[Release date 22.09.15] www.brothersofmars.com
A quick glance at the track listing on this solo project from Mauro Zarattini – ‘Mental Breakdown’, ‘Welcome To Hell’, ‘Tarot Reader’, and ‘Acid Rain’ – suggests that the listener is in for some, to use a well coined phrase, ‘heavy’ material.
In fact, Welcome To My Breakdown is a mix of different styles – from classical to metal, to progressive 70′s rock to alternative – all written, composed, and produced by Zarattini – a London-based keyboard player supported by guitarists Ben Cameron, Alastair Beveridge and Daniele Zarattini, and a core of Luna James (vocals), Matt Young (bass) and Anthony Sullivan (drums).
The reality is, however, that it never strays too far away from the mainstream and a quick Google finds Zarattini layering his keyboards over songs by the likes of Nightwish, Mk III Deep Purple and Neal Morse without breaking sweat. It’s a fair approximation of what to expect.
As with many young players, dexterity isn’t an issue. And while ‘aping’ is all very well, Zarattini doesn’t make a monkey of himself with Welcome To My Breakdown, although running out at only 32 minutes it’s no magnum opus.
The brief Intro wouldn’t be out of place in a Lord Of The Rings soundtrack, and while ‘Mental Breakdown’ and ‘Acceptance’ doff a hat towards symphonic metal, Luna James does a good job in putting her own mark on a genre where vocal cloning has become the norm.
Elsewhere, it’s a very credible – keyboard dominated – mainstream rock offering. The only thing lacking is a sufficiently well balanced guitar counterpoint. Name me a band who’s made it on the strength of their keyboardist alone. Bring an equally talented six string young gun into the fold and Brothers Of Mars could be a name to reckon with. ***1/2
Review by Pete Whalley
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