Genius Rock Opera latest reviews on magazines:

 

3-March-2003 Genius Ep.1 review on Dutch Dream Theater mag 'Theater of Dreams' 

 

 

The dutch Dream Theater magazine 'Theater of dreams'  has published a review of Genius Episode 1! 

 

Click here to see the review: 

Review on dutch magazine 'Theater Of Dreams'

 

3-March-2003 Genius Ep.1 advertisement on brazilian magazine 'Roadie Crew' 

 

 

The brazilian magazine 'Roadie Crew'  has published a nice advertisement for Genius Episode 1! 

 

Click here to see the advertisement: 

Advertisement on brazilian magazine Roadie Crew

 

3-Feb-2003 Genius Ep.1 review on greek magazine 'Snakebite'' 

 

 

The greek magazine 'Snakebite'  has published an extended  review of Genius Episode 1! 

 

 

Click here to read the review: 

Review on greek magazine Snakebite

 

-Feb-2003 Genius Ep.1 review on brazillian magazine 'Rock Brigade'' 

 

 

 

The brazillian magazine 'rock brigade'  issue of december 2002 has published a review of Genius Episode 1! 

 

25-Jan-2003 Genius Ep.1 review on Italian Dream Theater fanzine 'Metropolzine'' 

 

 

The italian 'Metropolzine'  issue of december 2002 has published a review of Genius Episode 1! 

 

Click here to read the review: 

Review on italian DreamTheater fanzine Metropolzine

 

 

10-Jan-2003 Genius Ep.1 review on French fanazine 'Koid9' 

 

 

The freench fanzine 'Koid9'  issue of january 2003 has published an extended review about Genius Episode 1! 

 

Click here to read the review: Review on french fanzine Koid9

 

 

10-Jan-2003 Genius Ep.1 review on Czech magazine'Spark' 

 

 

The Czech magazine 'Spark'  issue of December 2002 has published an extended review about Genius Episode 1! 

The review vote is 5/6!

 

Click here to read the review: Review on magazine Spark

 

 

29-Dec-2002 Genius Ep.1 review on french POS fanzine 'Inside The Pain' 

 

 

The french Pain of salvation fanzine 'Inside the pain'  issue of December 2002 has published an extended review-article about Genius Episode 1! 

 

Click here to read the review: Review on fanzine Inside the pain

 

 

9-Dec-2002 Genius Ep.1 article on german magazine 'Metal Hammer' 

 

 

The german magazine 'Metal Hammer' issue of December 2002 has published an article about Genius Episode 1! 

 

Click here to read the article: Article on german Metal Hammer!

 

 

25-Nov-2002 Genius Ep.1 review on swedish magazine 'Sweden  Rock' 

 

 

The swedish rock magazine 'Sweden Rock' issue of December 2002 has published a review of Genius Episode 1 and  an exclusive interview with  Daniele Liverani! 

The review vote is 9/10!

 

Click Here to read the review: Review on swedish Sweden Rock!

 

 

25-Nov-2002 Genius Ep.1 review on Japanese magazine 'Euro Rock Press' 

 

 

The Japanese progressive rock magazine 'Euro Rock Press' issue n. 15 has published a nice advertisement of Genius Episode 1!

 

Click here to see the picture: Advertisement on Euro-Rock Press!

 

 

17-Nov-2002 Genius Ep.1 review on german magazine 'Metal Hammer'

The german magazine 'Metal Hammer' issue of November 2002  has published a review of Genius Episode ep.1!

The review vote is 5!

 

The magazine also featured the song 'There's a human' into the compilation cd called 'Off Road Tracks' included the issue!

 

Click Here to read the review: Review on german Metal Hammer!

Click Here to see the sample cd cover: Front cover  Back cover

 

16-Nov-2002 Genius Ep.1 review on Italian magazine 'Metal Hammer'

 

The Italian magazine 'Metal Hammer' issue of November 2002  has

published a review of Genius Episode ep.1!

The review vote is 5/6

 

Click Here to read the review: Review on italian Metal Hammer!

 

10-Nov-2002 Genius Ep.1 review on French magazine 'Rock Hard' 

The French magazine 'Rock Hard' issue of October 2002  has

published a review of Genius Episode ep.1!

The review vote is 8/10

 

The magazine also featured the song 'There's a human' into the compilation cd called 'Le sampler-Rom' included the issue!

 

Click Here to read the review: Review on french Rock Hard!

Click Here to see the sample cd cover: Front cover  Back cover

 

 

10-Nov-2002 Genius Ep.1 review on French magazine 'Hard Rock'

 

The French magazine 'Hard Rock' issue of October 2002  has

published a review of Genius Episode ep.1!

The review vote is 13.5/20

 

Click Here to read the review: Review on french Hard Rock!

 

6-Nov-2002 Genius Ep.1 review on Japanese magazine 'Burnn!' 

 

The japanese magazine 'Burrn' issue of December 2002  has

published a review of Genius Episode ep.1 and a 3 pages interview with Daniele  Liverani!

The review vote is 81/100!

 

Click Here to read the review:  Review on Burrn!

 

6-Nov-2002 Genius Ep.1 reviews on Italian magazine 'Rock Hard'

The Italian magazine 'Rock Hard' issue of October 2002  has

published 4 reviews of Genius Episode 1 and a 3 pages interview with Daniele  Liverani!

The magazine also featured the song 'There's a human' into the compilation cd called 'Loud Sounds' included the issue!

 

The review votes are 10/10, 8/10, 8.5/10,7.5/10

 

Click Here to read the reviews: Reviews on italian Rock Hard!

Click Here to see the sample cd cover: Front cover  Back cover

 

20-Sep-2002 Genius Ep.1 review on German magazine 'Rock it!'

The german magazine 'Rock it!' n.12 of October 2002 has published a review of Genius Episode 1.

The review vote is 5/6!

Genius has been classified at position 15 in the latest 58 releases press chart of the month!

 The magazine offers a sampler cd called 'Hear it!' with song 'There's a Human' as track n.1!

 

Click Here to read the review:  Review on Rock it!

Click Here to see the sample cd cover: Front cover  Back cover

 

 

Genius Rock Opera latest reviews on the web:

 

Genius Ep.1 review on http://www.wallsoffire.de 28.4.2003

Als ich den Info-Flyer der Plattenfirma las, bin ich beinahe vom Stuhl geflogen: Eine Rock Oper in drei Teilen... Rock Opern: Da fielen mir sofort die Superlative Ayreon, Virgin Steele und aktuell natürlich Avantasia ein. Da hat sich der Mastermind Daniele Liverani (Empty Tremor, Khymera) einerseits ziemlich viel vorgenommen. Die Liste der Mitwirkenden liest sich wie das Who ist Who des Metal. Z. B. Mark Boals singt den Genius, die Titelfigur der CD. Und da habe ich schon das erste Problem, denn der Herr, so gut seine Stimme auch sein mag, aber er kann die Rolle überhaupt nicht ausfüllen. Er versucht wie ein Opernsänger (Heldentenor) zu singen und schon im ersten Track„Without Me Today“ geht er mir damit ziemlich auf die Nüsse. Diese getragenen Gesangpassagen liegen ihn überhaupt nicht, er verfällt in einen nasalen Gesang, besonders in den hohen Tonlagen. Nichts gegen ihn als Sänger, bei Malmsteen hat er einen guten Job hingelegt, aber die Gesangspassagen, die ihm auferlegt worden, damit tat man ihm keinen Gefallen. Philip Bynoe (Steve Vai, Ring Of Fire) als The Storyteller mit seiner dunkeln Stimme ist als der die Story erzählende dagegen ideal besetzt. „
The Right Place“ beweist leider wieder, das Metalsänger(innen) nicht unbedingt für die Oper geeignet sind, geschweige denn fürs Musical. Ich habe eindeutig das Gefühl, dass hier Sänger ohne Rücksicht auf ihre stimmlichen Fähigkeiten und Anlagen gezwungen wurden, ihre Gesangspassagen zu singen, anstatt die Gesangspassagen auf die einzelnen Stimmen zuzuschneiden. Wie man das macht, hat das Project Ayreon bewiesen: Into the Electric Castle – A Space Opera ist dafür ein ideales Beispiel. Zudem leidet „The Right Place“ an bösen Übersteuerungen. Hier hat man beim Mix wohl nicht aufgepasst. Im weiteren
Verlauf der CD verliert sich das mit dem Gesang, sofern Herr Boals nicht singt. Sorry Mate, aber meiner Meinung nach der falsche Sänger... „Paradox“ ist eine verschachtelte Rock Nummer, die sehr sperrig rüberkommt und damit dem Titel auch gerecht zu werden versucht. Aber, wie auch in anderen Songs: es wird nicht auf den Punkt gekommen. Viele Instrumentalparts ziehen sich schier endloshin, ohne die Story voranzubringen. Für eine Rockoper ist das nicht optimal. „The Glory Of Our Land“ rockt nett vor sich hin, aber es fehlt das fesselnde an der Story. Inzwischen sind bald 30 Minuten vergangen und ich muss ehrlich sagen, dass sich eine gewisse Müdigkeit breit macht. „All Of Your Acts“ ist eine Pop-Nummer aus dem Fundus der mittelmäßigen 80igern. Bei „Dreams“, „My Pride“ und „
There's A Human“ handelt es sich um Rocker im typischen Italo-Metal-Stil. Die 80iger Jahre lassen grüßen (was eigentlich für die ganze CD gilt...) „Father“ ist wieder eine gruselige Pop-Nummer, bevor mit „Terminate“ ein echter Hammer auf der CD kommt, was sicher auch an der Performance von Midnight liegt. „I'm Afraid“ ist dann das Ende des ersten Actes und ich bin auch afraid: Weil noch zwei Teile kommen. Fazit: Instrumental gut umgesetzt, Stimmlich teilweise eher in die Hose gegangen, dem Werk fehlt es an spannungsgebenden Momenten, die ich trotz mehrmaligen Hören nicht gefunden habe, teilweise schippert der Kahn in flachen Gewässern. Unterm Strich leider kein Meisterwerk, aber auch kein absoluter Schrott, eher guter Durchschnitt. Letzten Endes hilft nur, sich ein eigenes Urteil zu bilden.
Autor: [Darklord] 

Genius Ep.1 review on http://www.seaoftranquility.org 20.4.2003

The latest entry into the progressive metal "rock opera" sweepstakes is this new project from 
Empty Tremor keyboard player Daniele Liverani. This is to be the first of a three part trilogy
that Liverani is creating, and he has assembled a fine cast of vocalists to tell his story of
a complex dream he once had. What's also impressive is that Liverani also plays all the guitars
and bass on the album-he really is a shredder of the highest degree, and considering how good he is on the keyboards, this project really shows his many talents. 
The main character Genius is played by Mark Boals, the former Yngwie Malmsteen and current Ring of Fire powerhouse. Boals has really found his niche these last few years in the prog metal genre, and has been in high demand to star in many similar projects. "Without Me Today" shows the singer in fine form, backed by melodic and symphonic arrangements, while "The Right Place" he engages in a lovely duet with Lana Lane. On the raging "Paradox", Pain of Salvation's Daniel Gildenlow joins the fray, and he and Boals go back and forth in a very similar manner to Ian Gillan and Murray Head from the Jesus Christ Superstar album (an influence perhaps on this project.) What's great is how Liverani found the perfect singer for each section here, and the music of that section usually fits the style of each vocalist's band. Case in point, "The Glory of Our Land" is a more doomy, thrashy piece, complemented by the gruff vocals of Grave Digger's Chris Boltendahl, and "All Your Accts" is a poppy symphonic affair fronted by Mecca's Joe Vana. 
Other highlights include the muscular prog of "My Pride", featuring strong vocals from Kansas' 
Steve Walsh as well as John Wetton, and the return of former Crimson Glory singer Midnight on "Terminate." Kudos to Liverani and drummer Dario Ciccioni for laying down some excellent accompaniment to this "rock opera." The music is always complex and tight, somewhat in the style of Ayreon, Dream Theater, Symphony X or Rhapsody. The lyrics are a real hoot to follow along with, and I'll be looking forward to continuing along with the story on the sequel. 
Reviewer: Pete Pardo

Genius Ep.1 review on http://territorio.terra.com.br/canais/rockonline 20.4.2003

"Genius - A Rock Opera" traz 11 faixas que contam a história de um jovem chamado Genius que entra no mundo dos sonhos e vive uma aventura. Com o subtítulo "A Human into Dream's World", este CD é o 1º episódio de uma trilogia. As outras duas partes deverão ser lançadas nos próximos dois anos.
Genius é interpretado pela potente voz de Mark Boals, que já cantou na banda do Malmsteen e ainda no
Ring of Fire. Os outros personagens da história interagem com Genius durante sua jornada por um mundo mágico. Vocalistas de peso aparecem na obra, como Lana Lane, que interpreta "The Doorkeeper", a guardiã;
Steve Walsh, do Kansas, que faz um rei maluco; Chris Boltendahl do Grave Digger; Daniel Gildenlow do Pain Of Salvation e John Wetton do Uriah Heep, entre outros.
As músicas, letras e arrajos foram todos criados pelo italiano Daniele Liverani, conhecido por integrar as bandas Empty Tremor e Khymera. Daniele gravou todas as guitarras, baixo e teclados de "Genius". A bateria ficou a cargo do também italiano Dario Ciccioni, do Khymera.
A sonoridade de "Genius" é bastante variada, embora seja basicamente melódica. Elementos do metal progressivo e tradicional também são referências fortes neste álbum. Passagens instrumentais, solos e riffs competentes caracterizam cada personagem, criando um clima específico para cada um.
Há também um narrador, Phillip Bynoe, inserido entre uma faixa e outra, fazendo uma ponte entre as canções, costurando a história de "Genius". Se por um lado o narrador quebra a continuidade musical do CD, por outro ele permite que o ouvinte acompanhe a história e não perca o "fio da meada".
Para quem não conhece, Phillip Bynoe é o baixista que acompanhou a turnê do G3 e a turnê do álbum "Ultra Zone" do Steve Vai.
Os destaques de "Geniuis" são "Without me today", a longa faixa que abre o álbum; "All of your Acts", um rock progressivo muito bem trabalhado e a pesada "There's a Human". Maiores informações sobre a história de "Geniuis" podem ser obtidas no site oficial do projeto: 

www.geniusrockopera.com

Por Lizandra Pronin 

Genius Ep.1 review on http://www.metal-inside.de 20.4.2003

Obwohl Masse ja wahrlich nicht immer gleichzeitig auch Klasse bedeutet, kann man sich in vorliegendem Fall darüber freuen, dass GENIUS... nicht schon nach ’ner guten halben Stunde rum ist. Zugegeben, im direkten Vergleich zu „der“ anderen Metal-Oper (natürlich „Avantasia“) benötigt vorliegender Silberling zwar ein paar Durchläufe mehr, um zu zünden. Dann jedoch macht die CD zumeist richtig Spaß und will so schnell nicht wieder aus Kopf und Player verschwinden. Mastermind Daniele Liverani, dessen Arbeit mir 
bereits bei Empty Tremor gut gefiel, hat hier eine respektable Anzahl international wirklich renomierter Künstler um sich geschart, um mit diesem und den in Folge erscheinenden zwei Fortsetzungen Anhänger verschiedener Genres unserer lieb gewonnenen Stromgitarrenmusik zu erfreuen. Genau hierin kann man nun den Hauptkritikpunkt aber gleichzeitig auch die Stärke sehen: Sowohl Hardrock-Fans (das wirklich superbe „All Of Your Acts“ sei hier als Anspieltipp genannt) als auch Power Metaller („Paradox“) oder sogar Prog-Anhänger werden hier gleichzeitig bedient, was nicht immer nach kompositorischen Höchstnoten schreit,
aber für Abwechslung und Atmosphäre sorgt. GENIUS... ist nichts für Scheuklappenträger – überzeugt es doch im Wesentlichen durch starke und sich stilistisch wie gesagt stark unterscheidende Auftritte von u.a.
Lana Lane, Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger), Oliver Hartmann (At Vance), Mark Boals (Malmsteen), Daniel Gildenlow (Pain Of Salvation), Steve Walsh (Kansas), John Wetton (Asia) und Midnight (Chrimson Glory), der in den vielen Jahren nichts von seiner Faszination eingebüßt hat. (heavy) Kommentare neuer Kommentar

Keine Einträge 

Genius Ep.1 review on http://www.mariscalbisteces.com  20.4.2003

Ratas inmundas, este album es para los amantes del progresivo de los años 70 y el heavy metal de fin de siglo. Genius es una maravilla de proyecto, por donde uno lo quiera ver. Junten lo mejor de Avantasia en lo referente al metal, y lo mejor de Ayreon en lo progresivo, para que comiencen a darse idea de lo que pueden escuchar en este CD. Daniele Liverani es un guitarrista italiano que en lugar de sacar pinche mil discos a lo pendejo, se tomó su tiempo para crear esta obra de arte (porque de esto se trata). Además, juntó a un grupo de vocalistas que hará que se le caigan los calzones a cualquiera: Lana Lane, Mark Boals, John Wetton, Steve Walsh, Oliver Hartmann, Joe Vana, Chris Boltehdahl, Daniel Gildenlow, Midnight, y pa cerrar con broche de oro, Philip Bynoe, como el narrador de la historia (ni parece que sea él). Ahora bien, si estos nombres se les hacen desconocidos, ¿les suena Asia, Kansas, At Vance, Steve Vai, Ring of Fire, Yngwie Malmsteen, Grave Digger y Pain of Salvation? Si no, no merecen darle este gusto a sus castos y "puros" oídos.
La historia no se las voy a contar (es un album conceptual, ¿qué esperaban?) pero les puedo decir que es compra INDISPENSABLE para cualquiera que se sienta de medio conocedor pa' rriba. Skatos y punchis punchis, absténganse. No hay solos de trombón ni DJ´s dándole duro a los "scratchs" Lo bueno: es la primera parte de una trilogía
Lo malo: De antemano, se sabe que ver en vivo a este tipo de Dream Teams es prácticamente imposible. 
Pero a ver si el Liverani se anima a dar unos conciertillos por acá... no cualquiera humilla a los gabachos en los States.
De venta en el Chopo, las tiendas Hard, Necrosis Metal Store y en la página de The Art Records.
Tracks recomendables: Después de lo que acaban de leer, se darán cuenta que todo el disco está de peluches. Sin duda, el mejor disco de The Art Records

 

