Marcello Sperandeo is a longtime musician who just released his first EP entitled Ritual. The four-track EP combines elements of prog rock, metal, pop and a little more. The production is top notch and Sperandeo showcases his skills as a songwriter, vocalist and guitarist.
The EP opens with “Fill Your Lungs” which is a song that can be both beautiful sounding and rock out quite hard. For the first minute or so the composition has a haunting, contemplative vibe mostly due in fact to the reverb choices. The guitar is covered in reverb but it works.
Drones fluctuate around the two-minute-mark and the drums start to build. The chorus is pretty much straightforward rock with crunch guitars and pounding drums. Sperandeo switches on a dime to the verse which introduces a brief yet enjoyable guitar solo. The verse this time is more reminiscent of Tool. I wasn’t expecting the end of the song to get so heavy but it does. Lyrically, the themes are very broad and interpretive. He sings, “Four walls to keep you in, so small you want to scream / Fill your lungs, fill your lungs with the voice you're longing for.”
“New Design” is another roller coaster of a song that can go from intense crescendo to time staggering breakdowns. Some of his most inspired guitar solos come a little before the three- minute-mark. Suffice it to say this song fits a lot of transitions and changes into its runtime.
Up next is the title track “Ritual” which is a heavy song. The drums felt like a metronome on this song. The kick drum seemed to be perfectly in time with itself. As far as guitar solos go the one at the end of this song seemed to be in the vein of virtuosos like Joe Satriani and Yngwie Malmsteen.
He closes with “Serenity” which is perhaps the highlight. Some of the vocals get close to the demon like growls you hear in death metal. I thought the lush, atmospheric verse had some of his best textures and soundscapes.
Overall, Ritual is a solid start to Sperandeo’s solo career. Within the four songs he was able to carve out a nice little niche for himself that I’m sure will be appealing to a certain demographic. I hope to hear more soon. Recommended.
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