VITALIJ KUPRIJ – Glacial Inferno & Revenge

VITALIJ KUPRIJ - Glacial Inferno & Revenge
  • 8/10
    VITALIJ KUPRIJ - Glacial Inferno - 8/10
  • 7/10
    VITALIJ KUPRIJ - Revenge - 7/10


Lion Music
Release date: February 23, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Ukrainian born keyboard player Vitalij Kuprij is undeniably one of the most sought after keyboardists in the Metal/Progressive/Neo-Classical arena. His resume includes works with Artension, Ring Of Fire, and support spots with Greg Howe, James Murphy, John West, Tony Hernando, and several others. This time around, Kuprij is back with his fifth solo album entitled Glacial Inferno. The new studio album is being released initially as a limited edition double CD pack of just 2,000 units along with Kuprij’s 2005 band project release, Revenge. Revenge was previously not available outside of Asia.

Glacial Inferno

Simply stated, Glacial Inferno takes intense Neoclassical instrumentals to the fullest! Kuprij is masterful and entertaining, as always. He has the strictest discipline to mix up his keyboard phrasings and tones to keep it riveting without sounding, “droning.” This one’s an eclectic mix of Classical with Progressive, Fusion, and even a bit of Folk in a spot or two. Even for the instrumental/technical weenies out there, this one is jam-packed with technique, and consequently requires a level of concentration when listening to it. It is in no shape or form close to being “background music.” In fact, some of this would be extremely suitable as background music when your Night Elf Warrior is raging into battle in the World Of Warcraft!

Of course, Kuprij can’t accomplish this alone, as he has once again entrusted his Revenge cohorts in Harris, Coven, and Macaluso. They all deliver without taking the spotlight away from the main man.

“Symphonic Force” kicks things off in high tempo. In the middle of this track, Kuprij impresses with some nice Classical-based piano that seamlessly flows into the structure of the song. It also sounds like Michael Harris has his hands full during the latter half of this one, as he has some complex runs in unison with Kuprij. “Liquid Rain” is more of the same, though Kuprij takes the liberty of doing more of a keys solo during this one. The main melody line is a nice, memorable, arpeggio-based, Classical run, almost violin-sounding in nature. “Fire In The Sun” mixes up the tempo a bit with some quieter passages interwoven into otherwise full-throttle Progressive Metal. “Divided Horizon” has another splendid, melodic, and memorable keys/guitar line capped off with some nice cymbal rides by Macaluso.

Bottom line, this is a solid offering by Kuprij; it should kick all of the Neoclassical, Technical weenies hard in the ass, leaving a shoe imprint. It’s a well-orchestrated release that’s not for the faint of heart and is certainly not for the listener looking for some brain dead background music. Assuredly, new fans that pick this one up will be compelled to seek out all his solo works. Bundle this with the bonus Revenge album, and you have an unbelievable musical entertainment value for the money!


Vitalij Kuprij – Keyboards
Michael Harris – Guitar
Randy Coven – Bass
John Macaluso – Drums


Pick up a CD on any day of the week that includes keyboardist extraordinaire Vitalij Kuprij, Neo-Classical guitar’s current favored son Michael Harris, the infamous rhythm section of drummer John Macaluso and bassist Randy Coven, and vocals by Doogie White, Apollo Papathanasio (Firewind), Goran Edman, and Joe Lynn Turner, and one’s expectations would certainly run very high before even spinning the disc. Well that’s what the first disc released by Kuprij’s Revenge includes … the question is, does it live up to such high expectations?

It’s hard to belittle a release like this with such a wealth of musical talent present. Part of the problem is when there are such high expectations going into the first listen of such a high caliber release, it might come as a let down when the release scores as commendable. This album overall delivers on some levels and fails on others. The music in general is best categorized as “Castle Rock,” a la Yngwie Malmsteen … less intense and more commercial than say, Glacial Inferno. The overall panache factor is not as strong as Malmsteen’s best records, but generally is better than his mediocre attempts. Perhaps its due to the writing, but some of the cause might be attributed to just satisfactory vocal deliveries by White, Edman, and Turner … definitely not their strongest or most memorable performances.

The release opens with Doogie White singing on “Burning My Soul,” which is a decent song, but just not as memorable as the stronger hook line in “I Don’t Believe In Love,” also sung by White. Songs like “Revenge” with Apollo Papathanasio on vocals are a bit more uplifting and high-spirited and register very well. One of the most memorable and entertaining moments on this disc is the one most Metal fans probably won’t appreciate, and that’s Kuprij’s spirited and melodic classical composition excerpted from Haydn’s “Sonata In E Minor,” as well as the classical piano-driven instrumental “Classic War.”

Bottom line, Revenge is not as high impact and memorable as Kuprij fans may have hoped. It certainly is worth owning on its own merits, especially as part of the limited edition double CD offering by Lion Music. In the end, though, diehard Kuprij fans will most likely feel something is lacking and will likely turn to this year’s Glacial Inferno or the strong 2004 release Forward And Beyond for the utmost in inspiration.


Vitalij Kuprij – Keyboards
Michael Harris – Guitar
Randy Coven – Bass
John Macaluso – Drums
Doogie White – Vocals
Apollo Papathanasio – Vocals
Goran Edman – Vocals
Shawn Leahy – Vocals
Joe Lynn Turner – Vocals
Chris Catena – Vocals


  • 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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