Fabri Kiareli's F.E.A.S.T. (2010/Avenue of Allies)
F.E.A.S.T. (don't ask me what it stands for) is the brain child of Italian singer and guitarist Fabri Kiareli. A talented chap, obviously - playing, producing and singing most of this debut-CD himself, with the only other major contributing musician being Mao Granata, also a member of Kiareli's other band, Mr. No.
With names like Dokken, Ratt, and Whitesnake being dropped as reference points all over his official bio and My Space page, I was expecting a real 80's hard rock feast, but in the end, I came home disappointed. The cover is already a disaster, and directly off-putting, picturing a tattooed man holding a naked baby. I think off all things there is, the naked bottom of a baby is probably one of the last things I want to see on a record cover. And the music ain't much better, to be honest.
"Rise" is a long, drawn-out journey into the land of mediocrity that never seems to want to end, with bland melodies, heavily accented vocals and weak choruses being common stops along the way. Musically it's a bit all over the place, with styles ranging from hard rock and sleaze to AOR-type ballads and heavy (melodic) metal. The voice of Mr. Kiareli is also not the strongest (mildly put), which not exactly makes things better.
If you approach this disc expecting it to be anything like the acts mentioned above, you will be disappointed. It's generally a heavier affair, although with some 80's influences popping up here and there. To mention anything positive, I guess "Fire And Dynamite" has a decent hook, and definitely the best chorus on the disc. The driving, riff-heavy melodic metal of "Follow the Way" is also a nice listen. But again - the vocals are an acquired taste, and generally there's just nothing that makes me want to put on this album again. File under "bad".
Bob Wheeler - s/t
Fury - s/t