ALEX MASI "Vertical Invader"

European Import : LMC2206

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Alex Masi (guitar, bass & keyboard)
John McCaluso (drums)
DAve Sumner (bass)
Produced by : Alex Masi
Engineered by : Jeffers Dodge
Mixed by : Jeffers Dodge
Mastered by : tbd

Born and raised in Venice Italy, Alex Masi grew up surrounded by art. His father a successful painter and art historian inspired him from the very beginning to follow a creative path and the beauty of the city of Venice itself provided a splendid background during his formative years. Bach, Mozart and Beethoven were among Alex's early inspirations in wanting to become a musician and at the age of eight he started studying piano but around the same time his little sister's baby-sitter introduced him to what was going on in pop music and rock more specifically. Immediately Alex felt a connection between the better elements in rock and classical music and he went on discovering bands such as Yes, Genesis, Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant, EL&P etc who made him feel that the only limitations in music are given by one's own imagination. When in the late seventies/early eighties the whole disco/punk fiasco seemed to put a wet cold blanket over the future of rock Alex decided to get more involved with instrumental music especially after hearing Allan Holdsworth and Robert Fripp so he formed the band Ruins. Ruins played around local schools and colleges but the very intricate (for the times) pieces they were playing were not easily accepted by the teenage audiences so after graduating at the Verona Conservatory of Music Alex told his family he wanted to move to London to try to find a band and an audience for his music. With the NWOBHM in full swing London turned out to be a very inspiring place (besides the beauty of the city itself) and after a brief stint in a local West End band Alex decided to go back to Venice and start his own band, in 1984 Dark Lord was born. Dark Lord recorded two EP's and toured Europe with Saxon, Motorhead, Gary Moore etc. The Heavy Metal press and the fans loved Dark Lord but as the focus gradually shifted towards the West Coast of the United States and the taste of the public seemed to favor lighter and glammier styles of Metal, Dark Lord started growing frustrated about what the future had in store for them. After noticing the rise of interest in metal instrumental guitar records and the relative success achieved by Yngwie Malmsteen in America, Alex started sending guitar demos around the world and one of them caught the interest of an engineer in a Hollywood recording studio. In 1987 Alex landed in Los Angeles to record for Metal Blade Records and after a few months the first album (Fire in the Rain) was released with praise from the critics, lots of airplay on the new KNAC LA radio and massive
response from the public. "Downtown Dreamers" the second album, with the single and consequent video for "God Promised a Paradise" on rotation on MTV and an extensive tour, placed Alex on the forefront of the up and coming metal acts. After a solid year of touring with bands such as Slayer, BOC, Triumph, Hurricane, Joe Satriani etc Alex decided to take a break from the band and recorded his first solo record "Attack of the Neon Shark" which featured various special guests including Allan Holdsworth, Alex's longtime hero. "...Neon Shark" received a Grammy nomination in 1989 for Best Rock Instrumental so Alex went on to record another solo CD "Vertical Invader" this time with only the aid of a drummer (John Macaluso, ex TNT now Malmsteen). As the early nineties turned out to be a nightmare for most acts active in the eighties Alex took a break from the Metal scene to concentrate on deepening his studies in music focusing on various aspects of ethnic, jazz, and classical (especially baroque) music. Nevertheless Alex released two band albums in Europe and Japan in 1985 and 1987 (respectively "Tales from the North" and "The Watcher") but the minuscule budgets and time constraints didn't allow for a proper production therefore they're not among Alex's favorites. Having installed a digital studio in his home Alex now is control of all the creative and recording process and the first project to come out of this new stimulating situation is "In the Name of Bach," a compilation of keyboard and/or violin pieces written by J.S.Bach that Alex transcribed and performed on various solo guitars. Alex believes that J.S.Bach's music is the most "perfectly" music ever written and he always wanted to record some of those pieces that sparkled his interest in music during his childhood. Executed with a modern rock approach (even when played on an acoustic guitar) each piece displays the intricacies, the virtuosity and the influence it had and still has over all of western music. "Eternal Struggle" is his latest..

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