Genius Ep.1 review on http://www.metal-rules.com  20.4.2003

Daniel Liverani - Genius: A Rock Opera, Part 1
GENIUS: A ROCK OPERA is an extremely ambitious progressive metal undertaking from Daniel Liverani, a relative unknown in the metal universe. By way of introduction, Liverani is a classically trained music virtuoso of sorts, having started his musical training at the tender age of 6. At the age of 17 he taught himself to play guitar and then began self-producing his own demos. My impression from reading a little bit about him is that he is a musician=s musician, well-respected among his peers, though he is likely an unfamiliar name to most metal fans. 
GENIUS is the first chapter in a trilogy that tells the story of a boy named Genius. Genius is a drummer, and as the alarm clock in his bedroom goes off one morning he begins to imagine the rhythm of the chime as a rhythm he is playing on his snare drum. Apparently, this rhythmic pattern is the magic code that admits one into dreamland and Genius enters a place where no human being has ever been. The story is rather detailed, but I can summarize the concept up by saying that in dreamland our dreams are being controlled by Twin Spirits. The part of Genius is played by Mark Boals, best known for his spot as the singer on several Yngwie Malmsteen albums over the years. There are 10 characters in all and each is voiced by a different vocalist. The cast is quite impressive, as it features greats like Daniel Gildenlow (Pain of Salvation), Chris Bohltendahl (Grave Digger), Steve Walsh (Kansas), Lana Lane, Oliver Hartmann (At Vance) and Midnight (Crimson Glory).
So how does the album stand up overall? Well, it=s a valiant effort to do something really ground-breaking, but it comes off a little flat. As mentioned earlier, the story is rather detailed. The entire dream experience that Genius has is supposed to last 10 minutes, but the story will take three albums to tell?
The album begins with the voice of the Storyteller, who speaks the interludes that tie each song together.
He begins with the line, "Since the beginning of their existence humans have never wondered how nor why their dreams have been taking place in their minds" Oh really? I thought man had been struggling to understand dreams since Adam, but that's just me. As for the music, it's catchy but forgettable for the most part. As with much of prog metal these days, the music swings from melodic hard rock to light metal and all points in between. The guitar work is good, but not as heavy as I would have preferred. 
There are three standout tracks and they carry the album. The opening song, "Without Me Today" is sung entirely by Boals and starts things off well. The other two standout tracks are "Paradox", voiced by Boals and Gildenlow, and "My Pride", which is handled primarily by Walsh and John Wetton. 
The bottom line is this: while it is a relatively enjoyable listening experience, GENIUS falls a little short of the mark. Since the project is intended to be a trilogy, here's hoping that things improve on the remaining two discs. Methinks those who enjoy progressive music, and especially complex concept albums, will enjoy this one more than the average metal fan will. 
Rating: 3.0/5 | Reviewer: Crashtest 

Genius Ep.1 review on http://www.dark-tales.de  20.4.2003

Die Rock-Oper “Genius” von Daniele Liverani (Keyboarder der italienischen Prog-Metaller EMPTY TREMOR)  besteht eigentlich aus drei Teilen: Dem mir vorliegenden ersten Teil mit dem Untertitel “A Human Into Dreams World” sowie noch zwei weiteren Episoden, die in den kommenden zwei Jahren veröffentlicht werden sollen! Musik und Texte wurden komplett im Alleingang von Daniele geschrieben, arrangiert und produziert.
Als Krönung des Ganzen hat der vielseitige Italiener für sein Projekt mit Mark Boals (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, RING OF FIRE), Lana Lane (LANA LANE), Daniel Gildenlow (PAIN OF SALVATION), Joe Vana (MECCA), John Wetton (ASIA), Steve Walsh (KANSAS), Chris Boltendahl (GRAVE DIGGER), Oliver Hartmann (AT VANCE) und Midnight (ex- CRIMSON GLORY) eine erlesene Schar von Sangeskünstlern für sich gewinnen können. Die ein- zelnen Tracks werden bei “Genius” durch den Storyteller - gesprochen von Philip Bynoe (STEVE VAI), miteinander verknüpft. Dass Daniele Liverani aus der Progressiv-Ecke kommt, merkt man schon dem ersten Song “Without Me Today” deutlich an. Irrwitzige Gitarren-/Keyboard-Läufe und vertracktes Drumming sind, im Gegensatz zu zum Beispiel Tobias Sammets Rock-Oper “Avanta- sia”, auch bei einigen der anderen Stücke feste Bestandteile. Erster Höhepunkt dieses Albums ist für mich allerdings der Song “The Glory Of Our Land”, gesungen von Chris Boltendahl, der mit seiner unverwechselbaren DIGGER-Stimme dem Track seinen Stempel aufdrückt! Die nächsten Knaller auf dieser CD sind die Tracks “There´s A Human” (super gesungen von Oliver Hartmann), und “Terminate”, das durch die unglaublich eigenwillige Interpretation von Sanges-Gott Midnight mein absolutes Highlight ist. Zu guter Letzt bildet “I´m Afraid” einen würdigen Abschluss, bei dem sich Mark Boals, Daniel Gildenlow, Midnight und John Wetton einen Sanges-Wettstreit sonder- gleichen stellen. 
Dem gegenüber stehen allerdings auch Songs wie “All Of Your Acts”, gesungen von Joe Vanna, oder “My Pride”, dargeboten von Steve Walsh/John Wetton, die in meinen Ohren nicht zünden und zu wenig Emotionen wecken. 
Bleibt festzustellen, dass der Longplayer insge- samt gesehen wirklich gelungen und spieltechnisch in der ersten Liga anzusiedeln ist, wobei Da- niele Liverani Gitarren, Bass und Keyboard-Parts selbst eingespiel that. Da bekommt man schon Lust auf die beiden kommenden Alben! Note: 2 (Torsten - 10/2002) 

Genius Ep.1 review on http://www.classicrockrevisited.com  20.4.2003

ou will not find Andrew Lloyd Weber's name on this rock opera but the cast is loaded with talent. 
Genius is a trilogy written and produced by Daniele Liverani and in this first episode 'A Human Into Dreams World' a teenage drummer Genius played by Mark Boals accidentally journeys into a dimension where he discovers the secrets of human dreams. The drama opens with Genius' storyteller Philip Bynoe. 
Thereafter experience the adventure of Genius in a heavy metal parallel dimension filled with problems and paradoxes. Mark Boals is joined by castmembers Lana Lane, Daniel Gildenlow, Chris Boltendahl, Joe Vana, John Wetton, Steve Walsh and Oliver Hartmann. This rock opera cooks and delivers the intended heavy metal edge.

Rating: 3.5
By: Ron Bozich

Genius Ep.1 review on http://cuantoyporquetanto.com/ 10.4.2003

Existe, en los últimos tiempos, una tendencia dentro del hard rock a crear obras monumentales. No es algo nuevo pero parece que se quiere recuperar el espíritu de bandas de progresivo como Yes o ELP. El 
principal problema de los discos conceptuales es que la idea puede ser tan surrealista que acaba siendo un completo desastre. Los grupos anteriormente nombrados lo vivieron en sus propias carnes. 
No obstante, hay que señalar que los proyectos actuales han corregido gran parte de los errores. 
Serán buenos o malos, pero nunca insufribles y ridículos. 
Genius: A Rock Opera parte de la ambición de un músico italiano, Daniele Liberani, que conduce todo el álbum hacia los derroteros del hard rock progresivo con la ayuda de un elenco destacado de cantantes. 
El objetivo es que cada uno de ellos cumpla un determinado papel para dar un aire operístico al tema. 
No es que siempre sea un ejercicio muy sano comparar pero es evidente que el concepto a desarrollar es similar al de Ayreon o Nikolo Kotzev´s Nostradamus y, en mi opinión, sale perdiendo con ambos. No digo que Genius esté mal, simplemente que no me acaba de llenar. Hay cosas positivas como la reaparición del ilustre Midnight (ex Crimson Glory) o la aportación vocal de la brillante Lana Lane, pero no hay nada que te haga involucrarte al completo en la escucha. 
Recomendaría que los amantes de los últimos grupos citados (Ayreon, Nikolo Kotzev) probaran con Genius porque puede que tengan una opinión distinta a la mía. A los que os gusten las cosas directas, ni os acerquéis. 

Marco-Antonio Romero 

Genius Ep.1 review on http://www.the-metals-den.com 10.4.2003

It seems that the rock / metal operas are becoming more and more popular and we have confirmation with this most recent one that was written and composed by Daniele Liverani (Empty Tremor, Khymera). 
Faithful to the kind, there’s a quit interesting set of guests like Mark Boals (Ring of Fire, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen), Lana Lane, Daniel Gildenlow (Pain of Salvation), Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger), Joe Vana (Mecca), John Wetton (Asia, Uriah Heep), Steve Walsh (Kansas), Philip Bynoe (Steve Vai, Ring of Fire), Oliver Hartmann (At Vance) and also Midnight’s great comeback (ex-Crimson Glory). 
This album is in fact the first episode, entitled « A Human Into Dreams », of a trilogy that revolves around the universe of dreams, how they occur and the secrets surrounding this parallel universe. 
Daniele did not limit himself to a single musical crenel preferring to diversify the styles depending on the guests and always to the service of the compos. And so on « Without me Today » we’re going through classic rock while slipping subtly towards prog rock and melodic speed metal. All of this seems like a huge weight on you? Don’t you worry, the whole is easy to listen to without grabbing your head in complicated arrangements.
Let’s note Mark Boals’ great vocal performances on the majority of the songs and most notably on « Dreams » where he’s particularly in his element, Midnight on « Terminate » which brings him back into a more metal environment and Chris Boltendahl on « The Glory of our Land » in the same perspective. 
There’s a duet with two big names of the ‘70s – ‘80s prog rock scene: Steve Walsh and John Wetton on the title « My Pride » bringing a certain dose of nostalgia to this somewhat futuristic rock opera. 
GENIUS is an album containing music just as interesting as its concept and it will be thrilling 
to see where this journey will lead us on the next two episodes.
Rick

Genius Ep.1 review on http://www.granaheavy.com 10.4.2003

GENIUS "EPISODE 1: A HUMAN INTO A DREAM´S WORLD" Frontiers

Estamos ante el debut en solitario de Daniele Liberani, un joven músico italiano, conocido por su labor como teclista en la banda transalpina, Empty Tremor, una formación de Metal Progresivo, al más puro estilo Dream Theater, con muchísimo talento y cuyo último trabajo, "Eros and Thanatos", conmocionó, por su extrema calidad, al panorama progresivo internacional. Pero bueno, no estoy aquí para hablar de Empty Tremor, sino de esta Ópera Rock, englobada bajo el nombre de "Genius", que ha concebido el prodigioso músico italiano.

Con "Genius", Liberani alcanza la madurez definitiva como músico, ofreciéndonos un trabajo muy completo y que empezó a engendrar, según sus propias palabras, allá por el año 1999. Con esta obra conceptual, Liberani continúa, en general, las mismas líneas musicales de su banda madre; es decir, Metal sinfónico progresivo, con multitud de alardes técnicos, pero, quizás, con un punto más de lirismo.

En esta obra, Daniele se encarga, además del teclado, de las guitarras y del bajo, demostrando sus dotes de prodigio, además de sus imponentes labores como compositor. En cuanto a la batería, se encarga de la misma, Dario Ciccioni, el cual realiza otra buena labor. Continuando dentro de la parcela instrumental, me sorprende que no haya colaborado ninguno de los miembros de Empty Tremor, sobre todo, su batería Stefano Ruzzi, un auténtico coloso de los tambores, que a pesar de su corta edad, ha captado, incluso, la atención del mismísimo Mike Portnoy.
Llega el momento de las labores vocales, las cuales corren a cargo de una legión excelente de músicos. 
De este modo, no encontramos con Mark Boals (ex - Malmsteen, Ring of fire,...) en el papel protagonista desempeñando una interpretación lujosísima, Lana Lane, el genial Daniel Gildenlow (Pain of Salvation), el cual pedía agritos un poco más de protagonismo, Joe Vana (Mecca), John Wetton (Asia,...), el supremo Oliver Hartmann (At Vance), el "mito viviente" Steve Walsh (Kansas, Streets), Midnight (Crinsom Glory) y Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger), quedando como principal parte negativa del disco, ya que su labor, como era de esperar, no es nada gloriosa.
Los temas se mueven todos en una onda progresiva, pero a la vez muy sinfónicos, dejando incluso momentos para estructuras muy rockeras, incluso coqueteando con el AOR. Puedo destacar "Without me today", tema más extenso del disco, con una interpretación perfecta por parte de Mark Boals y entrelazado con partes instrumentales realmente creativas, "Paradox", con una interpretación a dúo entre el propio Boals y su majestad Daniel Gildenlow, convirtiendo el tema en un excelente Rock progresivo, "All of your acts", muy AOR, con cierto toque Van Halen, e interpretado íntegramente por Joe Vana o la dura "There´s a human", de lo mejor del disco y que le va como anillo al dedo al atroz Oliver Hartmann. En total once temas, que otorgan al plástico una duración, nada más y nada menos, que de setenta y ocho minutos.
El principal inconveniente, por buscar alguno, del álbum radica en las líneas vocales, ya que estas no son excesivamente melódicas, lo que unido a la amplísima duración del mismo, acaban por hacer demasiado monótona su escucha. Además, la producción y mezcla de los instrumentos, aún siendo buena, no alcanza cotas excesivamente elevadas. Pero, en fin, como primera entrega del proyecto, el resultado es muy notable.
Un álbum realmente competente y muy recomendado para los amantes del sonido progresivo, que, por supuesto, ya estarán enterados de cómo se las gasta nuestro protagonista. Sin más, aprovechando el parón de Empty Tremor, Liberani nos ofrece la posibilidad de seguir disfrutando y apoyando su música. Mi mayor admiración por ello.
Por Jorge Alberto Domínguez Fariña

 

Genius Ep.1 review on http://www.fanzine.net/magazine/andromeda 10.4.2003

GENIUS 'A ROCK OPERA' (Frontiers) 
I dischi tributo erano una bella idea e l'hanno bruciata. I side project erano una bella idea e l'hanno bruciata. Le opere rock sono una bella idea e speriamo che non brucino anche queste. Sicuramente non fino a quando usciranno dischi come questo progetto, molto bello anche graficamente e concepito dal polistrumentista Daniele Liverani degli Empty Tremor. A differenza di colleghi come Tobias Sammet e del suo 'Avantasia', Liverani immette una freschezza compositiva due volte superiore. E la ragione è semplice, le canzoni non si gettano solo su ritmiche banali e velocissime, qui è la musica che scorre, in un rimbalzare di sonorità ora epiche, ora pomp rock, ora progressive. Personalmente basterebbero i dodici minuti dell'iniziale 'Without Me Today' per stendermi, con quel suo incedere pieno di enfasi , ma è un sontinuo susseguirsi di emozioni, da 'The Right Place', 'Paradox' a 'Dreams', 'Father', 'Terminate' con la schiera di ospiti che lucida ogni esibizione. Qualche nome? John Wetton, Midnight, si proprio quello dei Crimson Glory, Oliver Hartmann degli At Vance, Lana Lane, Steve Walsh dei Kansas, Mark Boals (Malmsteen) e tanti altri. Non servono altre descrizioni, forse tutto sta in una semplice
parola: le altre sono opere metal, questa è un'opera rock!! Ed ora aspettiamo i prossimi due capitoli, per scorpire come il compositore toscano ha sviluppato questa sua idea da autentico "genius"! (GDC) 

Genius Ep.1 review on http://www.lafactoriadelritmo.com 12.1.2003

De entrada, no deja de sorprenderme que un músico italiano miembro de grupos no muy conocidos como Empty Temor o Khymera, se haya podido permitir el lujo de contar para este proyecto personal con un elenco de cantantes tan impresionante. Aquí tenemos de todo, el ex-Yngwie Mark Boals como protagonista, la reina del metal sinfónico Lana lane, auténticas glorias como Steve Walsh o John Wetton o gente más actual como Chris Bolthendahl. Destaca sobre todo la reaparición del mítico frontman de Crimson Glory, Midnight.Despues de tanto tiempo,cuando parecía que el hombre habría puesto un estanco o andaría vendiendo seguros,¡mira, aquí le tenemos!.Aunque teniendo en cuenta que la foto que aparece en la promo es bastante vieja (con máscara y todo),da qué pensar.Como curiosidad,aparece Philip Bynoe,aquel bajista negro que estuvo con Steve Vai, que aquí ejerce de narrador (y le da un aire muy National Geographic a la cosa). 
Por lo visto este "Genius" es una opera rock en tres actos del que este CD sólo es la primera parte. Teniendo en cuanta que dura casí ochenta minutos,el total va a resultar una especie de tetralogía del Anillo de los Nibelungos de Wagner en versión heavymetalera. 
Lo cierto es que esto de las operas rock nunca ha acabado de convencerme del todo. Ya me pasó con el proyecto de Nostradamus de Nitkolo Kotzev,y me vuelve a pasar un poco más de lo mismo con este de Silverani. En realidad,aunque lo llamen Opera-rock no tienen para nada la estructura de una opera porque no dejan de ser más que un conjunto de canciones en las que van variando las voces solistas. En lo que a mí respecta,no le veo mucha diferencia con lo que toda la vida hemos llamado álbum conceptual,con el añadido de meter unas cuantas voces conocidas para atraer aficionados al producto. 
Dejando esto a parte,es justo reconocer que este "Genius" tiene también bastantes aspectos positivos (aparte de la calidad de sus cantantes). Daniele Silverani se lo guisa todo sólo: compone,produce y toca guitarra, teclados y bajo en todo el disco, con la única ayuda del joven baterista Darío (nada que ver con mi compañero en La Factoria) Ciccioni. La labor de ambos es impecable, mostrando dos músicos de elevado nivel técnico. La música es variada mezlando bases progresivas por aquí,coros de metal épico por allá, toques sinfónicos o toques más melódicos. Comentar también que Lana Lane está fantástica en su dueto con Boals en "The right Place",que la canción "My pride" con Steve Walsh es puro Kansas (aunque el hombre anda ya tocadillo de voz,la edad no perdona) o que tiene algunos temas magníficos como "I´m afraid",o el inicial y extenso "Without me today". Pero no dejo de pensar que el concepto Opera rock es innecesario y pretencioso, que la historia en la que se basan (una visita el pais de los sueños) es algo chorras, y que la voz del narrador me hace pensar en un documental sobre tiburones, que no creo fuese su intención. Creo que todo esto no les hacía falta para sacar un buen disco como es,sin duda,este.

Genius Ep.1 review on http://www.the-metals-den.com 12.1.2003

It seems that the rock / metal operas are becoming more and more popular and we have confirmation with this most recent one that was written and composed by Daniele Liverani (Empty Tremor, Khymera). 
Faithful to the kind, there’s a quit interesting set of guests like Mark Boals (Ring of Fire, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen), Lana Lane, Daniel Gildenlow (Pain of Salvation), Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger), Joe Vana (Mecca), John Wetton (Asia, Uriah Heep), Steve Walsh (Kansas), Philip Bynoe (Steve Vai, Ring of Fire), Oliver Hartmann (At Vance) and also Midnight’s great comeback (ex-Crimson Glory). 
This album is in fact the first episode, entitled « A Human Into Dreams », of a trilogy that revolves around the universe of dreams, how they occur and the secrets surrounding this parallel universe. 
Daniele did not limit himself to a single musical crenel preferring to diversify the styles depending on the guests and always to the service of the compos. And so on « Without me Today » we’re going through classic rock while slipping subtly towards prog rock and melodic speed metal. All of this seems like a huge weight on you? Don’t you worry, the whole is easy to listen to without grabbing your head in complicated arrangements.
Let’s note Mark Boals’ great vocal performances on the majority of the songs and most notably on « Dreams » where he’s particularly in his element, Midnight on « Terminate » which brings him back into a more metal environment and Chris Boltendahl on « The Glory of our Land » in the same perspective. There’s a duet with two big names of the ‘70s – ‘80s prog rock scene: Steve Walsh and John Wetton on the title « My Pride » bringing a certain dose of nostalgia to this somewhat futuristic rock opera. 
GENIUS is an album containing music just as interesting as its concept and it will be thrilling to see where this journey will lead us on the next two episodes.

