Luca Princiotta, longtime guitarist for DORO The Metal Queen has seen fit to grace us once again with solo group LUCA PRINCIOTTA BAND, and their new album Rough Blue (out now, Metalville Records). This record has killer rock riffs for days, as well as some blues-soaked rock numbers as well. It’s also a nice mix of instrumentals and songs with vocals, handled by Matteo Bertini. He’s got a really soulful voice and you can hear the emotion in his delivery, which is something we’ll definitely be addressing in a few minutes. But first let’s get into guitar-driven tunes “On Board” and “Shake the Cake.”
One thing about Princiotta is that when he’s given a platform like this where he can spread his wings, he immediately reminds me of what I love most about fellow guitarists JOE SATRIANI and ERIC JOHNSON: Shreds aplenty, and some of the most gorgeous and fluid solos I’ve heard in a long time. I’m serious, once you hear these songs you’ll be captivated as was I. The riffs on these two are sexy as Hell, also. Next up is Bertini’s first appearance with “What It Takes”. His voice takes the word “swagger”, crushes it like an old beer can, tosses it over its shoulder, then saunters into the room with complete ownership.
And now we come to my absolute favorite moment on the disc, “When Everything’s Right.” This is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve heard in 2018, and it is without a doubt in the running for Maestro’s Song of the Year. The way this thing ebbs and flows stopped me in my tracks, so much so I had to hit REPEAT three more times upon first hearing it. “The Guest” is a rollicking good time and band members Gian-Andrea Costa (bass) and Rocco Lombardi (drums) definitely get their moment in the sun with various grooves and tempo changes to go along with Princiotta’s blistering fretwork.
Another blues-soaked number comes along in “Nothing But This Song” which Bertini fucking owns from beginning to end. Title track “Rough Blue” might just be the heaviest tune on the whole thing, and the band really hits the mark hard. The main melody guitar solos are on fire! “Good Life Ahead” struts like a runway model and once again, the guitar work is out of this world. “Ain’t No Love” is a straight-ahead rocker, and the kickass riffs combined with Bertini’s voice make for yet another winner. And oh man, listen to Luca’s fluid solo once again.
Closing the disc is “We Need Time”, a slower track that evokes so much heart and soul that you can’t help but get caught up in it. The guitars are absolutely flawless, and the song flows perfectly. All in all LUCA PRINCIOTTA BAND have delivered a goddamn fucking awesome record with Rough Blue. There isn’t a single bad song to be found, and I can only hope that we get many more albums from this line-up. Because I guarantee people will be queuing up in droves for them once they get a taste of this.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM