[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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Each week David Randall presents ‘New to GRTR!’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, with the emphasis on independent artists and labels. During December he replays favourite tracks including power plays featured during the year. This show covers the period January-March and was first broadcast on 1 December 2019.
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