Genius Ep.1 review on http://www.metalkings.com 6.1.2003

GENIUS - A ROCK OPERA
On hearing the very first chords of this creation, I remembered this old joke: "What do you call a guy who likes to hang out with musicians? - a drummer!" And now try to imagine a rock opera which has a drummer as the main character and a bunch of stars to accompany him. Imagined? Oh, really?! No, you wouldn't be able to imagine anything even close to this big fat chunk of prog-rock, which was consumed in the sick and twisted mind of Daniel Gildenslow. The role of Genius - yes, the drummer - was given to Mark Boals, Gildenslow himself took over the second main character lead, the storyteller is Philip Boyle, with co-stars featuring the names of Lana Lane (Doorkeeper), Chris Boltendahl (Staitonmaster) and other more or less famous individuals. The short synopsis is as follows: it was Monday - a hard day for everyone - and our drummer, named Genius, was lying in his bed although it was 7AM already. He might have been hungover or stoned from the previous night but somehow he heard something strange in the sound of the alarm clock, and as he closed his eyes he sank into some sort of a hallucination. The hallucination was so realistic that Genius believed he was in a world of dreams and did not want to leave it. After that, my friend, you will have to listen through the long and boring saga of Genius as sung by all the other heroes. Ok. To hell with the parallel world, one could have said, let Genius hang out there for a couple of hours, meet some cool people and that's it, I mean I could live with that. But no, the paradoxes of existentialism have suddenly become a menace for the real world, and of course putting the whole story onto one CD was not enough. So, we had scarcely lived through the torture of one disk, when we are already put before the fact that this thing is to be continued… in two parts… Yes, a bloody trilogy! Well, I'd rather recommend this so-called opera to those who thought Sammet's 'Avantasia ' was crap. I mean check this shit out! (Debbie Boink) 

Genius Ep.1 review on http://www.metalmas.com 6.1.2003

Ahora desde Italia y como de un músico de excepcion como es Daniele Liverani nos llega esta increíble opera rock, cargada de una riqueza musical brutal, en el album podemos encontrar estilos como, Heavy, Progresibo o Sinfonico, todo un alarde de dotacion musical al servicio del rock.
11 temas de lo que sera la primera parte de tres, cuenta la historia de un chico que queda atrapado por accidente en un mundo paralelo al de los sueños y descubre alli su secreto. 
Asi es la sinopsis de un lbum increíble en donde cada cancion nos presanta a los personjes de esta historia.
Una delicia para los amantes de grupos como xAsiasx, xKansasx, xDream Theaterx.
La portada esta hecha por MArkus Meyer (Nightwish, Grave Digger, Edenbringe).
Todo el abum ha sido compuesto y tocado por Daniele Liverany el el baterista de 19 años Dario Ciccioni. Las voces de los personajes son:
Mark Boals, Lara Lane, Daniel Gildenlow, Chris Boltendahl, Joe Vana, Steve Walsh, John Wetton, Oliver Hartman, Midnight, Philip Bynoe.
Si puedes merece la pena tenerlo. 
Benti
Puntuacion 3

 

Genius Ep.1 review on http://www.imperiumi.net 6.1.2003

Empty Tremorista tuttu Daniele Liverani on ideoinut kolmiosaisen "rock-oopperan", josta A Human Into Dreams' World on ensimmäinen osa. Mukana on iso joukko nimekkäitä vierailijoita, joilla yllätys yllätys, on omat roolinsa teoksessa. Jos tämä kaikki jostain syystä kuulostaa jo ennestään tutulta, niin se johtunee siitä, että kyseinen konsepti on lähiaikoina toteutettu jo useampaan kertaan eri muusikoiden toimesta. Liverani on houkutellut mukaansa joukon tunnettuja nimiä, joista muutama mainitsemisen arvoinen on ainakin Mark Boals (ex-Yngwie), joka laulaa pääosan Geniuksena. Hänen lisäksi mukana ovat mm. Lana Lane, Daniel Gildenlöw (Pain of Salvation), Steve Walsh (Kansas) ja John Wetton (Asia), sekä iso joukko muita enemmän ja vähemmän tunnettuja nimiä.
Musiikillisesti kuljetaan progemetallin ja perinteisemmän hevin jalanjäljillä, tosin välillä lipsutaan puhtaasti progerockin puolellekin. Kappaleet ovat muutamaa poikkeusta lukuunottamatta aika tasapaksuja, eikä yhtään todellista helmeä ole joukkoon eksynyt. Mark Boals ei istu tähän kokonaisuuteen yhtään niin hyvin kuin olisi odottanut, eikä edes Daniel Gildenlöw loista normaaliin tapaansa.
Jos Geniuksen ensimmäinen osa ei muussa onnistu, niin ainakin on hyvä esimerkki siitä, ettei nimekäskään joukko takaa sitä, että lopputulos olisi maata mullistava. Ja kun levy ei idealtaan ole omaperäinen, niin lopputulos on ikävä kyllä kovin keskinkertainen. Ehkäpä kaksi seuraavaa osaa tekevät tämän kaiken paremmin.
7/10
Mikko Lehto

 

Genius Ep.1 review on http://www.babylonmagazine.net 11.12.2002

GENIUS, A ROCK OPERA "A Human Into Dreams' World" 
Sul talento di Daniele Liverani non avevo alcun dubbio, soprattutto dopo aver saggiato le sue capacità in occasione dei dischi pubblicati con la sua band, gli Empty Tremor (ottimo il loro secondo album a titolo "Eros And Thanatos"), ma in tutta sincerità non mi sarei mai aspettato un disco come "Genius"! Intendiamoci "Genius" è un disco favoloso, che ti sorprende e ti conquista ascolto dopo ascolto; sorprendente per la titanica impresa di Liverani nel comporre e gestire un'opera di tale portata (che prevede 33 canzoni suddivise in 3 cd, per un totale di quasi 4 ore di musica!), e per il cast di cantanti assemblato per l'occasione, una serie d'interpreti di caratura internazionale che danno ancora più spessore a questo "Episode One - A Human Into Dreams' World". Mark Boals (Malmsteen/Ring Of Fire) è il protagonista principale di questo concept-album, "Genius", un ragazzo che viene catapultato in una dimensione parallela, in un mondo in cui i sogni degli umani vengono creati e sviluppati da entità denominate "Twinspirit". Da questo plot si dipana tutta la storia, che si stende su un tappeto sonoro progressive metal, dai connotati fortemente 'Theateriani (quelli imprescindibili di "Images And Words", da sempre punto di riferimento per Liverani ed i suoi Empty Tremor), puntellato da sfumature di stampo musical, peculiarità data dagli interventi vocali dei vari personaggi che si susseguono nel corso dell'opera. Ma proseguiamo con ordine. L'apertura spetta alla grandeur sinfonica, abbinata alla didattica progressive (sempre in tipico 'Theater-style), di "Without Me Today", dodici intensi minuti interpretati da un Mark Boals in grado di ritagliarsi spazi vocali stupendi, tra suadenti melodie ed acrobatiche fughe strumentali. "The Right Place" è una delicata ballad, ove le voci di Boals e Lana Lane (Doorkeeper) si ergono su una leggiadra melodia di piano, sorta d'apertura alla sostenuta teatralità che permea "Paradox", con Boals e Daniel Gildenlow dei Pain Of Salvation che si dividono equamente il proscenio, in uno degli episodi più musical-oriented di tutto "Genius". La sintassi musicale di "The Glory Of Our Land" è sempre individuabile in un prog metal dalle sfaccettature sinfoniche, con intarsi di cori d'opera, mentre in questo frangente sono le infernali vocals di Chris Boldental (nelle vesti di "Stationmaster", sorta di "Caronte" dantesco) a farla da padrona. Non è lecito pensare che "Genius" sia una delle tante Rock Opera "elefantiache", ove ogni brano ha un senso solo se ascoltato insieme al resto del disco, difetto questo, riscontrabile da un primo, sommario ascolto. "Genius" in realtà necessita di svariati ascolti, superati i quali converrete sulla sua totale bellezza, ingigantita dalle squisite trame strumentali tessute da Liverani, oltre che dalle interpretazioni dei vari personaggi coinvolti nell'opera. Per capire quanto "Genius" non sia la classica Rock Opera dispersiva, basta l'ascolto dell'ispirato pomp-metal di "All Of Your Acts", brano impreziosito dalla vellutata voce d'un sorprendente Joe Vana dei Mecca, oppure di "Dreams", un neoclassic metal dai tratti pur sempre progressivi, ennesimo trampolino di lancio per la strepitosa ugola di Mark Boals. E' un concept-album sempre fluido, e senza attimi di cedimento, ennesima prova ne è l'emozionante "My Pride", un pezzo che stenderà al tappeto più d'un fan del prog/pomp dei seventies, per via della presenza di due personaggi del calibro di Steve Walsh (Kansas/Streets) e John Wetton (Asia/King Crimson/UK/Uriah Heep); un duetto impossibile ed impensabile fino ad oggi, ma non per Daniele Liverani che in questo brano riesce ad accoppiare due tra i più importanti interpreti della scena progressiva di sempre. "There's A Human" è la track più heavy del lotto, lanciata in orbita da Oliver Hartmann degli At Vance, singer dalla sconfinata espressività vocale, mentre "Father" è un autentico capolavoro, una ballad pianistica toccante, cantata in maniera sublime dal "Leone" Wetton con la sua inconfondibile timbrica drammatica. Ma le sorprese non finiscono qui, perché al grido di "Terminate!", ricompare, dopo un'assenza dalle scene durata addirittura ben 11 anni, una delle voci più incredibili che la storia del Metal ricordi. Vi dice niente il nome Midnight? Vi dice niente una band chiamata Crimson Glory? Se in entrambi i casi le vostre risposte fossero affermative, sappiate che il riff d'apertura di "Terminate" è nel più puro Crimson Glory-style, mentre sua maestà Midnight non poteva rientrare nel migliore dei modi, prodigandosi anche lui in una prestazione superba, con uno stile molto teatrale, tanto da ricordare il King Diamond più recitativo. Se tutto ciò ancora non vi bastasse, immergervi pure nella stesura del pezzo, un serratissimo metal prog costruito su tempi dispari a profusione, roba da far impazzire più d'un prog metallers! Alla maestosa "I'm Afraid" spetta il compito di chiudere il sipario su questo "Episode One", con altri nove minuti di grande teatralità, stesi con pathos da Gildenlow e Wetton, autentici mattatori della scena insieme ad un Midnight, anche qui da brividi, abile come sempre ad accrescere a dismisura la tensione del brano. Un cast di vocalist eccezionale, un concept affascinante e una serie di canzoni da "urlo" per tutti i fan del progressive metal, quanto basta per eleggere "A Human Into Dreams' World" tra i dischi dell'anno, e consacrare il talento d'un musicista "illuminato" qual è Daniele Liverani.
Voto: 9 (Roberto Giordano) 


Genius Ep.1 review on http://www.myrevelations.de 11.12.2002

Genius  Episode 1 - A human into dream's world 
Die Rockoper Genius stammt aus der Feder des italienischen Gitarristen Daniele Liverani, bekannt aus der Progressiv Metal Band Empty Tremor. Das dreiteilige Opus erzählt die Geschichte eines Jungen namens Genius, der sich eines Morgens in einer parallelen Dimension wiederfindet, wo er das Geheimnis der Entstehung menschlicher Träume entdeckt.
Allein auf eine solche Idee für ein Konzeptalbum zu kommen hat schon Lob verdient, aber es kommt noch besser, denn Liverani hat auch musikalisch eine Menge drauf. Seine Oper besetzte er dann auch mit namhaften Künstlern wie Midnight ( ex - Crimson Glory), Legenden der Prog - Musik wie John Wetton (Asia) und Steve Walsh (Kansas), die „Queen of Symphonic Rock“ Lana Lane, Mark Boals (ex Yngwie Malmsteen) und Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger), um nur einige zu nennen. Jeder der Interpreten besingt einen anderen Charakter der Geschichte, die immer wieder Ähnlichkeiten mit einem Musical mit sich bringt. Man hat das Gefühl, man würde alles hautnah miterleben, Genius sich fragend in der unbekannten Welt umherblicken, King Mc Chaos leibhaftig auf seinem Thron sitzen, die Freude und die Angst der Mitwirkenden in ihren Augen sehen. 
Der Musik ist stark progressiv beeinflusst und bietet stets abwechslungsreiche, gefühlsbetonte Parts. Multitalent Liverani (an Gitarre, Bass und Keyboards tätig) überzeugt bei jedem Song mit einem erstklassigen Gitarrensolo. Epische Chöre im Hintergrund schaffen es immer wieder, eine Szene ganz gezielt zu betonen. Zwischen jedem Song kommt Philip Byboe (Ring of Fire) zur Sprache, um die Geschichte weiter zu erzählen. Auch seine Stimme, die mich an die eines Märchenerzählers erinnert, passt genau zu der Fantasystory.
Teilweise klingen die Songs sogar richtig hymnenhaft, wie das etwas düster gehaltene „The Glory Of Our Land“ oder das melodiöse „Dreams“. Zudem finden sich auch wunderschöne Balladen auf Genius, wie das vom Piano dominierte „The Right Place“, welches von Lana Lane und Mark Boals im Duett gesungen wird oder „Father“, das den hilfesuchenden Ruf zu Gott darstellt. Was mir bei diesem Song und auch bei anderen auffällt, ist die Komplexität der Schlagzeugarbeit, die mir manchmal etwas übertrieben erscheint, da das Getrommelte rhythmisch nicht so recht mit dem Gesang übereinstimmt. Soll heißen, die Drums sollten der Stimme nicht davonlaufen, sondern sich dem Tempo anpassen. 
Weiterer Kritikpunkt ist, dass sich bei den Songs die einzelnen Passagen immer wiederholen. Dadurch entstehen dann Längen, die im kleinsten Fall bei 4:53 min und im längsten Fall bei 12:04 min liegen. Gegen lange Songs habe ich zwar nichts, aber dann sollte man auch immer wieder neue Arrangements und Texte einbauen. Wirklich langweilig wird’s allerdings nie, denn die einzelnen Arrangements sind in sich schon so verstrickt und vielschichtig, dass man sich sowieso immer wieder neu reinhören muss.
Genius ist auf seine Art ein kleines Meisterwerk, welches nicht nur Leuten gefallen dürfte, die auf Opern stehen. Ich jedenfalls erwarte mit Spannung das zweite Kapitel, denn ich bin verdammt neugierig geworden.
  Verfasser: Aline Röser 

 

Genius Ep.1 review on http://www.totalmetal.net 11.12.2002

And now, please, give us an opera that kills any wish to make any opera at all. 
Daniele Liverani, an Italian wunderkind, didn't reach this goal, yet came close - almost as much as Kai Hansen stopped the fashion to call songs "Heaven Can Wait". After this "Genius" there can be only punk version of "Jesus Christ Superstar", yet it was already done. Just a small misunderstanding: instead of deserved pride from teasing metal opera values, this opera genre compatriot dates his concetpt with 1999 and 
promises to complete his trilogy with the most serious grim on his face. Were he, Sammet and Lucassen involved in computer game production where version 1.0 is replaced with version 1.01 and, later, 1.666 - they all spent their days shooting at David Lee Roth's rottweilers from their Californian mansions. 
Yet lyrics of an album - even the most concept one - is not a quest, even if you fill any corner
with twin spirits at the monitors. "Sequencer/Migrator" and "Avantasia" were game-like yet their got deeper thoughts, let alone musical ideas. Liverani isn't weak in music either, not Dream Theater but almost Symphony X. Lana Lane, John Wetton, Midnight and Chris Boltendahl are tastefully distributed to tracks, with black-skined Philip Bynoe starring as the Hypnotherapist from "Scenes From A Memory". 
"Heading For Tomorrow" heights has been almost conquered with ripping off "Scenes" and "Christ" on the first track. Next, he comes for Steve Vai on "All Of Your Acts" and the most epic europoweron "Dreams". But retro hard tunes look deeper and stronger with Bob Catley on "Avantasia-2". And here's almost all looks like bass parts played by a guitarist or English lyrics written by an Italian. This Genius isn't scaled to Leonardo aka The Absolute Man. But he's too smart and generous to stay with Empty Tremor for all the remaining life. Or to vanish for a decade as Mark Boals or Midnight. So, order a pizza and start looking for the second and the third version cracks. But don't miss turning your alarm-clock on.

Vote: 4/5

Walter Lee Cross

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.metallibrary.ru 2.12.2002

Genius Rock Opera:vote(5/5)

The optimistic and lyrical introduction posted on the first page of booklet by Genius Rock Opera's author Daniele Liverani is expressive salutation and some sort of the gate which might be the invitation to plunge into dreams world' created by thought of musician. There were many different and nice operas in my life v power metal performance called Avantasia, splendid hard-rock masterpiece named Nostradamus and some others. But the real talent can't become exhausted and all authors who don't want to go with the platitudinous stream and who want to create something different from what we know well continue musical experiments. And as I see clearly that's not in vain.

Despite the fact that the release of a new rock opera can hardly amaze metalheads the birth of something original makes me tremble with joy. Daniele Liverani, an italian musician, has every reason to be proud of his creation. The disk called Genius was cooked using many different musical and vocal ingredients and was brought into the world in the form of an opera composed of 3 parts which will make almost 4 hours of music. Three-course dinner. Let's see what we've got for the standing dish.

"The whole concept runs around the many characters that Genius meets during his journey, only 8 of which are appearing in this first episode. Furthermore, a storyteller will help the listener to follow the various events.... During the three chapters of the story the listener shall be able to experience the thrilling adventures of the teenage drummer Genius who becomes accidentally captured in a parallel dimension where he discovers the secrets of the creation of human dreams. Unfortunately, he has also creates a lot of problems and paradoxes which put the whole existence and the safety of that parallel dimension in serious danger". That's it. The concept is very impressive and uncommon that's why I've found a pleasure in reading it. As well as fine and graceful lyrics.

Now let's proceed to the essentials! In other words to the music. From the beginning I'd like to grieve some metalheads which know only one opus of this sort (Avantasia I mean) and crave for the power metal sequel without wishing to perceive something else. It's NOT the power metal opera. There's no death or thrash here, though. Let me jump to a conclusion v that is progressive opera. Genius represents symbiotic unity of progressive metal, progressive rock with some elements of power and heavy metal which is flavored with some other things.

Especially I admire the way of choosing singers for this album. 'Cause I know enough about any of this vocalist I must notice here that vocal lines were written so professionally that they give the best fit the manner of performance of each singer. So here they are: main opera's hero Mark Boals (ex-Malmsteen, Ring Of Fire), Lana Lane, Daniel Gildenlow (Pain Of Salvation), John Wetton (Asia), Oliver Hartmann (At Vance), true metal legend Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger)!!!, Joe Vana (Mecca), Steve Walsh (Kansas), Midnight (ex-Crimson Glory) and (the storyteller' Philip Bynoe (Steve Vai, Ring Of Fire).

It's hard to make a detailed description of this work. The music is very different  here you can become acquainted with fast and power metal-type tracks as well as with beautiful hard rock ballad 'Father'. Whatever the style of this songs all of them are perfectly atmospheric and melodious.

To sum up the review it's worth to mention that all metalmates who like absolutely original and unusual albums will appreciate this one. In my humble opinion Genius Rock Opera is the work of great talent. Enjoy it!

