Dario Lorina – Dario Lorina (self-titled) – CD Album Review

OK, hands-up those of you who know who Dario Lorina is? Hmmm? Chances are that you don’t, at least not unless you are a Lizzy Borden fan or possibly a Jani Lane fan (former Warrant lead singer, RIP). Well, if you are reading this I’m telling you to check this record out and, indeed, go see Lizzy Borden live… don’t argue just do it. If you like rock (whatever flavor you care to call your own) there is no way you will regret either, but I’m definitely getting ahead of myself here…

Rewind to April, earlier this year when I noticed that Lizzy Borden were playing at The House Of Rock in White Marsh and, although I’d never paid much attention to them, off we went, in fact more because D.K Revelle was debuting his new band, The Beautifully Demolished (TBD) on the same bill than to see Lizzy, to be honest. As it turned out TBD had what I will call a very bad day in the office, but holy smoke, Lizzy Borden nearly blew my socks clean off – they were amazing! Not only were Lizzy Borden amazing as a whole, but the guitar playing of the skinny young dude on stage was mesmerizing. Here’s what I wrote in my review of the show: “Holy hell indeed, this young fellow can play the frets off his guitar. Holding back large gobs of jealously, this ‘kid’ is only 23 and I have to say he has to be one of the best ‘new generation’ guitarists I’ve seen in the past 10 years.” I stand by that statement, but the subject CD of this review here only cements my regard for this young man even more so. For my full live review of Lizzy see here > http://wp.me/p2hj3p-3n

A quick history lesson – Dario first came into the spotlight at the tender age of 16. Yes, you read that right, 16 years old, when he was recognized by the late, great Jani Lane (of Warrant fame). In 2009, Dario joined the ranks of Lizzy Borden, and has toured and played around the World, which is pretty damn cool for any 23 year old. I’m skipping a lot of other incidental but pretty interesting stuff here, so if you want the full story check out Dario’s website here > http://www.dariolorina.com/Home.html

After seeing Lizzy, I had book-marked Dario as someone to keep an eye on and as soon as I saw the announcement that Shrapnel Records had signed him for a solo record I immediately pre-ordered it. I had little expectation of anything other than a killer record. Read on… If you are a fan of shred-master type guitar-work then you will know that Shrapnel have a history of signing and recording some of the most famous guitarists to rip an arpeggio from a fret-board and include Marty Freidman, Jason Becker, Vinne Moore, Tony MacAlpine and many more; in fact this list reads like a good proportion of my record collection, ha!

Now, let’s be honest, a lot of solo guitar records impress on a technical level, but fail the ‘do I want to listen to this two weeks after first hearing it…’ test. In fact, I’d say most fail – of the exceptions to this I’d list Joe Satriani as the one that most readily comes to mind. There are probably others, but I’ve got to be in the right mood before all the widdly-widdly works for me. However, I have to say this record from Dario here, succeeds in the best way! The CD was released on September 10th and it hasn’t worn even one tiny bit thin at all. GREAT SUCCESS!

The record opens with a track called “Demon Run” and opens with a barrage of drums, from which the guitar leaps out of the speakers, and while of course technique and skill drip from every plectrum stoke, behind this we have songs. Yes, much more than just a blistering display guitar playing (which is here by the bucket-load if that’s what you want), Dario has a way of making his guitar speak to you, in much the same way a good vocalist conveys emotion beyond the raw words or basic tune, and from this you walk away with more than just the musical notes. I think this is where the Satriani connection comes into play, because I feel that is the same thing he achieves – the first time I heard Surfing With The Alien I wasn’t aware I was listening to a guitar record, it was just a ‘record’ and one that I came back to over and over, and Dario has achieved the same thing here.

I won’t run this review as a track-by-track workout, that I will leave as an exercise for the reader, but I cannot avoid mentioning what for me seemed like the riskiest inclusion, a cover of the classic ‘House Of The Rising Sun” (made famous by The Animals, but is really a traditional country song that dates back well into the 1800’s). The version here starts off simple enough, with a clean guitar opening, but around the 49 second mark Dario breaks into a solo that leads into a ripping version of the song. Now somewhere on YouTube I’ve seen Dario play this live and it is just stunning. The interpretation he has brought to a song that basically everyone will know, without turning it into a cheesy parody of itself is a sign of musical genius. Wonderful stuff.

Another favorite track of mine is the third track, “My Heroine” which rips it’s way out of the deceptively simple intro to become a hard rocking, riff monster of a song.  Now I’ve started picking favorites, I’m in trouble because track 9, “Alive” is another killer. Enough! I said I wouldn’t run a play-by-play review – the bottom line is this – there isn’t a duff track anywhere on the record. One other thing I will mention – the bass playing on the record is handled by Lizzy Borden band-mate, Marten Andersson, who is another stunningly good player – his bass playing here is faultless, and even more so live. Another great musician.

Dario Lorina with this record has, in my humble opinion, laid a very strong claim to the title “Guitar Hero of 2013” and will likely be right up there for the foreseeable future. Every time a track from this CD comes on my iTunes it grabs my ear and almost without fail I’ll click it out of shuffle mode and play the entire record start-to-finish and be glad it did. What more can you ask? Highly recommended – 9.5/10

Lizzy 020

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