SILVER LAKE – Silver Lake (2011)
Rimini, Italy – the seaside resort known as the “Miami of Europe” and home of filmmaker Federico Fellini – is now also home to some American-style melodic progressive hard rock courtesy of the five-piece called SILVER LAKE.
Originally formed in 2003 as a cover band called Exodiain and playing tunes by Dream Theater, Deep Purple, Skid Row and others, Silver Lake grew through numerous personnel changes and decided to start writing their own material.
Having settled on a lineup, the band went to work and produced one of the stronger indie debut albums in recent memory, nicely recorded and well performed.
Davide Bertozzi fronts the band. He has a high range voice and uses it well whether singing lead or adding backing tracks. He stays within his range and is always clear and understandable despite a touch of Italian accent.
Guitarist Giovanni Matichecchia can blast out rapid-fire intense solos and classically inspired heavy riffs, but has a fine feel for the music and can deftly turn down his intensity to match the mood.
Riccardo Fabbri keyboards are a great counterpoint to Matichecchia’s guitar work and he seems equally comfortable whether playing background or taking the lead. Guest shredder Simone Mularoni (Empyrios) makes a fine teammate throughout. The one-two punch provided by Luigi Rignanese (bass) and Andrea Urbinati (drums) blend nicely into the background while anchoring the music, but both also step into the spotlight on numerous occasions – nice to hear some good bass soloing!
“Before The Storm” opens with some subtle keyboards and quickly switches to big guitars, bass and drums and features numerous tempo changes. This track shows what Silver Lake has to offer – good songwriting, solid vocals, catchy rhythms and outstanding musicianship.
“Help Me To Fight The Rain” brings much more speed and aggression to the front, along with a very kicky groove, big chorus and some impressive use of the spoken word in the introduction.
The instrumental track “Break” dials it down while opening with some awesome bass and keyboard riffs before layering in some choppy guitars. This one definitely has a Dream Theater feel to it but is not a copy-cat, and it gives all the band members a chance to show their abilities.
Big drums and a melodic rock groove dominate “Life”. This is a vocal showpiece featuring guest singer Michele Luppi (Vision Divine, Los Angeles). The best track of the album, a melodic rocker full of energy and melodies.
Reaching back to their cover band roots, Silver Lake has retooled Skid Row’s “Slave To The Grind” and given it some unique twists (double bass, keyboard solo), and it works very, very well. Somehow they’ve managed to increase the intensity of an all time classic.
“Holy Affinity” has a very european sound to it, filled with rich vocal harmonies, massive drums and many tempo changes.
Fine piano work is the high point of the mellow and poignant ballad “Meet You Again”, very calm and classy.
Great pianos again open the band’s eponymous track “Silver Lake”. This song combines the best of two worlds; vintage Rush meets Dream Theater, and the band seems to go all out. Great drums, massive guitar solos, big bass, fine vocals – progressive hard rock at it finest.
“Silver Lake” is a very good debut album, and Silver Lake is a very good band. They work together like a veteran group and obviously have put much effort and care into all aspects of the album.
The band takes production and arrangement credits and has worked closely with Michele Luppi, Simone Mularoni and Gabriele Ravaglia at Italy’s famed Fear Studio.
Solid musical talent, good songwriting and fine engineering make this one a contender for any of 2011’s ‘best indie’ lists despite its January release (the prints were ready at the end of last year, that’s why the back cover states 2010).
Interesting and Good.
01 – Before The Storm
02 – Help Me To Fight The Rain
03 – Break
04 – Life (feat. Michele Luppi)
05 – Slave To The Grind (Skid Row cover)
06 – Holy Affinity
07 – Meet You Again
08 – Silver Lake
Davide Bertozzi – Vocals
Giovanni Matichecchia – Guitars
Luigi Rignanese – Bass
Riccardo Fabbri – Keyboards
Andrea Urbinati – Drums
Michele Luppi (songwriting and Vocals on “Life”)
Simone Mularoni – Guitars
IF YOU LIKE IT, BUY IT!