is another example where Massimo delivers a memorable melody line providing a “lasting effect” … one that might have you humming said melody line during odd hours of the day.

Bottom line, yes, this is another guitar instrumental album, and it would be a crime to overlook it just because that market is crowded. Massimo, along with another Italian guitarist by the name of Simone Fiorletta should both be regarded as the next wave of prominent pioneers into the guitar instrumental genre. Unstable Balance is anything but a rhetorical title for this release because Massimo’s playing is far from “unstable.” He plays with finesse, technique, and melody, while providing ten tracks of entertaining music. What more could a music listener or guitar aficionado ask for? You’ll be kicking yourself years from now if you don’t grab this one while it’s available.


Massimo Izzizzari – Guitars, Guitar Synth, Choirs, Programming
Mario Guarini – Bass
Azeglio Izzizzari – Drums


  • 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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