 

Genius Ep.1 review on http://www.toprock.cz 30.11.2002

Od pocátku své existence se lidé nijak moc nepozastavovali nad tím, jak jejich sny vznikají, a co se vlastne za nimi skrývá. Až do osudného rána, kdy se mladý, chytrý chlapec jménem Genius rozhodl, že si ješte trochu zdrímne… První tóny velkolepého dvanáctiminutového otvíráku Without Me Today dávají tušit, že zacíná vpravde velká a objevitelská pout. “Klasický” sborový part uvádí malého Genia, v podání Marka Boalse (ex-Malmsteen, Ring Of Fire), do celého dení. Mark nechává rozeznít své hlasivky takovým zpusobem, jak jsem to u neho dosud neslyšel. Svou roli opravdu prožívá a hlavní part si beze zbytku zaslouží. Za progresivne metalového podkladu si razí nelehkou cestu velkolepými melodiemi a vokálními akrobaciemi. Genius se probouzí do jiného sveta, skvostná brána se otevírá a za ní stojí ženská postava - strážkyne brány… Tklivý klavír unáší melodii která se plazí u kotníku Lany Lane. První vrchol alba – The Right Place. Tato dáma dává do svého výkonu takovou sílu a emoci, že si podvedome budete svírat vlastní hrdlo pod dojmem, že se vám musí co nevidet zhroutit. Bravo! Metalovou razanci a obtížnost vystrídala “jednoduchost” a romantika. Genius zacíná být vystrašený a radí se do nekonecného zástupu táhnoucímu se kam až oko dohlédne. Dostane se mu vysvetlení od cloveka pred ním? Daniel Gildenlow (Pain Of Salvation) je duševní dvojce císlo 32… Bravo podruhé! Technicky a rytmicky velmi nárocná pecka Paradox opet rázne buší do kovadliny. Melodické zvraty, strídající se vokální party a fantastické nápady vám budou 9 minut vyprávet o tom, co je to radost z hudby a jejího prednesu. Genius nasedá do zvláštního vlaku, který staví ve stanici, kde má hlavní slovo její šéf – Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger)… Po vybroušeném projevu predchudcu se vrchní hrobník Chris pouští do svého úkolu po svém. Jeho nekompromisní chropot nabízí v The Glory Of Our Land protiváhu sborovému chorálu a výsledek je více než dobrý. Na Genia a ostatní ceká obrovský sál s pohodlnými kresly a ovládacím panelem pro každého… Joe Vana (Mecca) má hlavní slovo v typické, muzikálove ladené oddechovce All Of Your Acts, jakou nejdeme témer na všech podobných projektech. Genius zacíná snít… Další melodicko-metalové skladbe (Dreams) propujcuje svuj hlas opet Mark Boals. Po delší dobe se opet setkávají se dva králové ríše snu… A nejen snu. Oba polobozi rockového sveta John Wetton (Asia) a Steve Walsh (Kansas) si to ve skladbe My Pride rozdávají jako dva opravdoví profíci, z jejich hlasu ciší zkušenost, mazáctví a prehled na sto honu. Tomu ríkám exhibice. A navíc je zde máte možnost slyšet za hudebního doprovodu znatelne razantnejšího, než u nich bývá obvyklé. Moc pekná záležitost. Támhle je clovek!… Nejvetší “náter” desky zacíná. Oliver Hartmann (At Vance) se nedává zahanbit svými slavnejšími kolegy. Všechno odsýpá, jak má, speedové rychlosti ženou kytaru a rytmiku v uragánu vokálních poryvu. Stáváte se štvancem v cizím svete. Tady muže pomoci snad jen citlivost OtceFather, jasný protiklad predešlé skladby. Uklidnující tempo a náladu korunuje zrejme nejpatetictejší refrén celé desky. Velmi honosná písen, v níž opet exceluje John Wetton. Hlavní sen ovšem vynáší rozsudek… Terminate, nejbrutálnejší a nejšílenejší zásek alba. Z prachu a popela povstává legendární vokalista Crimson Glory – šílený jecák Midnight. Láme svuj hlas do schizofrenních poloh, jekot strídá mumlání a hrdelní krik. Není to ovšem typický projev, na který jsme u neho byli zvyklí. Netroufám si odhadovat, zda je to zpusobeno ztrátou jistoty nebo jen potrebou dané postavy. Rozhodne však jeho výkon shledávám minimálne nadmíru zajímavým. Výborne! A pak už následuje jen záverecné finále s názvem (I'm Afraid), který vnadí posluchace na další pokracování, k jehož realizaci by snad melo dojít príští rok…
Daniele Liverani (Empty Tremor, Khymera), to je to jméno, které stojí za monstrózním projektem Genius. Tento tvurce materiálu, kytarista, baskytarista a klávesista odvedl obdivuhodný výkon, který si zaslouží hlasitý potlesk. Velmi vyvážená kombinace nápadu, údernosti a velkých výkonu je predurcena k tomu, aby se stala velmi úspešnou. Rocková, v tomto prípade spíše metalová, opera jako remen! Je to neco jiného než všechna Lucassenova díla i než Sammetova Avantasia. Je kombinací obojího a zároven necím jiným. Já smekám a vy si ji urcite opatrete.

Michal Zeman

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.powermetal.it 30.11.2002

Gruppo Genius, a Rock Opera 
Quest'album é il primo capitolo di una trilogia partorita dalla mente del pluristrumentista Daniele Liverani (Empty Tremors) che suona praticamente tutto nel disco tranne la batteria affidata al sorprendente e giovanissimo (15 anni) Dario Ciccioni mentre le parti vocali dei vari personaggi che contraddistiguono la storia sono affidate a veri e propi mostri sacri dell'hard rock e del metal come Mark Boals, Lana Lane, Oliver Hartmann, Chris Boltendahl e udite udite il misterioso primo (e per molti unico) singer dei mai dimenticati Crimson Glory ovvero il grande Midnight solo per citarne alcuni. Ma andiamo per ordine e parliamo dei singoli brani,anche se secondo me questo disco va sentito per intero tutto d'un fiato. Apre le danze Without me Today una suite di quasi dodici minuti che vede un ispirato Boals distreggiarsi tra continui stacchi prog, si prosegue poi con la delicata The Right Place cha vede ancora Boals duettare con Lana Lane, altri episodi di rilievo sono Glory of Our Land, con la cavernosa voce di Chris Boltendahl che la fa da padrone e Terminate,con un Midnight che fa vedere che anche se passano gli anni la classe sopraffina che l'ha contraddistinto in passato é rimasta inalterata. Si può dunque dire che questo progetto,grazie a picchi compositivi eccezionali ha i numeri giusti per essere tra i capolavori del prog-rock e che ogni amante di queste sonorità dovrebbe avere a scatola chiusa. 
Voto 9/10 
- Roberto Savi -

 

Genius Ep.1 review on http://www.contenet.hu/~heroines/old/hun/ 30.11.2002

Kritikák /Genius - rock opera
kattints a képre és nézzed meg nagyban a borítót -érdemes, mert nagyon szép!
Azt már egy ideje tudtam, hogy várható ez a zenei mûremek, arra is számítottam, hogy nem lesz valami ócska fércmû, nadehát amit e percben is hallgatok, az überelte minden várakozásomat! Úgyszólván mestermûvel van ugyanis dolga a hallgatónak, bizonyám! Najó nyilván ha olyan mûvészek vesznek részt egy dologban, akiket a Genius muzsikusai közt tarthatunk számon valamelyest magától érthetõdõ dolog is az, hogy nyomom itt a tömjént, ahogyan csak bírom. 
A zene és a koncepció szellemi atyja Daniele Liverani, Õ egy olasz illetõségû úr és egy Empty Tremor névre hallgató zenekarban tevékenykedik (a Genius fényében õszintén sajnálom, hogy nem ismerem ottani munkásságát), a lemezen vele együtt szereplõ fantasztikus szereplõgárda felsorolását viszont vétek lenne kihagyni! Nem is teszek ilyet, tehát : Mark Boals (ex Malmsteen, Ring Of Fire), Lana Lane , Daniel Gildenlow (Pain Of Salvation), Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger), Joe Vana (Mecca), Steve Walsh (Kansas), John Wetton (Asia) , Oliver Hartmann (At Vance), Midnight (ex Crimson Glory), Philip Bynoe (Steve Vai, Ring Of Fire), Olaf Senkbeil (Dreamtide) ,Rita Celli, Tom Griffin (Ambition, Trillion) Hátigen, nemsemmi, ugye? 
Azt említettem volt, hogy koncepciós album, és a történetnek ez lenne az elsõ része. A sztori körvonalakban: Genius utazásáról szól, Õ pediglen átruccan egy párhuzamos dimenzióba, ahol az emberi álmok teremtésének titkát keresi. Sajnos a körvonalnál többel nem tudok e percben szolgálni, viszont szerintem nagyon érdekes történet lehet, mert már ez a tömör tartalom sem egy sablonos témát jár körbe.
Maga a muzsika sem egy jellegtelen valami, elsõ megközelítésben azt mondtam, hogy progresszív stílus címkéjét lehet rányálazni, viszont mióta olyan szinten rákattantam, hogy ki se veszem a lejátszóból, ugyebár mert nem lehet betelni vele, ez a progresszívdolog nem annyira ezerszázalékosan igaz, merthogy szép számmal akadnak benne teszemazt heavy metal dolgok is. Ahogyan megfigyeltem a drámaiság, a gonosz erõk megjelenése és a belsõ küzdelem leírásának esetére progresszív elemeket használ Daniele Liverani úr, ott pedig, ahol diadalom esete forog fenn mimás lehetne a legszebb és legkifejezõbb, mint a metalos szárnyalás. 
Az viszont feltûnõ, hogy a billentyûzeteknek elég központi szerepet szánt a szerzõ, ami nem baj, mert a stílus is változatos, és a hangszerelés is mindig megfelelõen hangulatos. Maga a billentyûzés stílusa is szép variációkat vonultat fel, mert jelen van a korunkban tipikus mai progresszív mód mellett a nagy õsök szelleme is, idõnként a Genesist, vagy a csodálatos Rick Wakemant idézi, de van olyan eset is, mikor olyan, mint a Van Halenét ésmégfolytathatnám. Mindamellett, hogy kimondottan hangsúlyos a billentyûmunka, nem hagyhatom ki a rock opera dobosát a megemlítendõ mûvészek sorából, ugyanis Dario Ciccioni remekül üt, borzasztó technikásan, és mindamellett kiváló érzéssel, igazán öröm hallgatni! És még mindig nem hagytam abba a hangszeresek méltatását, mert bizony szép számmal gyöngyöznek csillámló gitárszólók is a lemezen, éspersze kellemes ütemekkel szolgál a bõgõszekció is. Az már a fenti parádés szereplõgárdából egyértelmû volt, hogy az énektémák szintúgy erõs oldalai lesznek a lemeznek, viszont nemcsak a szólórészek kiválóak, hanem a kórusok is brilliánsan vagynak felépítve. Mondjuk kiváncsi volnék arra, hogy ki a narrátor, mert ezt a hangot egyértelmû, hogy hallottam valahol (Wakeman?) Egyszerûen vannak részek, amitõl meg lehet bolondulni, olyan klassz! Ott kezdõdik a dolog, hogy rettentõ jól van hangszerelve az opera, ezért aztán az epika valóban epika és mint olyan hatásos tud lenni a gyengéd emberi lelkekre. 
Nemtudom, hogy belebonyolódjak e abba a hülyeségbe, hogy leírjam melyek lettek a kedvenc részeim? Belebonyolódok, lesz ami lesz... 
Igazán gyönyörû a nyitó nóta és nem is valami kisszabású alkotás, merthogy alapból a maga 12 perces játékidejével ha akarna se tudna az lenni -:)))), nade a muzsika gyönyörû, változatos, ezerarcú, felvonultat - rendes nyitányhoz illõen - minden késõbbiekben elõforduló elemet, és rettentõ lendületes, erõteljes darab mindamellett. Van benne jópár fülbemászó és ezzel együtt technikailag is bravúros pillanat.
Aztán rögtön utána következik a "The Right Place" , ebben a dalban egyszerûen csodálatos a billentyûzés, az mondjuk más lapra tartozik, hogy Lana Lane hangja, ez esetben kicsit túl karakteresnek tûnik, mivel ugye alapból nem az az elomló lágy és szenvelgõ hang, éshát megjegyzem itt is kiereszti rendesen a luftot Lana Lane, szerintem ehhez a szépséges zenei alaphoz kicsit túl sok is. Mondjuk nem tudom mi a szerepe az operában , ez is igaz. 
Aztán valami kiváló darab még a "Twin Spirit Land" , gonoszkás jellegû progtémákkal bõven szolgál, a dobmunka meg egyszerûen remek. És ez még nagyjából semmi, mert a gitármunka is kiemelkedõ, hajjaj - csak úgy ömlenek a riffek! Még kiemelkedõ momentum a kórus, az õ dallamai ember legyen a talpán, akinek nem másznak a fülébe. Mindamellett tele van villámló feszültséggel ez a nóta. 
Éspersze a "Dreams" címû szám is beletartozik a sorba, mert kicsinység emlékeztet imádott Rhapsodymra annak is az erõsebben szárnyaló és nem az édes dallamokkal megcifrázott muzsikájára, ésmég egykicsit utal az Edguyra is, nálam például ez sem rossz pont. 
Itt még nem zárult ugyan le a lemezen található összes kellemes pillanat felsorolása, viszont lassan megdöntöm a saját rekordomat cdajánlóhosszúság tekintetében. Nem ez a célom, hanem az, hogy ezt a kiváló muzsikát mindenkinek figyelmébe ajánljam. Mivel október 23án jelent meg, tehát lehet keresni a boltokban!
Heroine Hathor

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.schweres-metall.de 29.11.2002

Momentan ist nicht gerade ein günstiger Zeitpunkt um eine Rock-Oper zu veröffentlichen, da Tobias Sammet´s AVANTASIA auf diesem Sektor nahezu konkurrenzlos sind und deren Scheibe auch erst vor einigen Wochen erschien. Natürlich kann Daniele Liverani - der Mastermind dieses Projekts - mit Ausnahmesängern wie Mark Boals (ex-YNGWIE MALMSTEEN), Oliver Hartmann (AT VANCE, AVANTASIA), Midnight (ex-CRIMSON GLORY) und Progressive-Queen Lana Lane, oder Musikern wie Steve Walsh (KANSAS) oder John Wetton (ASIA) aus dem Vollen schöpfen, und die Leute machen ihre Sache wirklich gut - doch letztendlich sind mir die Songs einfach zu vertrackt und kommen nur selten auf den Punkt. Da wäre songdienlicheres Komponieren nötig gewesen, damit die Mehrzahl der Tracks auch wirklich im Ohr hängen bleiben. So plätschert doch einiges an mir vorbei und so manche Songs kann ich gar nicht voneinander unterscheiden. Außerdem geht mir der zwischen den Songs schwafelnde Erzähler doch ziemlich auf den Keks! Am eingängigsten ist noch "All Of Your Acts", das aber ziemlich Pop-mäßig ausgefallen ist. Des weiteren würde ich mal "Dreams" als Anspieltipp nennen, welches wirklich ein Klasse-Stück ist. Dieses Album ist zweifellos zum Grossteil immer noch als gut zu bezeichnen, jedoch reicht es zu keiner Phase an Genre-Highlights wie die beiden AVANTASIA CD´s oder Lucassen´s AYREON- oder STAR ONE Projekte heran, da es einfach am letzten Kick bei den Kompositionen fehlt. Am besten ihr hört selbst mal rein... (Pit Schneider, Oktober 2002)
Note: 7 von 10 Punkten 

 

Genius Ep.1 review on http://www.metal-inside.de 29.11.2002

Obwohl Masse ja wahrlich nicht immer gleichzeitig auch Klasse bedeutet, kann man sich in vorliegendem Fall darüber freuen, dass GENIUS... nicht schon nach ’ner guten halben Stunde rum ist. Zugegeben, im direkten Vergleich zu „der“ anderen Metal-Oper (natürlich „Avantasia“) benötigt vorliegender Silberling zwar ein paar Durchläufe mehr, um zu zünden. Dann jedoch macht die CD zumeist richtig Spaß und will so schnell nicht wieder aus Kopf und Player verschwinden. Mastermind Daniele Liverani, dessen Arbeit mir bereits bei Empty Tremor gut gefiel, hat hier eine respektable Anzahl international wirklich renomierter Künstler um sich geschart, um mit diesem und den in Folge erscheinenden zwei Fortsetzungen Anhänger verschiedener Genres unserer lieb gewonnenen Stromgitarrenmusik zu erfreuen. Genau hierin kann man nun den Hauptkritikpunkt aber gleichzeitig auch die Stärke sehen: Sowohl Hardrock-Fans (das wirklich superbe „All Of Your Acts“ sei hier als Anspieltipp genannt) als auch Power Metaller („Paradox“) oder sogar Prog-Anhänger werden hier gleichzeitig bedient, was nicht immer nach kompositorischen Höchstnoten schreit, aber für Abwechslung und Atmosphäre sorgt. GENIUS... ist nichts für Scheuklappenträger – überzeugt es doch im Wesentlichen durch starke und sich stilistisch wie gesagt stark unterscheidende Auftritte von u.a. Lana Lane, Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger), Oliver Hartmann (At Vance), Mark Boals (Malmsteen), Daniel Gildenlow (Pain Of Salvation), Steve Walsh (Kansas), John Wetton (Asia) und Midnight (Chrimson Glory), der in den vielen Jahren nichts von seiner Faszination eingebüßt hat. (heavy)


Genius Ep.1 review on www.spot.no/33875.html 27.11.2002

Div Art: Genius – A Rock Opera (Frontiers-Playground) 4 av 6
Er du en av dem som har lurt fælt på hva drømmer er og hvor de kommer fra? Om du har en teori på hvordan tingene henger sammen, kan du også lage en rockeopera om det. Her er musikken til Episode 1 – A Human Into Dreams’ World. 
Daniele Liverani er et relativt ukjent navn for de fleste. Han har vært med og spilt keyboard på en tribute-skive for Dream Theater. Men det var ikke alt Daniele ønsket å være. Han hadde større planer enn som så. Han ville lage en rockeopera. Og som om ikke det var pretensiøst nok, så ønsket han å lage en rockeopera som gikk over tre album. Til sammen 33 låter, med 11 på hvert album. Det første kapittelet kan oppleves nå. 
Historien handler om gutten Genius som er en smart heavymetal-trommis (helt sant!). Han våkner en morgen av ringelyden fra vekkerklokken sin, og ligger en stund og lytter til lyden, før han sovner igjen. Og det er nå historien begynner. Den utarter seg snart til å bli en reise i tid og rom, og forteller oss hva som er bakgrunnen for alle drømmene vi drømmer og hvorfor vi drømmer dem. 
Med seg på prosjektet sitt, har Daniele fått med seg flere kjente og ukjente artister. Uten å sette dem i sammenheng, kan jeg ramse opp Mark Boals, Lana Lane, Daniel Gildenlow, Chris Boltendahl, Joe Vana, John Wetton, Steve Walsh, Oliver Hartmann, Midnight og Philip Bynoe. Hver og en har en rolle i historien. 
Albumet starter med fortelleren Bynoe som snakker om Genius og forhistorien til drømmen hans. Drømmen tar Genius med på en lang reise og Bynoe kommer inn fra tid til annen og forteller om forflyttingen mellom disse stedene. Sangene forteller for det meste hva som skjer på hvert av disse stedene. Dessverre faller Bynoe litt gjennom som fortelleren. Det blir liksom ikke så stemningsfullt og mystisk som han forsøker å få det. 
Musikalsk kan albumet minne om en progressiv versjon av Chess. Antagelig er det de mange forskjellige vokalister som gjør det. Vanligvis i andre rockeoperaer, er det jo den samme vokalisten som synger alle sangene og forteller hele historien. Sånn fungerer albumet veldig bra og gjør det spennende. Samtidig er det til tider veldig vanskelig å høre hva alle synger. Selv fortelleren kan bli borte i stemningsmusikken. Her er det nok viktig å følge med på teksten skal man få fullt utbytte av verket. 
Låtene er i stor grad progressive. Man finner også et par ballader som gjør albumet lettere tilgjengelig for de som ikke setter pris på det som er altfor progressivt. Men liker du ikke progressiv musikk, vil albumet være bortkastet på deg. Men musikken er veldig bra og svært gjennomført, selv om jeg vel egentlig savner en rød tråd i musikken. Man har riktignok en sammenfallende handling og fortelleren som kommer inn mellom låtene, men det er vanskelig å høre hvem av karakterene som synger. Men da dette bare er det første av tre album, er det nok muligheter for at handlingen blir knyttet sammen med tiden. 
For å summere opp, skal det innrømmes at det er et spennende prosjekt som pågår. Låtmaterialet er bra og artistene gjør en helhjertet jobb, men man trenger teksten for å bli kjent med historien og karakterene. Setter man seg ned med albumet og teksten og får mulighet til å gå gjennom parallelt, er det slett ikke umulig at man kan oppleve en liten, musikalsk åpenbaring. Såfremt man finner historien fengende nok og ikke vil ha drømmene sine i fred uten videre tolkning av hvor de kommer fra og hvorfor de er der. 
De tre albumene vil i sin helhet utgjøre en spilletid på over fire timer. Historien som fortelles foregår over ikke mer enn 10 minutters søvn. Snakk om å gjøre en kort historie lang! Om du ønsker å lese mer om rockeoperaen, kan du gjøre det her. 
Thomas Kirkeby 

