Daniele Liverani’s Eleven Mysteries: A Guitar Force to be Reckoned With

By now most enthusiasts have heard of the “Desert Island Discs” survey, which asks for the names of several pieces of music that would accompany a listener if temporarily stranded on some remote atoll. The concept comes from the long running BBC radio show of the same name.

The majestic cover art of Liverani's Eleven Mysteries

Daniele Liverani Eleven Mysteries Album Cover Art

Imagine if an extra pick, a bonus track, so to speak, came after choosing the top ten favorite albums you’d bring if marooned. What would be your choice? Perhaps Dream Theater’s Awake, Government Mule’s Mighty High or maybe a Soulfly title would make the final cut.

Progressive metal heads, electric six-string axe slingers and other rapid-fire fret shredders should take note of musician Daniele Liverani’s current album Eleven Mysteries, which is a serious guitar force to be reckoned with. No doubt, it too could soon wind up on the “Desert Island Disc” wish list, if not already there.

We took Liverani’s 11 song CD out for a spin several times, first on a 160 watt premium car stereo and then on a smaller Denon bookshelf system. The results were surprising. The more we listened, the better the album sounded.

It’s quite clear this project is Liverani’s pride and joy. According to the CD liner notes, he plays guitar on all the tunes, is the producer, does the mixing and mastering and gets credited with the understated yet elegant blue, white and grey artwork. He seems like a true “Renaissance Man.”

Liverani, who hails from Italy, has three outstanding musicians helping him out on Eleven Mysteries, namely Marco Zago on keyboards, Paco Barilla on drums and Tony Dickinson on bass. Most of their work is instrumental with some industrialized, devilish sounding vocals intermingled throughout; at times, a bit like Mike Patton’s Fantômas.

Besides the Satrianish runs and in-your-face scale work, jumping out on the first track is the seamless production of “Mysterious Impulse.” Beyond that, the piece winds-up, takes aim and doesn’t stop until all the air is sucked out from the room. Keep an eye on your speakers when this one is on.

The second song, “Inspiration,” is somewhat funkier with Liverani’s skilled strumming giving way to expertly crafted picking. Some of the progressions and tones, when combined with Zago’s keyboard acrobatics, are reminiscent of early Genesis grandeur.

Next in line, “Nervous Forces,” has more of a balanced rock vibe with a bottom end that grinds along as Liverani’s guitar sails high above the mix. Three quarters of the way into the soundscape, Paco Barilla’s standout staccato drumming takes hold, àla Styx “Lady.”

“Supreme Gladness” is a ballad, with slightly bluesy trilling. “All Is Pure” cranks, yet still maintains quite a mainstream intuition, like it could have been a progressive late 70s FM radio hit.

Though Zago’s dexterity is obvious from the first note to the last on this collection, his best work here may be on “Giving.” His segment alone has the makings of a mega hit. Bassist Tony Dickinson’s proficiency is emphasized as well.

Track seven, “Humiliation,” evokes a sinister resonance, similar to Metallica’s “Master of Puppets.” If you enjoyed the assortment up to here, the last four selections continue in much the same way. Liverani’s guitar regularly comes off with a slightly higher pitch than say, Joe Satriani, frequently sounding like Yngwie Malmsteen from “Far beyond the Sun.”

On “Eleven Mysteries” Liverani moves up and down the neck with John Petrucci-like ease, similar to sections of Dream Theatre’s “The Dance of Eternity (Scene Seven)” yet somehow still suggests an affinity with Steven Hackett.

Move over Yngwie and step aside G3 because Daniele Liverani’s album “Eleven Mysteries” is here. Add it to the “Desert Island Disc” elite.

Eleven Mysteries is available on the Lion Music label, catalog number LMC 327.