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Michael Pinnella - Enter By the Twelfth Gate CD (album) cover


Michael Pinnella


Symphonic Prog

3.40 | 29 ratings

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3 stars Born in 1969 in the New Jersey area, being the youngest among seven kids, Michael Pinnella was destined to become a well-known figure of the Prog Metal scene.He is a founding member and the long-time keyboardist of Symphony X, in my opinion one of the best ever Prog Metal acts, although I am far removed from such listenings.But he also recorded a solo album in 2004 with an epic front cover and the even more epic title ''Enter by the twelfth gate'', released on Inside Out.Pinnella played all instruments and arranged the programming on his own forces, while he dedicated this work to his mother, who passed away the very same year.

Now, all the elements -considering the keyboard work- appearing in a Symphony X album are alive and kickin' in this effort, except that this is what it is: A keyboard-centered album, full of interludes, preludes, pyrotechnics and solos.So you should cut out any links to the mascular sound of his regular band and try to sink into a world of Neo-Classical, Fusion and Piano Rock arrangements, obviously inspired by Classical Music and somewhat close to the offerings by JORDAN RUDDESS.No question, Pinnella is a gifted musician, a unique talent indeed, who's impressive technique and sophisticated education shines through the album.Some very nice orchestrations with a decent programming, an acceptable work on bass and drum sounds and Pinnella's ability to deliver atmospheric, virtuosic and bombastic keyboard lines in parallel lines are the leading forces of the album, which obtains often a cinematic flavor.On the other hand these one-man efforts have some flaws you know before even hearing them.The programmed parts never reach the level of the natural sound plus some of the grandiose solos and excessive acrobatics do sound a little lifeless at the very end.But we are talking about Pinnella here and the bulk of the album is pretty entertaining, he even focuses quite often to classical arrangements than keyboard Prog, showing full respect to what influenced him at his very first steps.

Half keyboard-led Symph Prog, half Piano/Academic/Classical Music.Quite cinematic stuff overall with some very pompous executions.Recommended, especially to lovers of Classical Music and Symphonic Rock.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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