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.melodic.net 27.11.2002

Genius is a Rock Opera in 3 chapters, "A Human Into Dream´s World" is the first one. The second and third chapter shall be released during the next two years. The music and lyrics have been completely written, arranged and produced by the Italian musician Daniele Liverani, known for his work with the Italian progressive metal band Empty Tremor. He has put together some of the biggest names from the hardrock/metal scene right now, like Mark Boals(Ring Of Fire, ex Malmsteen), Lana Lane, Joe Vana(Mecca), John Wetton(Asia Uriah Heep), Steve Walsh(Kansas) and Oliver Hartmann(At Vance) to name some. This is a album filled with various styles from heavy melodic rock/metal to progressive metal in the veins of many of the resent Frontiers releases like Ring Of Fire, 7 Months and Stramonio and put in some touches of Saga, Lana Lane and Kansas you have the Rock Opera of Genius. The album opens up with the over 12 minutes long "Without Me Today" and ends with the almost 9 minutes long "I´m Afraid", there between you will et a great complex Rock Opera with up-tempo rockers and ballads. This is a great album if your into this kind of metal, so I suggest you check this out if your a fan of this genre. 
Rating: 5,5
Reviewed by: juha

 

Genius Ep.1 review on http://www.whiplashmag.net 27.11.2002

GENIUS je název monstrózního projektu, za nímž stojí kytarista, baskytarista a klávesista italských progresivne metalových souboru Empty Tremor a Khymera, Daniele Liverani, pricmž bicí nástroje mu obsloužil jeho pard Dario Ciccioni (Khymera). V Danieleove hlave se zrodil príbeh, jež, jak už název napovídá, bude mít další dejství. Mají být dve a vydávající firma je v promomateriálech slibuje vydat v rozmezí dvou let. Dílo je to tedy samosebou koncepcní a jeho skladatel, libretista, aranžér a producent Liverani jej pojednal jako heavy metalovou operu. V ústrední roli Génia se prezentuje Mark Boals (ex- Y.Malmsteen, Ring Of Fire), a v dalších rolích pak vystupují Daniel Gildenlow (Pain Of Salvation), Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger), Joe Vana (Mecca), Steve Walsh (Kansas), John Wetton (ex- Asia, nyní Uriah Heep), Oliver Hartmann (At Vance), Midnight (ex- Crimson Glory), Phillip Bynoe (Steve Vai, Ring Of Fire) a pevkyne Lana Lane. Cleny doprovodného sboru a dalšími doprovodnými pevci jsou Olaf Senkbell (Dreamtide), Hachy Hackmann, Chris Boltendahl, Rita Celli a Thom Griffin (Ambition, Trillion). Na bezmála osmdesátiminutové ploše se rozehrává první cást rozkošatelé story chytrého chlapce – Genia, který v casech zacátku lidského bytí, kdy lidstvo nemelo ani tušení jak a proc vznikají v jeho myslích sny, objeví v paralelní dimenzi tajemství jejich vzniku. Spolu s ním posluchac zažívá a uchvacují jej Géniova dobrodružství za rozkrýváním tvorby problému a parodoxu, jimiž žije lidská existence a za uplatnováním jistoty paralelní dimenze v opravdu hrozícím nebezpecí. Vyjadrovací prostredky, které Liverani zvolil, jsou mnohé, od dramaticky stupnovaného napetí, pres chvíle uvolnení až po rozmáchlou pestrost v pevecké stránce. Promyšlene propracoval esprit vyzarující fúzi classic, power, speed a prog metalu vystavenou na klasických kytarových riffech, melodických sólech a vyhrávkách, majestátních plochách klávesových nástroju, neustálých zmenách temp, výrazu a nálad, a na tomu všemu prináležejícím zpusobem zaranžované rytmice. A vše, co zde Daniele Liverani & Co., tedy spolecnost s rucením neomezeným, odvedli, ucinili s rockove-šlechtickou grácií. 
Vratislav Šantroch 

 

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.graphicworld.ch 27.11.2002

Obwohl Masse ja wahrlich nicht immer gleichzeitig auch Klasse bedeutet, kann man sich im vorliegendem Fall darüber freuen, dass GENIUS... nicht schon nach einer guten halben Stunde herum ist. Zugegeben, im direkten Vergleich zu "der" anderen Metal-Oper (natürlich "Avantasia") benötigt vorliegender Silberling zwar ein paar Durchläufe mehr, um zu zünden. Dann jedoch macht die CD zumeist richtig Spaß und will so schnell nicht wieder aus Kopf und Player verschwinden. Mastermind Daniele Liverani, dessen Arbeit mir bereits bei Empty Tremor gut gefiel, hat hier eine respektable Anzahl international wirklich renommierte Künstler um sich geschart. Um mit diesem und den in Folge erscheinenden zwei Fortsetzungen, Anhänger verschiedener Genres unserer lieb gewonnenen Stromgitarrenmusik zu erfreuen. Genau hierin kann man nun den Hauptkritikpunkt aber gleichzeitig auch die Stärke sehen: Sowohl Hardrock-Fans (das wirklich superbe "All Of Your Acts" sei hier als Anspieltipp genannt) als auch Power Metaller ("Paradox") oder sogar Prog-Anhänger werden hier gleichzeitig bedient, was nicht immer nach kompositorischen Höchstnoten schreit, aber für Abwechslung und Atmosphäre sorgt. GENIUS... ist nichts für Scheuklappenträger - überzeugt es doch im Wesentlichen durch starke und sich stilistisch wie gesagt stark unterscheidende Auftritte von u.a. Lana Lane, Chris Boltendahl, Oliver Hartmann, Mark Boals, Daniel Gildenlow, Steve Walsh,
John Wetton und Midnight, der in den vielen Jahren nichts von seiner Faszination eingebüßt hat. 
Besetzung: 
11 Punkte 

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.soundbase-online.com 27.11.2002

Daniele Liverani: Genius – A Rock Opera / Episode 1: A Human Into Dreams’ World (Frontiers Records) 
Freunde des gepflegten musikalischen Hörspiels aufgemerkt: Aus dem Hause Frontiers Records kommt mit vorliegender Scheibe neues Futter in eure Anlagen. Thematisch setzt sich dieser Release mit menschlichen Träumen auseinander. Der Hauptcharakter Genius ist ein kluger Junge (welch subtiler Name also für diesen Charakter), der eines Tages zufällig (hoppla!) in eine parallele Dimension gelangt und dort gefangen wird. In dieser Dimension entdeckt er die Geheimnisse der menschlichen Träume und wie sie entstehen. Außerdem tauchen im Laufe der Geschichte weitere Probleme und Paradoxa auf, die alle Existenz und Sicherheit dieser parallelen Dimension zerstören könnten. Der aufmerksame Leser wird an dieser Stelle denken: „Hey, das ist aber ganz viel Stoff für nur eine CD!!!“ und er hat damit recht. Diese Rock Oper ist von Anfang an als Trilogie ausgerichtet (ist das mit diesen Trilogien eigentlich irgendein Naturgesetz, das sich mir bisher noch nicht erschlossen hat?...ups ..ich schweife ab) und hier liegt erst mal Teil 1 vor. Die Teile 2 und 3 sollen dann wohl im Laufe der nächsten 2 Jahre released werden (das kenn ich doch auch irgendwoher... woher nur?).
Aber erst mal zur aktuellen Episode: Die Besetzungsliste ist alles in allem very impressive und schiebt meine Fähigkeit zur Objektivität schon ein wenig über die Klippe. Genius, oben bereits erwähntes Cleverle, wird von Mark Boals gesungen, wobei ich hoffe, dass der Name jedem etwas sagt, ohne dass ich jetzt den Namen Malmsteen fallen lassen muss. Als Doorkeeper (Türaufbewahrer?) fungiert hier Lana Lane, die ich persönlich für eine der besten weiblichen Rocksängerinnen halte. Ebenfalls mit von der Partie ist Daniel Gildenlow (Pain of Salvation) und Grave Digger Cheffe Chris Boltendahl. Die komplette Besetzungsliste würde hier auf jeden Fall den Rahmen sprengen, dennoch möchte ich noch ausdrücklich das Mitwirken von Midnight (ex Crimson Glory) in der Person des „Maindream“ erwähnen.
So und was hat Daniele Liverani (Empty Tremor, Khymera), der sich neben Musik und Text auch noch für Gitarre, Bass und Keyboard verantwortlich zeichnet, mit dem vorhandenen Stimmpotential gemacht? Eine wirklich abwechslungsreiche Scheibe, die kurzweilig durch die Geschichte führt und mit Sicherheit hörenswert ist. Der Gesamteindruck ist schon recht positiv, auch wenn mir persönlich beispielsweise Philip Bynoe in der Rolle Erzähler nicht besonders gefällt, weil seine Beiträge etwas aufgesetzt wirken.
Fazit: „Genius“ ist bestimmt kein Meilenstein in der Rock-Oper-Geschichte, wie es beispielsweise „Streets“ von Savatage darstellt, aber alles in allem ist es immerhin ein Album, das Freunde des Genres (zu denen ich mich auch zähle) zufrieden stellen wird. Es sollte auf jeden Fall von eben erwähnten einmal in dieses Album reingeschnuppert werden. Vier Punkte für Boals, Boltendahl und Lana Lane und noch mal vier Punkte für den Gesamteindruck und die Story macht nach Adam Riese 8 Punkte! (SK) 
[8/12] 

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.paranoiashow.com 27.11.2002

It seems the people of the music world like to unbosom themselves creating conceptual masterpieces, some of them very lucky, some other, unfortunately not so much... For the integrity of our good taste and musical criteria, this first chapter (of three) of "Genius" by the Italian Daniele Liverani, previously in Empty Tremor, belongs to the first of these two categories, that means, to the kind of Rock Opera which really contribute to the music with something useful. And that's not only because the singers in the album are so well known, but above all because of the quality of the compositions, which really bring the "opera" epithet to this work.
Mister Liverani hasn't removed the patterns with which this kind of metallic works use to be moulded, its contribution isn't included in the field of innovation, but in the field of the easiest quality. Something so plain as compose good songs and play them with skill.
Musically "Genius" moves in some different styles, yet the classic Heavy, yet the prog metal, Hard Rock..., having all of them a logic and balanced sharing-out. About the collaborators, I must say they're not from the "B series", because although Daniele is not german and he's not playing in a succesful band he has found the right singers for the characters: Steve Walsh (Kansas), Daniel Wetton (Asia), Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger), Lana Lane, Mark Boals, etc… and the return of a myth who has been out of orbit for some time, Midnight from Crimson Glory. Although I still waiting for a "Rock Opera" which really comprise all the possible styles, I must say this is a true masterpiece, which must be given a high, very high mark, but in this humble page of us we have never played that game until today, so I won't start now...
Ivan Sàez 

 

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.rockcircus.net 27.11.2002

El resultado es una mezcla de varios estilos pero sobre todo en una onda de Rock Progresivo y Sinfónico con algunos toques de Hard Rock y AOR. El punto más atractivo del disco son las diferentes y excelentes voces muy adecuadas en cada ocasión. Por contra, el lado negativo es que hay que estar predispuesto a que te guste y que tengas una especial predilección por el Rock Progresivo, los temas largos, con diferentes cambios de ritmo y narraciones intercaladas. Si es así, disfrutarás de 80 minutos de excelente música, ¡y es sólo el primer capítulo!
DAVID FRAILE.

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.kansasfans.com 22.11.2002

“Genius”- A Rock Opera
The talented and friendly Mr. Daniele Liverani was kind enough to send me a promotional copy of his new epic “Genius” - A Rock Opera. The bait was an opportunity to listen to another one of Steve Walsh’s side projects, but as I listened to the CD it became obvious I was in for more of a ride than just a chance to hear Steve’s primal scream.
Detailed information about the rock opera can be found by going to www.geniusrockopera.com . In short this is story about a human, “Genius,” finding his way into the world of dreams. Personally I have never been a fan of rock opera’s because I find it difficult to follow the story. To overcome this issue Liverani uses “Philip Bynoe” to narrate the story, keeping the listener connected to the story line. I felt this provided the continuity I needed to follow the story.
A Rock Opera should be a story told to rock music, so I had certain expectations. I wanted to be able to close my eyes and see the performers on stage in my mind. I did not want a collection of closely related songs with no visual framework. Mr. Liverani provides images of each character, and as I listened to the CD with my eyes closed, I could see Genius’s characters performing. The narrator connected the points, and the characters perform in a sea of stars. 
The lead character, Genius, is performed by Mark Boals - a fabulous talent with an incredible voice. Other characters are: Lana Lane as “The Door Keeper,” Daniele Gildenlow as “Twinspirit 32,” Chris Boltendahl as “Station Master,” Joe Vana as “Mc Chaos Consultant,” Steve Walsh as “Wild Tribe King,” Oliver Hartman as “Wild Tribe Consultant,” John Wetton as “Mc Chaos King,” and Midnight as “Maindream.”
With all this vocal talent, I still feel the instrumental music really steals the show. This story is a fast paced, wild ride with extraordinary guitar work from Mr. Liverani. The music rocks and is fast driven yet never distorted or purposely weird or spacey.
The addition of Steve Walsh to the CD only left me begging for more. It was a tease!!! But we’re in luck since Mr. Liverani produces and plays on Steve Walsh’s Khymera project.
Ring….Time to wake up now.
I can’t wait for volume 2!
Bill McRea aka Depotgang

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.krimson-news.com 22.11.2002

Genius: A Rock Opera Epsiode - 1: A Human in Dreams' World 
Almost a year ago I heard that an album was being created by Italian multi-instrumentalist Daniele Liverani (Empty Tremor). I had no idea who Liverani was or in what groups he played. All I knew was that he was creating a “rock opera” called Genius. Genius is a story about a rock drummer named ‘Genius’ that accidentally gets transported into the world where dreams are created. While in this world, Genius gets the unique opportunity to witness how dreams are created and thus becomes a threat to Dreams’ World. The plot sounded interesting and because it is a rock opera I found it intriguing, but with my busy lifestyle I could have easily passed up listening to another album from someone I knew nothing about. What won me over to give the album a listen was that the cast of singers include King Crimson/ASIA alumnus John Wetton as “King McChaos,” king of the European Dreamworld. Since I took the time to listen to the album, I discovered that Genius is a “smart” musical journey that can appeal to a variety of prog rock/metal audiences through its diverse musical compositions.
Genius: A Rock Opera, Episode 1- A Human Into Dreams’ World is part one of a three part trilogy. Clocking in at 79 minutes, the listener is treated to an adventure of storytelling and hard rocking as “sung” by the cast of singers. Besides John Wetton, the other cast of singers include: Mark Boals (ex Malmsteen, Ring Of Fire) as 'Genius’, Lana Lane as 'Doorkeeper', Daniel Gildenlow (Pain Of Salvation) as 'TwinSpirit n.32', Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger) as 'Stationmaster', Steve Walsh (Kansas) as 'Wild Tribe King', Oliver Hartmann (At Vance) as 'Wild Tribe Consultant', Midnight (ex Crimson Glory) as 'Maindream', Philip Bynoe (Steve Vai, Ring Of Fire) as 'The Storyteller'. The music is as varied as the artists on the album. The listener will hear everything from a “progressive rock” flavor on the title track to “death metal” on “Terminate.” Genius stays true to the rock opera format by spinning and weaving the story together as you listen song by song. I do suggest that the listener reads the synopsis that is included with the album to fully understand the plot.
Most of the songs involve solo performances by the various singers with a couple duets and a rousing quartet with Mark Boals, Daniel Gildenlow, Midnight & John Wetton for the ending track. The most moving of the songs on the album is a song called “Father”, which is sung by John Wetton. “Father” sounds like it was written by Wetton, but surprisingly it’s not. The song deals with a father and his love towards his son. I think every opera needs a love song, and this is it! Wetton delivers a vocal that is both convincing and passionate.
What I thought wasn’t going to be “my cup o’ tea” turned out to be something that I could sink into and enjoy. Genius is worth a listen for even the most not-so-seasoned prog or metal fanatic as there is something for everyone to enjoy on Episode 1.
For more information, including a complete synopsis on Genius: A Rock Opera, please go to http://www.geniusrockopera.com. Special thanks to Daniele Liverani and Frontiers Records (http://www.frontiers.it) for assistance with this review.
Posted by kaveman on Thursday, October 24, 2002

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.hmportal.it  22.11.2002

Genius - A Human Into Dreams' World/Frontiers Records (2002)
Siamo entrati nell'era della tecnologia compatta dell'all-in-one; basti pensare per esempio al dvd-vhs, al frullatore-tritaghiaccio-grattugia formaggio, al fotocopiatore-stampante-scanner-fax. Non credevo che questa regola valesse anche per la musica, ma il nostro Liverani mi ha smentito: è stato capace di imparare a suonare tre strumenti (basso, chitarra e tastiera) a livelli fantascentifici. Questa rock opera segue la strada intrapresa da Ayreon, Avantasia e Nostradamus, discostandosi forse dal genere, infatti "Genius" è improntata su sonorità più progressive rispetto alle succitate opere. 
"A Human Into Dreams' World" è il primo dei 3 atti di "Genius". Le parti strumentali sono state tutte scritte e suonate da Daniele Liverani, ad eccezione della batteria del formidabile Dario Cicconi (che all'epoca delle registrazioni aveva solo 15 anni), batterista in grado di suonare difficili trame ritmiche senza risultare impersonale, il che gli permette di essere riconoscibile già da poche battute, cosa che non riesce a molti suoi colleghi. 
La storia su cui si basa il concept è di tipo fantastico: Genius (che è il personaggio principale della storia), viene catturato in una sorta di dimensione parallela e scopre come avviene il meccanismo dei sogni. Conosce Twin Spirit #32 (che è il suo gemello parallelo) e insieme si accorgono di essere in serio pericolo.
I guest comparsi in quest'album (per quanto riguarda le voci) sono Mark Boals, Lana Lane, Daniel Gildenlow, Chris Boltendahl, Joe Vana, Steve Walsh, John Wetton, Olivier Hartmam, Midnight, Philip Bynow, artisti di tutto riguardo che hanno fatto e stan facendo la storia del metal melodico e dell' hard rock.
Chi si aspetta da questo capolavoro pirotecnici assoli si sbaglia di grosso: "Genius" è un concentrato di stupenda melodia e di complesse parti ritmiche. Il concept, com'è giusto che sia, è incentrato sul ruolo che i cantanti svolgono: ognuno di loro è un personaggio definito della storia.
Il disco, visto anche il suo periodo lungo di gestazione, è impeccabile dal punto di vista della produzione.
L'unica cosa che si può paragonare a questo disco è il Mosè di Michelangelo tal'è è la sua bellezza e la sua purezza
Voto: 95
Tecnica 5/5
Songwriting 5/5 
Produzione 5/5
Innovazione 5/5
Recensore: Pera


