Frank Caruso - Kaleidoscope Vol II

Frank Caruso Kaleidoscope Vol II cover
Frank Caruso
Kaleidoscope Vol II
Lion Music
2017
7
Average: 6 (4 votes)
It’s been about 10 years since the release of the solo debut album, entitled “Kaleidoscope”, by the Italian virtuoso Frank Caruso. In the meantime, he was involved with a couple of projects and he also cooperated with famed musicians like Mark Boals (Malmsteen), Mark Lepond (Symphony X) & John Macaluso (Malmsteen).
 
In 2016, Frank met the famous vocalist Rob Rock (Impellitteri, M.A.R.S., Axel Rudi Pell, etc.) and he suggested listening to a few tracks of his. That led to their collaboration on the track “Higher Ground”, where Rob wrote the lyrics too. “Higher Ground” became the single and the video for Frank’s second solo work and that’s quite reasonable. The track is very tasteful and reminded me a bit of the late 80s/early 90s hard & heavy tracks of Malmsteen, Impellitteri and Axel Rudi Pell in general.
 
“Higher Ground” is also the only track with vocals in the album. The other 11 tracks are instrumental. Frank’s playing and songwriting reminded me of Yngwie Malmsteen, Impellitteri, Axel Rudi Pell, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and such. The production is good (especially the guitar sound) on the whole, but I didn’t quite like the sound of drums; probably a drum machine. If so, I think it would have been much easier to get a real drummer, cuz the final outcome would have been way better.
 
Nonetheless, the album is very good and it has some really nice instrumental tracks like: “Pegasus”, “Back to Power”, “Trip to the Moon”, “Battle of Giants”, “The Best Things are Free” (original by Thunder Rising), “Progressive Age” and “Magic Mountain”. “Kaleidoscope Vol. II” is a rather good choice for those who fancy instrumental rock albums in general. Shall we wait for a full album with Rob Rock on vocals at some point?

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