Italian guitarist Luca Princiotta is best known for his work with DORO. He also collaborates with other Heavy Metal artists and plays with his eponymous project the Luca Princiotta Band. The band says its sophomore album draws from the band’s influences of rock/blues riffs, breathtaking solos and melodies, catchy and energetic drum and bass grooves with rough, bluesy vocals.
From the opening riffs of the mid-tempo instrumental “On Board”, high quality production is evident. Audibility and separation of the guitar, bass, and drums is superb. The three songs which feature vocals have superior sound as well. What, wait! Only three songs with vocals? Correct. Fortunately the seven instrumentals aren’t simply excuses for high speed, chest thumping solos. The band presents tastefully crafted and professionally executed tunes in a variety of styles and tempos. Up-tempo songs such as “Shake The Cake” and the title track “Rough Blue” will certainly evoke comparisons to Joe Satriani while the mournful blues of “When Everything’s Right” and “We Need Time” are reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughan. The vocals are rough, bluesy as advertised. “What It Takes” is the best track with vocals. It has a decent chorus and features uncomplicated, purposeful riffs interspersed with incendiary solos. It’s similar in style to Last In Line’s 2016 song “Devil In Me”.
Rough Blue successfully avoided becoming a guitar centric instrumental ego stroke. By presenting a thoughtful mix of styles and strategically placing tracks with vocals throughout the album the band creates a highly listenable whole. Recommended for fans of Hard Rock, Melodic Metal, and Instrumental Metal.
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TRACKLIST (Highlights: 1, 3, 4, 9)