Genius Ep.1 review on www.metalfactory.ch  22.11.2002

GENIUS - A rock opera/Frontiers Records
Schon wieder eine Rock-Oper? Nur weil Avantasia plötzlich himmlische Verkaufszahlen erreichen, fühlt sich wohl jeder genötigt, eine weitere Variante der Metal-Opern auf den Markt zu werfen. Dabei ist nicht alles Gold was glänzt... Es sind hier sehr wohl bekannte Namen wie Mark Boals (ex-Malmsteen, Ring of Fire), Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger), Lana Lane, Steve Walsh (Kansas), John Wetton (Asia, Uriah Heep) und noch so einige mehr am Start. Und doch fehlt es mir bei dem Ganzen ein wenig an Eigenständigkeit. Die Idee hinter dieser Rock-Oper besteht darin, dass ein junger Mann namens Genius versehentlich in einer parallelen Welt gefangen wird, in der er erkennt, wie menschliche Träume entstehen. Die komplette Oper besteht aus drei Teilen, die vorliegende CD ist also nur Part "Eins" einer Trilogie. Die nachfolgenden Episoden sollen innerhalb der nächsten zwei Jahre aufgenommen und veröffentlicht werden. Die Idee hinter dieser CD kam vom Italiener Daniele Liverani (Empty Tremor), der komplett für die Texte und die Musik verantwortlich ist. Die Songs sind sehr unterschiedlich. Von der feinen, zarten Ballade bis hin zu sehr progressiven Stücken. Alles in allem solide Arbeit. Die verschiedensten Stilrichtungen sind miteinander vermischt worden, was alles abwechslungsreich macht. Einfach reinhören würde ich vorschlagen.
Saskia B.
Punkte: 7.5 von 10


Genius Ep.1 review on www.eustakio.com 22.11.2002

Partiamo dalla fine, ovvero: comprate questo disco. Compratelo perchè è bello, perchè finalmente un prodotto di tale livello viene dato alle stampe in Italia, perchè non è banale, perchè è emozionale, suonato bene, confezionato con cura, prodotto più che sufficientemente, e soprattutto perchè di album di questo livello è tanto che non se ne sentono.
Questo nascere e diffondersi di rock opera, prima Avantasia, poi Nostradamus, il ritorno di Sammet e ora questo Genius, in verità più simile per sonorità al progetto Ayreon, fortunatamente è sfociato in lavori di qualità, e l'opera di Daniele Liverani (Empty Tremors) non fa che confermare il giudizio, offrendo al pubblico un disco maturo, intricato e intrigante, da sentire decine e decine di volte per apprezzarne le sfumature. Un disco impreziosito da un lista impressionante di interpreti ma che vede il suo punto di forza nella meravigliosa colonna sonora, questa è la definizione più appropriata che trovo, che accompagna le vicende di Genius. La miscela di sonorità rock, progressive e metal è impreziosita da pregiati innesti sinfonici ed è sorprendente come la musica sappia rendere bene gli stati emozionali legati al racconto che si snoda durante i 79 minuti di ascolto.
A Human Into Dreams' World è frutto di un lungo lavoro in studio e non potrebbe essere altrimenti vista la pregevole qualità degli arrangiamenti e delle melodie di ognuno degli 11 pezzi, in cui spicca il fenomenale drumming di Dario Ciccioni, che si diletta in accelerazioni e tempi dispari da brivido.
E' doveroso scorrere il cast degli interpreti, ovviamente fondamentali vista la struttura dell'album, e la prima sorpresa è Mark Boals, cantante che in tanti abbiamo dato per morto troppe volte. L'ex vocalist di Malmsteen offre una prestazione ottima, in territori musicali per lui inesplorati, e riesce meravigliosamente, soprattutto nel raffinato duetto con Lana Lane. L'altro ruolo principale è affidato a Daniel Gildenlow (Pain of Salvation), formidabile come sempre. Ma questo disco segna un ritorno sulla scena musicale, un ritorno dei più graditi: sua maestà Midnight appare finalmente dietro ad un microfono per far squillare nuovamente la sua voce. L'indimenticabile cantante dei Crimson Glory opta per un'interpretazione molto teatrale, rabbiosa, quasi parlata, e che pur sprizzando personalità da tutti i pori non chiarisce quali siano le sue effetive capacità dopo tanto silenzio.
Prima di arrivare alla prestazione di Midnight, Genius ha tanti picchi qualitativi come la splendida interpretazione della lenta Father ad opera di John Wetton, o l'ottima Dreams con il protagonista Boals e My Pride (ancora Wetton con Steve Walsh), a mio avviso il pezzo migliore che si evolve negli oltre sette minuti che lo compongono lasciando ogni secondo a bocca aperta. Anche l'interpretazione cattiva di Boltendahl convince, così come Joe Vana e Oliver Hartmann al quale è lasciato il compito di cantare sulla canzone che funge da "singolo promozionale" di questa rock opera, There's a Human, il brano più semplice del lotto, un brano immediato, che pur non esaltando inserito nel contesto del disco acquista valore.
Un lavoro pregiato, che deve avere successo perchè finalmente siamo alle prese con un album di qualità, un album che non deve passare inosservato perchè sarebbe un crimine nei confronti della musica.
Voto: 9/10 - E.S.Tizi

Ecco giungere, dopo la seconda parte della metal opera Avantasia di Tobias Sammet, una rock opera di concezione tutta italiana: Genius. Prima di entrare nel merito della recensione vera e propria vorrei spendere due parole sulla Frontiers, per la lungimiranza ed il coraggio mostrati nell'imbarcarsi in un'impresa di questo tipo; per la qualità decisamente elevata del proprio rooster e per il supporto fornito alla scena metal italiana (non ultimi le produzioni di Vicious Mary e White Skull). In secondo luogo vorrei fare un plauso al vero "Genio" della situazione : Daniele Liverani. Non dev'essere stato un compito facile concepire ed assemblare un'opera imponente come questa. Dopo aver saggiato le sue abilità strumentali nei dischi degli Empty Tremors, sua band di provenienza, che ha purtroppo raccolto sempre meno di quanto meritasse, abbiamo la possibilità di verificare anche le ottime doti compositive del polistrumentista grazie a questo disco, interamente scritto , suonato, arrangiato e prodotto da lui stesso, coadiuvato per le parti di batteria dall'ottima prestazione di Dario Ciccioni. E la voce direte voi? Il bello viene ora: per interpretare le parti vocali dei vari personaggi dell'opera, Liverani ha scomodato un cast stellare che comprende fra gli altri Mark Boals, Lana Lane, Chris Boltendahl, John Wetton, Steve Walsh, Daniel Gildenlow e ...Midnight, lo storico cantante mascherato della leggenda U.S. metal Crimson Glory! Scendendo maggiormente nei dettagli, nell'opera viene narrata la storia di Genius, un sagace ragazzo che viene accidentalmente proiettato in una dimensione parallela, nella quale scoprirà i segreti della produzione dei sogni umani. Durante il suo viaggio, che ricordiamo è suddiviso in tre capitoli, del quale questo album rappresenta un primo atto introduttivo intitolato "A Human Into Dreams' World", egli incontrerà diversi personaggi, con i quali avrà occasione di dar vita ad emozionati avventure, che lo aiuteranno a comprendere meglio i complicati meccanismi della mente umana, non senza però incappare in ingombranti paradossi, che metteranno anche in serio pericolo la sicurezza e l'esistenza stessa della dimensione parallela. L'argomento non è sicuramente di facile trattazione, ma è altamente affascinante e l'atmosfera che si respira durante l'ascolto è quella di sentirsi sempre sospesi fra realtà e fantasia, come immersi in un lungo sogno ad occhi aperti... La musica che accompagna la narrazione è veramente di qualità superiore e molto varia, si spazia infatti da abbondanti porzioni di metal progressivo a momenti di puro rock melodico, fino ad episodi in stile più classico e powereggiante. La lunga suite introduttiva "Without Me Today" è un utile compendio di cosa ci aspetta: la voce profonda di Philip Bynoe, nei panni del narratore, ci accompagna nel mondo di Genius e subito si viene assaliti da un vortice di sensazioni, man mano che si intrecciano le evoluzioni sonore sul pentagramma, accelerazioni, stacchi, aperture melodiche: il tutto per dodici minuti di puro magma progressivo. Nel secondo episodio "The Right Place" i ritmi si fanno più vellutati, e si materializza la regina del rock sinfonico Lana Lane che si produce in un bel duetto col protagonista Mark Boals. Si ritorna a premere sull'acceleratore in "Paradox", che si fa notare per un bellissimo interscambio fra Genius e il Twinspirit n.32, interpretato dal talentuoso singer dei Pain Of Salvation Daniel Gildenlow. Il vocione roco e prepotente del "becchino" Chris Boltendahl ci attende al varco in "The Glory Of Our Land", una delle canzoni più potenti e belle del disco, sostenuta alla grande da un bel coro magniloquente, che fa da contraltare all'irruenza di Boltendahl. Nell'arco di questo primo capitolo non vedremo però intervenire tutti e dieci i protagonisti del cast, ma soltanto otto. Mai come in questo caso mi sembra però futile continuare in un accademica descrizione dei singoli episodi, ogni brano è legato al seguente da una precisa logica e dai frammenti narrativi di Bynoe, che ci spiegano il tema trattato nel pezzo, ed è per questo motivo che Genius va gustato tutto d'un fiato, più e più volte, sino allo sfinimento! Che vi posso assicurare arriverà molto, ma molto tardi. Non nego che sia presente una punta d'orgoglio campanilistico, nell'affermare che Genius è uno dei dischi più belli dell'anno, per tutta una serie di motivi: la musica bellissima, il concept coinvolgente, il valore storico e le qualità artistiche dei cantanti coinvolti (superiore a mio avviso ad Avantasia, anche per la varietà dello spettro vocale che contempla), la produzione pulita e potente, in grado di dare il giusto risalto a tutti gli strumenti. Mi sto già fregando le mani nel pregustare i possibili sviluppi della storia, che verranno rilasciati nei prossimi due anni, ed immagino che sarà davvero impresa ardua per Daniele Liverani superare la bellezza di questo Genius. Semplicemente stupendo.
Voto: 8,5/10 - Andrea Brunazzo


Genius Ep.1 review on www.sz-online.de/freizeit/cd_kritik.asp 22.11.2002

Daniele Liverani, Genius A Rock Opera, Frontiers Records

Schon immer sind Menschen von ihren Träumen fasziniert. Der Italiener Daniele Liverani macht dies zum Thema seiner dreiteiligen Rockoper. Unterstützt von zahlreichen namhaften Kollegen schildert er auf musikalische Art und Weise die Abenteuer von Genius, einem Jungen, den es eines Tages in die komplexe Parallelwelt unserer (Alb-)Träume verschlägt. Gekonnt verbindet sich dabei progressive Rockmusik mit pompösen Musicalklängen. Die Geschichte ist gut nachvollziehbar, die englischen Texte sind leicht verständlich. Nur hin und wieder gerät das Ganze etwas zu schmalzig. Metalfans und Musicalliebhaber kommen dennoch voll auf ihre Kosten.

Fazit: Interessante Märchenstunde für Erwachsene.
Peter Dänhardt

 

Genius Ep.1 review on http://people.freenet.de/prettiesforyou 19.11.2002

Genius - Episode 1 "A Human Into Dreams' World"
We have given you 2 reviews of this album, instead of the usual one that we normally do for an album. It’s just so that we give you 2 independent reviews, so you don’t think that we are being biased in any way..LOL. So here’s the first review:
We already told you a lot about this new rock opera, and we had a lot of positive reactions, and finally, thanks to Daniele, we are able to close our part of this story (as for episode 1 of the trilogy).
Genius episode 1 is just what I expected it would be. It's more than just a rock opera, for me it's an epic, a revolution, and it’s got class!
From the first tunes this CD brings you in another world, the world of the dreams of "Genius", all put together by the "Storyteller" (the dark voice of Philip Bynoe).
All the 11 tracks on this CD contain a lot of beautiful changes in the music, cool bridges and beautiful singing of all the guest artists. Highlights for me are "Without Me Today", "Father" and "Terminate". Not that the other tracks are not that good, no not at all, but they just have something special for me.
The only negative thing about this CD is the end, because I don't have a repeat button on my CD-player.
So sit back, close your eyes and live the story of the Genius. Points: 10 out of 10.
(Jan.Coop)
......and here's the second review:
So here it is the long awaited Genius project. This album is a tribute to the dreams and aspirations of the musical talents of Daniele Liverani, as it is a superb album. 
All instruments are played by the impresario talents of Daniele, except the expertly played drums, which are done by drum master, supreme, Dario Ciccioni. For the various vocal parts Daniele has assembled an impressive array of talents, too many to name here, enough to say that they all compliment each other very well.
The album travels through a myriad of sounds, ranging from beautiful melodies, some funky piano parts, brilliant time changes, bombastic, thunderous drums, through to crunching power metal, guitar chords. Daniele has crafted a beautiful mix of songs, highlights for me being: the beautiful ballard “The Right Place” featuring Mark Boals and Lana Lane, whose voices are made for each other. The fast, killer song “There’s a human”, but I am biased there a bit as I am a big fan of Oliver Hartmann, as his voice just blows me away! And finally the awesome, “Father” featuring John Wetton. And the rest of the album isn’t that bad either..LOL. 
Though on a down side, I have a couple of gripes, but they are minor compared to the positives that come out. The mix of the narrators part, done by Philip Bynoe left me straining in a few parts to hear what he was saying, maybe it is because he has got a fairly deep voice, or maybe that’s just because I’m deaf after all the concerts I’ve been to lately…LOL!!! Also a couple of the songs are a tad too long, and seemed to be stretched out a little in my eyes.
But that said has this album been worth the wait…? In my humble opinion a resounding…..YES!!! All I can say is Daniele bring on the next 2 parts my man, you’ve got a hit with this, in my 

eyes :o)
Points: an operatic 8.8 points out 10.
(Wooks)

 

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.breakoutmagazin.de 19.11.2002

DANIELE LIVERANI "GENIUS - A Rock Opera"

Die Besetzung auf der vom Multi-Instrumentalisten Daniele Liverani (unter anderem Khymera) initiierten sogenannten "Heavy Metal Rock Opera" liest sich glänzend. Immerhin wirken in Mark Boals (Ex-Malmsteen), der Symphonic-Queen Lana Lane, Sangesgott Steve Walsh von Kansas, Legende John Wetton (Ex-Asia, Ex-Uriah Heep), Grave Digger-Frontmann Chris Boltendahl oder Midnight (Ex-Crimson Glory) eine Latte bekannter Leutchen mit. Leider aber hakt es bei der Umsetzung der Geschichte in einigen Bereichen gewaltig. Es fehlt irgendwie der rote Faden in der Story, der die einzelnen Tracks miteinander verbindet. Neben gefälligen Hardrock-Stücken wird immer mal wieder mehr holterdiepolter auf die Tube gedrückt, und auch vom Songwriting her ist manchmal Durchschnitt oder sogar noch etwas weniger Qualität angesagt. Wirklich schade, denn trotz guter Ansätze und der Hochkaräter an den Instrumenten und beim Gesang wurde hier eine große Chance vertan.

Marco Magin

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.rock-area.de 19.11.2002

Frontiers wagen sich mit dem neuen Metal Oper-Konzept "Genius" ausnahmsweise mal wieder auf härtere, musikalische Pfade. Hinter dieser dreigeteilten CD, von der nun der erste Teil veröffentlicht wird, verbirgt sich der italienische Musiker Daniele Liverani, der außer den Drums für alle Instrumente zuständig ist. Jeder Sänger verkörpert einen der teilnehmenden Charaktere, wie u.a. Mark Boals (RING OF FIRE, ex-MALMSTEEN) als "Genius" und Daniel Gildenlow von PAIN OF SALVATION als Twinspirit n.32. Zu den anderen Shoutern gehören Steve Walsh (KANSAS), John Wetton (ASIA), LANA LANE und Oliver Hartmann von AT VANCE. Musikalisch gesehen bewegt man sich in epischen Gefilden jeglicher progressiver Spielart. Diese CD ist definitiv nicht zum mal 'eben Durchhören' geeignet. Man kann sich wirklich lange damit beschäftigen. Klasse!

Rating: 4,5/ 6

 

Translation in English:

Frontiers once again cover the metal ground with a new release. This time, it's Pt. 1 (out of 3 in total) of a rock opera called "Genius" which was entirely written by Italian multi-instrumentalist Daniele Liverani who was joined by various well-known vocalists for the recordings. The setlist includes Mark Boals (RING OF FIRE, ex-MALMSTEEN) as "Genius" and Daniel Gildenlow from PAIN OF SALVATION as Twinspirit n.32. More names on the album are Steve Walsh (KANSAS), John Wetton (ASIA), LANA LANE and Oliver Hartmann from AT VANCE. Style-wise the album covers the whole spectrum ranging from progressive rock to metal. Great, epic stuff!

Vote:4,5/ 6

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.breakoutmagazin.de 19.11.2002

Genius - Episode 1- A Human Into Dream World

This is the first part of three albums; together they will form the story about Genius’ jouney to the dream world. This is a special blend of music and vocalists. There are 10 different vocalists on this album and they are: Mark Boals, Lana Lane, Daniel Gildenlöw, Chris Boltendahl, Joe Vana, Steve Walsh, John Wetton, Oliver Hartmann, Midnight and Philip Bynoe. All of which play in brilliant bands, except Midnight who's been without a band for some time now. For me it is interesting to find Daniel Gildenlöw because I am a big fan of Pain Of Salvation, where he sings and plays guitar. And of course Chris Boltendahl of Grave Digger who has a very special voice normally.

This is a great concept album, with all the different vocalists, and just as I expected the tracks with Daniel Gildenlöw are brilliant.

Especially the track “Paradox” has such a great melody line, and the duet between Daniel and Mark Boals kicks ass. The music is a blend of heavy metal and progressive metal, with some very cool riffs and vocal parts by Daniel, it kicks ass.

The track “The Glory Of Our Land” is great too. It features some very cool music, and some interesting vocals by Chris Boltendahl. Chris sings in his normal way, with very hard vocals. He sounds brilliant and compliments the powerful music very well. I am totally hooked on the brilliant chorus with the keyboard in the background, and the choir kicks ass.

The general style of the album is Heavy metal with some elements of both progressive metal and power metal. The guitars are heavy the most of the time and sound excellent. This album is not as complex as I thought it would be; the tracks on the album are quite easy to get into, it kind of reminds me of Trans-Siberian Orchestra at times, with that kind of happy fell to it. The album has a very up-beat sound, not melancholic like I thought. A great example of this is the tracks “All Of Your Acts” and “My Pride” both of which are brilliant tracks, in fact all the tracks kick ass on this album.

The keyboards are great and they help to underline the music, they are in no way dominating or forced in the front. They have a place in the background which fits great. The bass and the drums sounds really cool and are very technical at times.

