MARC RIZZO – The Ultimate Devotion

MARC RIZZO - The Ultimate Devotion
  • 9.5/10
    MARC RIZZO - The Ultimate Devotion - 9.5/10


Shrapnel Records
Release date: July 31, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Whooooo!!! Chalk one up for New Jersey and another one for Carlstadt’s very own home grown solo artist/lead guitarist for the Brazilian Metal band Soulfly, ex-Ill Niño guitarist, Flamenco / Classical / Acoustic / Metal axe grinder-shredder/instrumentalist extraordinaire. Now that’s some title. Imagine having that on your own business card. In this case, it’s accurate.

Some would listen to Marc’s latest release and say “What the hell, can’t you make up your mind?” It turns out that being a huge fan of Flamenco (Latin) and Metal at the same time, he decided to go to the next level and do something new, something not too many people out there in today’s music world are doing. What is that you might ask? Basically it is very simple and comes down to this – combine the two! At first it might sound a bit strange or even unprecedented. It turns out that it has been done before, but perhaps with not as much flair as Marc delivers with The Ultimate Devotion.

This is Marc’s second solo release in the last two years. His first solo release, also an Instrumental album/CD, was titled Colossal Myopia and came out in 2006.

Marc, as the founding member of the Metal act Ill Niño, decided to leave the band back in 2003. While there, he was part of three albums: Revolution Revolucion (2001), Confession (2003), and The Best Of Ill Niño (2006). Marc then joined Soulfly as their guitarist and played on the band’s fourth and fifth albums: Prophecy (2004) and Dark Ages (2005). When not touring or working on his solo career, he is busy working with and playing in another one of his side projects called Committee Of Thirteen, a band he also manages from the road.

So how does someone listening to a combination of Flamenco and Metal take to it after the first listen? Think about it. If someone who enjoys Metal hears Flamenco mixed in with his or her favorite genre, no one knows what kind of reaction to expect. The CD contains ten songs and is a hair over 75 minutes in length. The two hardest or heaviest songs that also have vocals are the last two tracks, these being “All For Nothing” and “Lived And Learned.” Three other heavy songs without vocals are “The Riddle Of Steel,” “Ascension,” and the title track “The Ultimate Devotion.”

“The Riddle Of Steel” has some intense double-bass drumming near the end. “Ascension,” meanwhile, has one of the nicest solos with a tremendous amount of feeling to it. The title track changes styles beautifully and seamlessly throughout to the extent it is almost unnoticeable. The remainder of the album is all Instrumental and is either Metal, Flamenco, Acoustic, or any combination thereof. It is worth mentioning that the drumming and bass playing on the CD is phenomenal — some incredibly talented musicians play alongside Marc: Kanky Lora on drums and percussion while bass duties are split between Elo Hernandez and Guillermo Capellan. Domenic Monaco handles the congas and TJ Frost takes care of back-up vocals.

A large majority of the fan base that frequents or lives for is probably not that well-versed in Latin music or Flamenco. Latin music is beautiful in its own right, and has millions of listeners worldwide that swear by it. Metalheadz need to have an open mind and be willing to give it a try. After listening to Marc Rizzo’s latest masterpiece, there is a very good chance that you will be surprisingly pleased with the sound of this album and actually enjoy listening to this latest find.


  • George Fustos

    George was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He has engineering degrees in Chemical and Electrical Engineering. He favors Metal, Rock, Hard Rock, Classic Rock, Blues, and even some Jazz and Motown (depending on the tune). He used to dabble with the bass quite some time ago. His most influential bassists are Jaco, Billy Sheehan, Stu Hamm, Geddy Lee, and John Entwistle (RIP Ox). Band-wise he's really into Rush, Tool, early Metallica, Pink Floyd (including Waters and Gilmour as solo artists), The Who, Iced Earth, Iron Maiden, Halford, Joe Satriani, certain Judas Priest, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins (Blues guitarist), Motörhead, and a German band called Skew Siskin that Lemmy says in an interview as being "the best band out there today."

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