Lione-Conti – “Lione Conti” (Frontiers Records)
Oh wow, if you love Rhapsody, then you’re gonna love this as it features not just one of their vocalists, but two! Needing no introductions whatsoever, names like Fabio Lione (Rhapsody) and Alessandro Conti (Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody) will no doubt be familiar to many, and the idea of these two dueting together is nothing short of genius. Add in the multiple talents of producer/songwriter/guitarist/bassist Simon Mularoni and you’ve got the star quality to make this self titled debut what its pedigree allows. While not being the first attempt at such a project for label Frontiers Records (Allen-Lande springing to mind), Lione-Conti is certainly their first all Italian affair. Despite the Rhapsody connections, what’s impressive beyond the obvious vocal talents is the versatility of the music that certainly includes power metal, but equally more rock and even prog tinged metal a la Queensryche – not to mention how its all been pulled off in such a classy manner! From the blazing ‘Glories’ where Filippo Martignano’s keys are hammering as hard as Marco Lanciotti’s double bass drums, Lione and Conti’s dual soulfulness simply propels the song (and indeed every song) into stratospheric highs resonating with passion while Mularoni’s own racing fret board talents take him into Formula 1 territory of guitar godliness. Injecting the heaviness into the aptly named ‘Gravity’ the melodic guitar lead sets the tone for this catchy epic number, galloping with red blooded vigor through the impassioned vocals as the rhythm explodes into metallic proportions. In complete contrast is ‘Somebody Else’, a power ballad beginning quietly with tender vocals and delicate piano, then exploding with heart breaking guitars (not to mention that killer solo on Journey AOR levels of insanity!) and backed by full bodied orchestrals – awesome! A throughly enjoyable release, Lione-Conti is everything you’d expect, but equally so much more.