There is a special appearance by the ex-lead singer Midnight (Crimson Glory in the 80s) on Terminate. This track has some cool music and a great vocal side to it. I like the frantic sound of the instruments and the brilliant vocals by Midnight. This guy sings in a very cool fashion, which kind of reminds me of Dave Mustaine at times and of Halford at other times. That is how far Midnight’s vocal range is.

Well, this album is worth the money if you like great heavy metal with a little keyboard and many different singers. I for one will go out and buy this album. The concept is great and I like the story about travelling to the dream world.

Greatest Tracks: “Paradox”, “The Glory Of Our Land” “My Pride”, “Terminate” and “I’m Afraid”

Rating: 9/10

Mads - 10/23/2002

 

Other staff ratings and opinions:

Ever since I heard of this project I couldn't wait to hear what it would sound like. Being a huge fan of Crimson Glory I had been thinking about what happened to Midnight after all those years. Let me tell you, this guy is back with a vengeance and he hasn't lost "The Voice". Terminate totally blows me away.

I agree with Mads that the album is easy to get into but almost impossible to let go once you're sucked into this world of magnificent music.

Daniele Liverani (Empty Tremor) plays all instruments on the record except drums and I'm amazed with what he's created.

This album is 72 minutes of pure bliss. No bad songs, no boring moments, just brilliant music. All the singers put their own personal touch on the songs, which is another plus. Especially Mark Boals, Daniel Gildenlöw and Oliver Hartman really shine. But no one passes the might of Midnight. This guy is still amazing.

If had to name a couple of favourites it would have to be Dreams, Without me today, The right place, Paradox, There's a human and of course Terminate.

The only thing that doesn't hit the right note with me is the narrator. He detracts a little as I don't feel his voice fits the music so good and also, it feels like he's reading out loud at times. Is it just me or does it sound like he has a cold? I would have liked it if he sounded a little more into the story. Try to listen to "The hound of the Baskervilles" by Clive Nolan and Oliver Wakeman to hear an excellent narrator.

Still, he isn't that bad, just not on par with the brilliant music, which is almost...Genius (Sorry, couldn't help it:)

I can't wait to get my hands on the actual album and get really into it.

Steen

Rating: 9/10

 

Supplied by Nordic Metal

 

Genius Ep.1 review on http://www.escenarock.com/reviews 21.11.2002

Genius - ´A Human Into Dreams´ World´

Daniele Liverani produce, compone, arregla, idea y (tomo aire) ... toca en Genius, la primera parte de una trilogia que ha "masticado" en su mente desde hace tiempo hasta, finalmente, darle forma en esta primera entrega.

Esta trilogía incluirá un total de 33 temas (11 por episodio), y la duración total de la misma sera de unas 4 horas, repartidas en un cd por episodio.

La historia es algo compleja, refiriéndose a un sueño que el personaje principal "Genius" tiene en los 10 últimos minutos. Según el propio Daniele, "los sueños generalmente crean una linea de tiempo que no se corresponde con la realidad, así que hemos plasmado 10 minutos de sueño en 4 horas de música!"

Daniele ha sido ayudado en el tema de las percusiones y baterías por un tremendo chaval de 19 años llamado Dario Ciccioni. El resto es completamente obra suya. Teclado, guitarras y bajos han pasado por las manos de Liverani, demostrando un impresionante sentido y gusto en cada uno de los instrumentos, elevando a este músico italiano a un multi-instrumentista de gran talla.

Cabe destacar, si bien es uno de sus principales atractivos (a parte de la genial música que hace de base para la historia de Genius), el gran número de cantantes de los que Liverani se ha rodeado, de verdaderas glorias o de la nueva generación de cantantes de rock. Nos referimos (y debido a gustos personales tengo que ponerle el primero) a Daniel Gildenlow (Pain Of Salvation), Midnight (Crimson Glory), John Wenton (Asia), Steve Walsh (Kansas), Oliver Hartmann (At Vance), Joe Vana (Mecca), Lana Lane, Mark Boals (Ring Of Fire) y Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger). Sin duda la lista es para abrir la boca.

Ni que decir tiene que a título personal me encanta el dúo Boals-Gildenlow en el 3er. corte, "Paradox", o la voz de la inigualable Lana Lane en "The Right Place". Pero "Genius" es tremendamente difícil de asimilar, de "despiezar", de seguir el ritmo y de entender lo que Liverani quiere contar en cada momento. Como disco conceptual que es, la unidad es una de sus características. Si bien no se puede separar en uno y otro track, hay que decir que es realmente intenso, con un aire completamente progresivo, tirando al mas clásico heavy.

No se derrocha especialmente virtuosismo de forma gratuita, sino que más bien el aspecto es de una tremenda calidad y ritmos complejos, de bases cargadas de guitarra-bajo, que fijándose son líneas que acompañan a la perfección la voz de algunos cantantes, como puede ser el 4o corte "The glory of our land" con Chris Boltendahl y la voz más rasgada que posee (y donde Liverani regala un solo tremendo de guitarra) o el grandioso "There´s A Human" con Oliver Hartmann. Tal vez ese sea uno de los puntos fuertes de "Genius", el poder adaptar cada base rítmica, cada guitarra-bajo-teclado-batería, con el tipo de voz a la que va destinada cada composición. No es fácil hacer que cada cantante encuentre cómoda la base donde va a cantar en un disco que no ha compuesto. Daniele no sólo lo ha hecho, sino que además parece que ha elegido las partes que mejor describen a cada uno de ellos.

Hay momentos que parecen alejarse un poco del sonido que generaliza el disco, como en "All Of Your Acts", donde parece que el AOR se apodera del tema, (cierto recuerdo a bandas como Journey), o "My pride" que contando con Steve Walsh y John Wetton, y la filosofía de "adaptar" a cada cantante la música, también se sale un poco de la tónica general (digamos que se le nota más la vena progresiva).

"Father" es el tema más melódico, más relajado (de las pocas partes que existen de este calibre en todo el disco), donde Wetton hace un fantástico trabajo, con un dúo final de voz-solo de guitarra fantástico. No se deja ni un minuto de respiro, donde Midnight canta a su estilo más clásico en "Terminate", otro tema con la intensidad y la carga de la tónica general de "Genius". Quizás es una de las voces más curiosas y que mejor "empastan" en el ideal de Liverani en "Terminate". De nuevo se puede ver que la elección del cast de cantantes ha sido perfecta.

Y finalizamos con otro recorrido por lo mejor del progresivo con un cuarteto de lujo para cerrar el disco, Boals, Gildenlow (insisto, genial, sobre todo en este track), Midnight, Wetton.

"Genius" es un trabajo de cuidado, Daniele se ha mostrado (aunque ya demostraba lo que podía hacer con la genial banda italiana Empty Tremor) como un tremendo músico, y, sobre todo, compositor. La labor de idear toda esta Ópera Rock, de componerla, de adaptar y buscar cada cantante a lo que él necesitaba para cada pasaje, y por si fuera poco la de juntarse a un chaval de 19 años como batería, y tocar él mismo el resto de instrumentos es algo que sólo uno de esos "genios" puede hacer.

Un trabajo interesantísimo, que hará las delicias de los amantes del metal con el poso progresivo.

(... suena el despertador ...)

Jaco

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.gaesteliste.de 21.11.2002

Genius - Episode 1 - A Human Into Dreams' World

Braucht die Welt neben dem Avantasia-Projekt wirklich noch eine Rockoper? Ja, ja und nochmals ja, zumindest deren hier vorliegende erste Episode - wenn nämlich eine wirkliche internationale Musiker-Creme sich wie hier geschehen dem Hilfsersuchen von Frontier Music und dem italienischen Gitarristen, Keyboarder und Komponisten Daniele Liverani (Empty Tremor) nicht verschliessen mögen. Herausgekommen ist mit ihrer Hilfe ein pralles Prachtwerk von einem Rockalbum, das man vielleicht weniger mit Avantasia 1 und 2 von Edguy-Jungspund Tobi Sammet als vielmehr mit altehrwürdigen Vorgängern wie den Werken von Nikolo Kotzev ("Nostradamus") vergleichen sollte. Wenn überhaupt.

Dem Werk - vorfreudeaufbauenderweise erst der erste Teil einer angekündigten Trilogie - ist höchstens eine gewisse rhythmische Zweidimensionalität vorzuwerfen (Liverani scheint als Komponist hauptsächlich zwei Gangarten zu kennen: Die Pianoballade und die Doublebass-getriebene Powernummer im Galloppelschritt). Ansonsten aber lässt allein schon die Besetzungsliste Kenner einspeicheln: Mark Boals (u.a. Y. Malmsteen), Daniel Gildenlöw (Pain Of Salvation), Steve Walsh (Kansas), John Wetton (U.K., Asia u.a.), Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger), Midnight (Crimson Glory) hat es noch nie gemeinsam auf einer Scheiblette gegeben. Hauptakteur Boals singt sich schlicht die Seele aus dem Leib, das Duett zwischen Lana L. und Mark Boals "The Right Place" hätte es verdient, ein Weihnachtshit zu werden, John Wettons Showpiece "Father" braucht sich vor nichts und niemand in diesem Bereich zu verstecken, "Paradox" ist eine schier kopfverdrehende Nummer zwischen Progressive und Power Metal, bei der sich Boals und Daniel Gildenlöw musikalisch gewissermassen duellieren und das grandiose Finale "I'm Afraid" ist allein schon wegen den Sangesbeiträgen des ohnehin unvergleichlichen Daniel G. den Preis für die CD wert. Opulent, zunächst vielleicht etwas sperrig doch langfristig kostbar.

-Klaus Reckert-

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.darkscene.at 21.11.2002

Genius - A human into dreams´ world

Dass Rock Opern seit dem bisher unerreichten Meisterwerk "Into The Electric Castle" von AYREON schwer angesagt sind, dürfte wohl auch dem letzten schwarzverwurzelten Prügelfanaten klar sein. Grundsätzlich auch begrüssenswert, wenn Leute mit Klasse wie Arjen Lucassen, Tobias Sammet oder Nikolo Kotzev geile Epen mit würdigen Gastmusikern vertonen. Bitter wird´s aber, wenn jeder meint, er könne mal locker eine Rockoper mit massig Gastsängern aus der Gebährmutter quetschen, damit aber leider eine mittelmässige Missgeburt in die Welt setzt, die niemand so recht braucht.

GENIUS nennt sich nun dieser Fruchtversuch des mir bisher unbekannten Daniele Liverani und der erste Blick auf die Gästeschar lässt auch einiges vermuten. Neben Dauergastmusikerin Lana Lane tummeln sich neben den genialen Steve Walsh von KANSAS und John Wetton von URIAH HEEP noch Mark Boals (Ex MALMSTEEN) und der, mit mehr oder minder (...eher minder bis bitter...) gesegnetem Organ ausgestattete Chris Boltendahl von GRAVE DIGGER. Dem geneigten Metaller sticht aber vor Allem das Mitwirken von ex CRIMSON GLORY Götterstimme Midnight ins Auge und somit steigt das Interesse an der Sache recht eilig.

Hört man sich das Teil dann einige Male an, muss man aber leider eingestehen, dass die starken Vocals allein, nie und nimmer eine gute Scheibe ausmachen und nicht ein Song als sonderlich bemerkenswert einzustufen ist. Nummern wie das überlang und harte "Prophecy", das melodische "Dreams", das gefällige "There´s A Human" oder das AOR mässige "All Of Your Acts" haben zwar gute Ansätze und klingen fein, führen aber nie zu einem echten Höhepunkt und leiern sich bald ab. Der Rest der Scheibe ist aber schwer in die Kategorie mühsam, nervig bis belanglos einzustufen und so findet man recht schnell den Weg zur Stopp Taste. GENIUS ist von Vorn bis Hinten astrein umgesetzter Prog Rock/Metal mit allerlei harten und auch poppigen Einflüssen, dem aber jeglicher packender Zusammenhang oder einprägsame Melodien fehlt und der keinerlei Höhepunkt, geschweige denn ein furioses Finale offenbart.

GENIUS ist zwar kein Schrottalbum, im Vergleich mit anderen Eisen dieses Genres geht die Scheibe aber gnadenlos unter.

6/10

Tom

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.ancientspirit.de 19.11.2002

Was sich doch manche Leute Arbeit mit Projekten aufhalsen (ja, ich weiß, ich sollte da gerade still sein...), ist manchmal schon unglaublich. Während Peter Tägtgren sich neben HYPOCRISY noch mit PAIN austobt, oder Tobias Sammet von EDGUY nebenbei mit AVANTASIA Erfolge feiert, hat nun Daniele Liverari von den italienischen Proggies EMPTY TREMOR nun hier mit GENIUS - A ROCK OPERA massig Prominenz um sich geschart, wie z.B. Lana Lane, Daniel Gildenlow (PAIN OF SALVATION), Chris Boltendahl (GRAVE DIGGER), Midnight (Ex-CRIMSON GLORY), John Wetton (ASIA), Oliver Hartmann (AT VANCE), Steve Walsh (KANSAS) oder Mark Boals. Zwar wird offiziell der Stil als Heavy Metal Rock Opera bezeichnet, aber unterm Strich betrachtet, ist es damit nicht gleich getan. Hier werden auf "A Human into Dreams World", dem ersten Teil der GENIUS-Trilogie gleich mehrere Stile verbunden. So ist von Hard Rock über Euro Power Metal bis hin zu Progressive Metal hier alles vertreten was das Metal-Puristen Herz höher schlagen lässt. Dabei dürften die Einflüsse wohl am ehesten von SAVATAGE, DREAM THEATER (hört euch hier nur mal den Anfang von "Without me today" an), QUEEN sowie einigen Andrew Llyod Webber Musicals stammen, wobei (ohne Beeinflussung) auch Parallelen zu AVANTASIA erkennbar sind! Eröffnet wird das Meisterwerk vom zugleich auch längsten Stück "Without me today", das nach kurzer Erzähleinleitung von "Storyteller" Philip Bynoe auch gleich episch loslegt und sich sehr progressiv weiterentwickelt. Im Opener wird der Charakter des Genius (dargestellt von Mark Boals) eingeleitet, einem 20jährigen italienischen Drummer, der am 20. Dezember 1999 bei sich im Bett liegt und an jenem Montag Morgen um 7.00 Uhr von seinem Wecker geweckt wird. Spontan entschließt er sich weiter zu schlafen und ehe er es sich versieht, schläft er auch schon wieder ein. Weiter geht es mit dem ruhigen "The right Place", das hauptsächlich durch zarte Klavierklänge dominiert, die ab der Hälfte zusätzlich von Bass und Drums begleitet werden. Genius beginnt hier zu träumen, dass er sich plötzlich vor einem riesigen Tor befindet, durch das er hindurch geht und dort von einer Frau willkommen geheißen wird. Mit "Paradox" (nein, nicht der THRESHOLD Klassiker!) wird es dann zunehmend heftiger. Man merkt wie Genius langsam verängstigt wird, da er von all dem, mit dem er konfrontiert wird, nichts versteht. Doch ehe er sich versieht, wird er mit einer neuen Szene auseinandergesetzt, wo er sich plötzlich in Mitten einer Masse befindet, die auf den Horizont zu geht und er hier, immer noch zweifelnd, die erst beste Person fragt, was hier vor sich geht. Dieser erzählt im nun die Story der Twin Spirits, die im Land der Träume entstehen. Jeder Twin Spirit ist dabei der Charakter der träumenden Person. In "The Glory of our Land" geht es dann auch zugleich weiter. Die beiden freunden sich an und fahren mit einem Zug in das "Twin Spirit Land". Dieser Zug wird dabei perfekt von den treibenden Doublebass und den betonten Hi-Hats hervorragend dargestellt. Im Vergleich zu den anderen Tracks ist dieser Song sehr einfach ausgefallen, erfüllt aber dennoch seine Aufgabe als flotter Mid-Tempo Walze. Im Twin Spirit Land angekommen begeben sich die Twin Spirits nun alle an ihren Platz. Dieser Platz wird nun in "All of your Acts" beschrieben, welcher wohl sehr unglaublich sein muss. Die rockigen Elemente, sowie der Gesang von Joe Vana stellen dabei die Begeisterung dar, die man bei der Betrachtung dieser Landschaft empfindet. Hier setzt sich jeder Twin Spirit an einen Monitor mit verschiedenen Instrumenten, womit er schließlich den Traum seines Besitzers kontrollieren und steuern kann und ihn mit nahezu jeder möglichen Fantasie bescheren kann. (Ich muss unbedingt meinen Twin Spirit finden!!! Wo ist nochmal die Diskette mit Gina Wild??). Worum es im Stück "Dreams" geht, werde ich wohl keinem näher erklären brauchen. Um es kurz zu fassen: Genius betrachtet, wie alle Twin Spirits arbeiten und all die Träume erzeugt werden. Er ist begeistert, dass er der einziste Mensch ist, der sieht, was hinter den Träumen so alles geschieht. Der Charakter dieses Songs wirkt sehr relaxt, trotz der Tempiwechsel. Stilistisch lässt sich "Dreams" am besten in die Euro Metal Schublade stecken, wobei der Mittelteil sich hiervon absondert und eher als klassischer Power Metal durch geht. In "My Pride" treffen die beiden Könige King Wild Tribe und King Mc Chaos aufeinander. Dieses Stück ist sehr typisch rockig ausgefallen, dazu hübsch begleitet von einer Hammond Orgel, was der Sache einen klassischen HArd Rock Sound verpasst. Dazu noch der Gesang von Steve Walsh und John Wetton... da braucht man wohl nix mehr zu sagen. Ab "There´s a Human" wird es dann schließlich brenzlig für Genius, denn er wird von den Wesen im Twin Spirit Land entdeckt und man stellt fest das er ein Mensch ist. Dementsprechend hektisch und direkt ist dieses Stück ausgefallen. Die Gitarre klingt hierbei sehr verfrickelt wie zuvor schon geschrieben hektisch, während die Drums sich treibend im Up Tempo Bereich befinden. Besser hätten es auch STRATOVARIUS und HAMMERFALL nicht hin bekommen können. Lediglich die Chöre mit ihrem Textfetzen "There´s a human, there´s a human" nerven ein wenig, aber da es zum Konzept gehört, drückt man hier gerne ein Auge zu! Szenenwechsel - "Father". Nachdem King Wild Tribe wieder gegangen war, begibt sich King Mc Chaos zu seinem Sohn und empfindet hierbei eine gewisse Angst, noch ohne genau zu wissen, was ihn erwarten soll. Die Atmosphäre wirkt hier leicht bedrückend, ebenso wie das Empfinden von King Mc Chaos, der eine böse Vorahnung hat. Die erfüllt sich dann auch in "Terminate" (Göttlich hierbei Ex-CRIMSON GLORY Sänger Midnight!), wo er von Main Dream, dem Präsidenten der Dream League Council angeklagt wird. Hierfür werden alle Könige der Welt versammelt, wonach einer sorgfältigen Diskussion letztendlich King Mc Chaos verurteilt wird und sein Sohn in eine Spielzeugfabrik in das Asiatische Traumkönigreich gebracht werden soll. Doch weiß der König, dass dies die Zerstörung seines Sohnes bedeuten würde... Musikalisch werden hier nochmal alle Register gezogen. Vor allem die Verurteilung wirkt sehr dramatisch und auch die darauffolgende Diskussionen wurden sehr gut umgesetzt! Da darf man nach diesem ersten Teil der Trilogie sehr gespannt auf die beiden anderen sein, die noch folgen werden. Auf alle Fälle schreit es ja sozusagen richtig nach einer Fortsetzung, denn ich denke wohl, dass jeder der diese Geschichte mit verfolgt hat, wohl gerne wissen möchte wie es weitergeht. Wer sich eh alle Rock oder Metal Opern oder Bombast Konzeptalben wie z.B. SAVATAGEs "Streets - A Rock Opera" oder "Dead Winter Dead", BLIND GUARDIAN "Nightfall in Middle-Earth" oder AVANTASIA "The Metal Opera Pt.1 + 2" zugelegt hat, wird sich sicherlich auch dieses Meisterwerk kaufen! Ansonsten möchte ich jedem Fan anspruchsvollen Heavy Metals dieses Album an´s Herz legen, da der darauf enthaltene Epos wohl jeden begeistern dürfte, der kein Problem mit normalem Metal /Hard Rock Gesang hat. Stay tuned for more!

