|Francesco Fareri: Suspension|
|2001, Suspension Records, SR-FF 001|
Suspension is a guitar-centric shred-fest that features the aggressive, speedy guitar playing of Francesco Fareri. Though the music contains some technique that is familiar to the neoclassical genre, Suspension is decidely not neoclassical, not fusion, and not the garden variety progressive either. What Suspension is, is shredding, speedy, metal guitar work layered over some progressive and intricate foundations that are articulated mainly by piano and keyboard voices. Do not look for focused thematic development here, because you will not find it. It is superceded by the blazing fast guitar work of Fareri that apparently can not sit still long enough to enunciate a searing melody. So, just so you know prior to listening to Suspension, this is a shred / progressive metal album and don't expect neoclassical or fusion renderings from it.
Things that I liked about Suspension... The underlying progressions and sequenced piano and keyboard work provide a good foundation that does not sit still or get stagnate. The guitar work has amazing speed, precision, and proficiency. The sweep picking is impressive and there is no shortage of its application. Ferari has a good attack in his playing... or should I say he has a "no prisoners" onslaught in his playing? Some of the sequenced piano work is good and musical too. And, actually, I liked some of the composition that was applied to the piano better than the guitar parts.
Things that I might have done differently... I didn't like the guitar tone that Francesco uses throughout the album. It is a little too dirty with distortion for my taste, though it is not unusual for shred with a metal edge. A little variation in tone would have made for better diversity in sound and better ease of digestion. Some of the techniques applied, especially the sweep picking, seem overdone to me to the point they were monotonous in the context of the compositions. A little more variation in the sweep picking pattern and counterpoint between sweep picking and other techniques would appeal to me more. Voicing the same sweep picking patterns straight up an arpeggio and back down with the only variation being the chords that are traversed becomes tiresome to listen to after a while. I would also like to see more melodic themes integrated in the guitar work, but the absence of themes in Suspension may be well-within the acceptable boundaries of the shred / metal genre. For my preferences, their is a lack of balance in dynamics in Suspension whereby there are no slower guitar parts to contrast the constantly speedy guitar playing that holds the throttle wide open from start to finish... but that is shred!
Well, whether you like Suspension or not is going to depend largely on your musical preferences and tastes. If you like aggressive, progressive metal and shredding, no-holds-barred, speedy, guitar-centric music then Suspension is going to be right up your alley. Ferari has speed to burn and he has burning speed. There is no question about it. But, if you prefer to have theme-oriented music that builds around melodies and themes, applying speed as one of many tools, I am doubtful that you are going to embrace Suspension because it does not have the thematic development that is more common with neoclassical and good fusion.
~ Christopher Ruel ~ www.ChrisRuel.com ~ Chris@ChrisRuel.comListen to samples & Buy CDs/DVDs here
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