MICHAEL ROMEO – War Of The Worlds, Pt. 1 (2018)
Internationally acclaimed guitar player MICHAEL ROMEO (’80s Adrenalin, Symphony X, Ayreon) has announced the release of his solo album, “War Of The Worlds / Pt. 1“, on July 27 via Music Theories Recordings / Mascot Label Group.
Fans who have long awaited the arrival of a solo album from Michael Romeo will get exactly what they begged for, and then some.
For ‘War Of the Worlds / Pt. 1’ is a progressive, melodic metal and hard rock roller-coaster of epic proportions. A sentiment highlighted in songs such as “Djinn,” which propels itself between garish guitars to passionate percussion quicker than you can light a match.
Recalling the forbidding tone of the notorious H.G. Wells novel that inspired the album’s name, Romeo casts the lead track, “Introduction”, as a precursor for what is to follow. The dark, symphonic instrumental gives way to the pummeling metal double-header of “Fear The Unknown” and “Black”, on which Romeo’s rifftastic twists and turns are ably assisted by Rick Castellano’s soaring vocals.
Castellano is a real find. with a voice bringing to mind Mark Boals and many classic metel vocalists
The band is completed by the monster rhythm section of John “JD” DeServio (bass, Black Label Society) and John Macaluso (drums, Yngwie, TNT, etc) providing a muscular backdrop for the guitarist’s elastic soloing and Castellano’s full-throated vocal chops.
A startling change-up occurs with “F*cking Robots”, a striking mash-up of digital blurps, bleeps, DJ-like scratches and ace guitar madness. But just as quickly, he floors the six-string goodness on the aformentioned “Djinn”.
The lush balladry of “Believe” is a big-hearted respite from the shards of molten metal, but Romeo whips out the doomsday riffage on “Differences” and “Oblivion”, both chock full of widescreen hooks and synapse-altering solos.
Michael Romeo is currently the main songwriter in Symphony X. Fortunately, for his solo album “War Of The Worlds, Pt. 1” he has taken a different approach. It was about having creative fun, for him at least, and it pays some interesting dividends.
Ambitious, admirable, sometimes catchy and others crazy, “War Of The Worlds, Pt. 1” clears the slate of any doubt that Michael Romeo is out of ideas. If anything, it shows he may have just opened up a whole new batch of them.
02. Fear Of The Unknown
04. F*cking Robotos
08. War Machine
Michael Romeo (Symphony X) – guitars
Rick Castellano – vocals
John “JD” DeServio – bass
John Macaluso – drums