SasH , 11 Punkte

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.ontherocks.de 19.11.2002

“Without Me Today”: A more than 12 minute long, pretty complex opener. This epic, a Mark Boals-sung track, reminds me of DREAM THEATER and plays with pretty bombastic arrangements and background vocals. In spite of its complexity, the song is still melodic and features a beautiful chorus.“The Right Place”: A dreamy, piano accompanied ballad with a heavenly duet between Mark Boals and Lane Lane, whose angelic voice plays the leading part on this song.“Dreams”: An energetic but very melodic Heavy Metal song that electrified by Mark Boals’ majestic lead vocals and pompous background vocals. The song is not far away from Boals’ works with Yngwie Malmsteen and RING OF FIRE.“Father”: A powerful and symphonically arranged ballad with passionate vocals by former ASIA singer John Wetton.“Terminate”: In my opinion the most aggressive song of the album. Carried by thunderous drums and tremendous riffing the song gets highlighted by the awesome singing of former CRIMSON GLORY lead vocalist Midnight. The range of his voice is still unbelievable!Summary:

“Genius – A Rock Opera” by the Italian guitarist Daniele Liverani is one of the most ambitious projects in the history of Heavy Metal. It features some of the greatest names in Hard Rock/Heavy Metal and the concept story about the little boy Genius, who explores the world of dreams, is conceived for not less than three albums. So “A Human Into Dreams’ World” is only the prelude for a trilogy! The music on this album is extremely varied and ranges from catchy Melodic Rock to powerful Heavy Metal and hard to digest Prog Metal. I am afraid that many listeners will feel a little confused due to the diverse variety which takes some open-mindedness and intense listening. However, that doesn’t alter the fact that “Genius” is a strong piece of music that I recommend, in particular, to the Prog Metal community…What others say:

- Rock It! (GER): 5 out of 6 points

- AOR Heaven (GER): 84 %

- Melodicrock.com: 89 %

- Rock Hard (GER): 6 out of 10 points

- Melodic Journey (GER): 8 out of 10 pointsRATING: 87 %

PRODUCTION: 88 %

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www16.brinkster.com/renacerelectric 19.11.2002

DANIELE LIVERANI - Genius - A Rock Opera

Cuando me llegó esta obra conceptual dirigida por la mente de Daniele Liverani me quedé bastante sorprendido. No suele ser muy normal el encontrarte con maestros como Steve Walsh, figura esencial de los legendarios Kansas, en un proyecto de estas características. Y aunque discos como "Nostradamus" o "The Hound Of The Baskerville" dan un poco más de cancha a las viejas glorias del género, por lo general se prefiere las gargantas de gente como Timo Kotipelto o David DeFeis, hecho que puede llegar a encasillar rápidamente a uno u otro proyecto. Tal vez sea por esta razón por la que el Señor Liverani ha decidido dejar las puertas abiertas a todas las corrientes metálicas y músicos que en ellas residen.

"Genius" es una obra conceptual que no se sale del canon establecido dentro de la considerada "Rock Opera": tema más o menos original, historia llena de personajes encarnados por las mejores voces del panorama musical, alguna que otra secuela para dar más enjundia a la idea. En este caso, Daniele nos mostrará a largo de cuatro horas (sí, este disco es el primero de una trilogía, así que aquí sólo está parte de la historia) el sueño de un genio de la antigüedad. Dicho sueño le llevó a conocer el principio de la creación humana. Pues bien, a grandes rasgos esta es la trama, ahora fijémonos en el reparto. Si hay que hablar de un protagonista, la firma que se esconde tras el personaje de "Genius", tenemos que referirnos al prodigioso Mark Boals. Este vocalista se encontrará en su camino de ensoñación con las figuras de "Doorkeeper", "Stationmaster", "King McChaos", "King Wild Tribe" o "Maindream", representados por Lana Lane, Chris Boltendahl, John Wetton, Steve Walsh y Midnight, respectivamente. Y aunque aparecen muchos más músicos de interés (no dejes de echarle un vistazo a la completa página oficial de la Ópera Rock en www.geniusrockopera.com ), centrémonos ahora en el grueso sonoro de este primer álbum. Los estilos que imperan en dicho trabajo son tres bien diferenciados: Hard Rock, Progresivo y Heavy Metal. Sí es cierto que os podréis encontrar con algunos ramalazos de Power, aunque eso se lo ha preferido dejar a Mr. Sammet y su "Avantasia".

Es muy curioso escuchar los temas que componen el redondo ya que, aunque en un primer momento no te fijas mucho, con una segunda escucha empiezas a percibir ciertos matices que van unidos a las personalidades musicales de cada participante. Un ejemplo claro lo encontraréis en su primerísima "Without Me Today". Una canción que, aunque la interpreta Mark Boals, es fácil toparse con pasajes que asemejan a unos Kansas futuristas... aunque esto se pone realmente de manifiesto cuando Steve Walsh salta ante el micrófono junto a John Wetton para interpretar una rockera "My Pride". También puede uno disfrutar de momentos memorables cuando pincha ese segundo "The Right Place", con Lana Lane dando la réplica a un Boals más contenido y tranquilo. O el regreso del magnífico Midnight, voz emblemática de Crimson Glory, que demuestra en la décima "Terminate" que tiene cuerda para rato. Con este corte tan en la onda del "Abigail" de King Diamond, uno se pregunta... ¿cómo habría sido la lucha vocal de estos dos titanes? (a ver si Mr. Diamond toma nota para una tercera parte). Y no os perdáis las cuatro voces unidas de Mark Boals, John Wetton, Midnight y Daniel Gindenlöw en el definitivo "I´m Afraid".

Daniele Liverani se pone a la altura de creadores como Nikolo Kotze, Clive Nolan u Oliver Wakeman, y nos sorprende con un nuevo giro en la mecánica un tanto manida de los discos conceptuales o, mal llamados en algunas ocasiones, Óperas Rock. Un trabajo que da la talla y del que seguro se hablará durante largo tiempo en los diversos foros especializados de la red.

Sergio Guillén

 

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.evilrockshard.de 19.11.2002

Genius - A Rock Opera - A Human Into Dreams World (Frontiers / 2002)

Im Vorfeld geisterten bereits einige Namen in der Gerüchteküche umher für die mit Spannung erwartete Rock Oper „Genius“ des italienischen Gitarristen Daniele Liverani. Erfreulicherweise konnten für dieses Projekt eine Vielzahl von bekannten Gaststars engagiert werden, so dass sich die Setlist wie das Who is Who der Metalszene liest. Mit dabei sind u. a. Mark Boals (ex-Malmsteen), Lana Lane, Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger), Steve Walsh (Kansas) und Oliver Hartmann (At Vance). Bis auf die Drums hat Daniele Liverani alle Instrumente selbst eingespielt. Bei den oben erwähnten Namen kann eigentlich nicht mehr viel schief gehen und dementsprechend präsentiert sich „Genius“ in einem Gewand aus zauberhaften Stimmen und majestätischen Klängen. Die Geschichte dreht sich um die Entstehung menschlicher Träume, in der die Hauptfigur Genius in einem Paralleluniversum ständig neue Dinge entdeckt und unbekannten Wesen begegnet. Dieses Album hätte man getrost auch als Musical aufführen können, denn obwohl die Rock und Metalpassagen nicht zu knapp sind, ist auch für den normalen Musikfan jede Menge Hörgenuss vorhanden. Die progressiven Grundzüge sind allgegenwärtig und treten vor allem im Opener ‚Without Me Today’ im Mittelteil und gegen Ende zum Vorschein. Faszinierend an diesem Konzept ist jedoch, dass jeder Song eine bestimmte Stimmung widerspiegelt und dennoch offen ist für stilistisch vielseitige Elemente. ‚Paradox’ beispielsweise beinhaltet sehr viel Chaos und Hektik, während jedoch der Refrain einen starken epischen Charakter aufweist mit bombastischen Chören, ‚The Glory Of Our Land’ ist hingegen sehr düster und aggressiv gehalten, ‚All Of Your Acts’ könnte man fast schon im Pop Bereich ansiedeln. Trotz dieser Vielseitigkeit und Verspieltheit geht der Faden nie verloren, sodass man sich in den Weiten der Story nicht verliert. Zwischen den einzelnen Songs erläutert ein Erzähler kurz den weiteren Verlauf, sodass ein fließender Übergang vorhanden ist. Auch wenn das Konzeptalbum als Ganzes überzeugt, möchte ich zum Schluss noch auf zwei Stücke hinweisen. ‚The Right Place’ ist eine überragende Ballade mit einem herrlichen Gesangsduett zwischen Mark Boals und Lana Lane, deren Stimmen einen gewissen Zauber verbreiten. ‚There’s A Human’ besticht durch seinen Speed, fast ein klassischer Powermetalsong, den genialen Oliver Hartmann und die teils mehrstimmig gesungenen Backgroundvocals.Genius „A Human Into Dreams World" ist der erste von drei Teilen, der Lust auf mehr macht. Musikalische Extraklasse und fantastische Sänger verleihen diesem Werk einen würdigen Rahmen. (oli)

 

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.kronic.it 19.11.2002

Primo episodio della saga metallica `made in Italy`... Si alzi il sipario!

Signori miei, ci troviamo di fronte alla prima metal opera di marca italiana, un lavoro monumentale diviso in tre CD che verranno pubblicati in tre anni e che ci pone all’avanguardia anche sotto questo punto di vista. Autore di tutto ciò il chitarrista/tastierista degli Empty Tremor Daniele Liverani il quale, chiamati accanto a sé il giovane batterista Dario Ciccioni ed un manipolo di grandissimi vocalist, ha creato un progetto ambizioso ed assolutamente competitivo con le recenti produzioni di Nikkolo Kotzev, Trent Gardner e Arjen Lucassen. Produzione notevole, suoni perfetti ed un lavoro di missaggio altamente tecnologico permettono al primo capitolo della trilogia “Genius” di allargare gli orizzonti della nostra scena metallica verso una dimensione ancora più internazionale.

La storia parla di un giovane batterista, soprannominato Genius, che in modo accidentale trova la chiave per entrare nel mondo dei sogni e qui si dipaneranno avventure incredibili e mozzafiato che non vi voglio svelare per non rovinarvi la sorpresa. Pertanto, parliamo delle canzoni dal punto di vista strettamente musicale iniziando da “Without me today”, assoluto pezzo da novanta di notevole lunghezza, interpretato da un grandissimo Mark Boals, in cui prog metal, power e hard rock si fondono in una miscela esplosiva.

È ancora Mark Boals affiancato da Lana Lane a proporsi nella più rilassata “The right place”, mentre il secondo duetto (“Paradox”) lo vede accompagnato dal grande Daniel Gildenlow dei Pain Of Salvation in un brano spigoloso ma di grande fascino. L’inossidabile Chris Boltendhal scandisce i toni power-epic di “The glory of our land” alla maniera dei migliori Grave Digger, mentre tocca alla voce cristallina di Joe Vana interpretare “All of your acts”, una AOR-songs ad ampio respiro e dalla melodia irresistibile.

Dopo la sinfonica e veloce “Dreams” (interpretata da Boals) tocca a due miti come Steve Walsh e John Wetton duettare in “My pride”, song dinamica e complessa a metà strada tra Kansas e UK. Oliver Hartmann (At Vance) dà il proprio contributo su “There’s a human”, puro speed-metal di stampo germanico, seguito dalla stupenda ballad “Father” interpretata in modo sentito da Wetton.

Ma non c’è tempo per le lacrime perché sta per arrivare, udite udite, Midnight il quale fa rivivere lo spirito dei grandi Crimson Glory in “Terminate”.

Il finale è un tripudio di bravura ed emozioni con Boals, Gildenlow, Midnight e Wetton ad impreziosire l’epica “I’m afraid”. Ma su tutto e tutti domina la genialità e la bravura di Liverani, polistrumentista abilissimo e grande songwriter che tesse le trame dei vari brani con la professionalità di un grande regista. Insomma, un album da avere a tutti i costi e da custodire gelosamente nella propria collezione di CD. To be continued…

Riccardo Osti

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.melodicrock.com 19.11.2002

Genius is a hugely ambitious project, written and starring Italian heavy rock guitarist Daniele Liverani.

The story has been written to run over 3 albums, which will delight fans of extended progressive rock epics, but make fans of 3 minute power pop songs run for cover.

This is Episode One and as far as showcasing Daniele's instrument playing, production and songwriting talents go - it's a big success.

The album features some fine progressive moments, some outstanding guitar soloing and some equally fine more melodic passages.

Joining Daniele (Guitars, Bass, Keyboards) in the base band is drummer Dario Ciccioni.

The Cast of Characters (Vocals) consists of: Mark Boals, Lana Lane, Daniel Gildenlow, Chris Boltendahl, Joe Vana, Steve Walsh, John Wetton, Oliver Hartmann, Midnight and Philip Bynoe as 'The Storyteller'

The vocal choir features Olaf Senkbeil, Hachy Hackmann & Chris Boltendahl. Additional vocals are supplied by Rita Celli and Thom Griffin.

This is a big epic production. The sound is well mixed, excellently produced by Daniele himself, with help from Frontier's own Serafino Perugino.

The emphasis is on big progressive friendly European hard rock, with touches of the other elements mentioned.

Song wise, the vocals are going to appeal to heavy European rock and progressive music fans.

All Of Your Acts features Joe Vana and is the album's most melodic or AOR friendly song. It still has a progressive twist to it and Joe sounds great. It's a new element to his vocal talents.

The style, tempo, vibe, direction and feel of the album changes wildly throughout it's 78 minute running time. There are moments of soft ballad-esque melodic rock, European hard rock, progressive rock, heavy metal and progressive metal.

Another favorite track is Lana Lane's big vocal moment on the hook filled atmospheric progressive ballad The Right Place. Fine vocal effort.

Another interesting track is when Steve Walsh comes to the mike for My Pride. It's an excellent progressive rocker, with a good hook, but in this instance at least, Walsh's vocals sound quite strained and somewhat weathered. It doesn't sound like he has aged well!

The track however features some great guitar moments, but riffing and fine melodic soloing.

The Bottom Line

Naturally, comparisons will be made to the 'other' recent rock opera Nostradamus. Yes, this will appeal to those that liked that album - no doubt about it. But they are also quite different. Nostradamus was more mainstream hard rock, whereas I think this has a stronger progressive edge to it and is definitely more European in it's base sound.

Fans of progressive hard rock and long epic songs should check this out forthwith.

Additionally, the running time is about as long as you can get across one CD, the artwork suits the release.

Global Rating 89%

Additional Ratings:

Songwriting  93%

Attitude  88%

Production 87%

Sundries 90%

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.metalreviews.com 19.11.2002

Genius (A Rock Opera) - Episode One - A Human In Dreams' World, is the first release in a trilogy masterminded by the Italian guitar wizard, Daniele Liverani. For those not familiar with him, he has many solo releases and is currently with the band Empty Tremor, a progressive metal outfit. The Genius Rock Opera trilogy is based upon a story about a central character (Genius) who mistakenly gets trapped in a parallel world while dreaming. A world where our dreams are created and controlled. He has many encounters with lots of different characters as he journeys through this new existence. The concept is based on the idea that when we begin to dream, a "Twinspirit" is created and is sent to one of the "Dream Kingdoms" where they chart the course of our dreams. Genius, the main character, gets mistaken for a Twinspirit and eventually struggles to remain undetected in this alternate world. No human has ever infiltrated this world and the consequences of discovering the true origin of our dreams could be catastrophic. Along the way, he befriends another Twinspirit and together they try to elude capture.

This is truly an amazing story in itself and the fact that it's put to music in the form of a heavy metal rock opera, makes it even better. A whole cast of characters make up this weird new world and features the voices of Mark Boals, (Mark Boals, Yngwie Malmsteen), Lana Lane, Daniel Gildenlow (Pain Of Salvation), Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger), Joe Vana (Mecca), Steve Walsh (Kansas), Oliver Hartmann (At Vance), John Wetton (King Crimson, Uriah Heep, U.K., Asia) and Midnight (ex-Crimson Glory). Narration is provided by bass virtuoso Philip Bynoe. Another truly incredible aspect of this album is that, Daniel Liverani, besides composing, arranging and co-producing this album, plays all the guitars, bass and keyboard parts. Drums are provided by Dario Ciccioni.

This album really takes on a true rock opera feel to it and uses the songs very well to tell the story. Each vocalist represents a different character, much like in the Avantasia project. But, unlike Avantasia, this album features much more instrumental work. Narration is provided at the beginning of the album and at the end of each track and is very brief and helps to explain the story as it goes. Musically, this album takes on a melodic but progressive metal sound along the likes of Dream Theater or Symphony X. Daniele's guitar playing is simply amazing. I've never heard of him before but he combines the best of Yngwie Malmsteen, Joe Satriani and John Petrucci (Dream Theater) to create a big sound that is rich in melody, heavy on the speedy riffs and manages some truly wonderful off-beat and choppy guitar licks. Some highlights: The first track Without Me Today begins with a very thematic riff structure, some great lead playing and the introduction of the main character as performed by Mark Boals. The Right Place features some great vocal work by Lana Lane who is one of the 2 Gatekeepers he meets along the way. Daniel Gildenlow provides the voice for one of the Twinspirits, "Twinspirit 32" who becomes friends with Genius on Paradox. Chris Boltendahl provides the growly, gravelly voice of the Stationmaster who greets them after a lengthy train ride on the song The Glory Of Our Land. Steve Walsh delivers a powerful and gritty performance on the track My Pride and Midnight provides some great vocals on the wild and frenzied Terminate. All this is accompanied by choirs of voices and lots of instrumental passages

Although this album is predominantly progressive metal, lots of speedy power metal and even some more straight ahead melodic metal can be found as well. Clocking in at just over 79 minutes, there isn't one place where the story or the music failed to capture my interest. Right from the first listen, I was drawn into this story and I found myself not being able to put it away. There's so many wonderful instrumental sections with some amazing power metal riffing that it's hard to describe the whole album in great detail. When the third part of this is finally released, the total time for the trilogy will be just under four hours of music. In keeping with the true spirit of our actual dream world, the four hour dream by the main character actually takes place in just 10 minutes in real time. (Ever do that?...seem like you've been dreaming for hours then wake up and only 15 minutes or so have gone by?) I really like this album a lot and if I were to find any fault with any of this album, it would be the aspect that each song is very story-like and not your typical verse/chorus/verse/chorus etc. song style. This aspect makes it difficult to just select a few tracks to listen to, you pretty much have to listen to the whole thing together. Not a real problem though if you're like me and love this sort of conceptual stuff.

I highly recommend this album, it takes a few listens although the story aspects capture your interest right away. One of the best things about all this is that there will be 2 more of these (Parts 2 and 3) and if they live up to the quality of this one, then we're in for another fine example, along with the likes of Avantasia, Ayreon, Star One etc. of how heavy metal music, with an ensemble of many different voices and with it's pure power and emotion, can be used to tell some truly amazing conceptual stories. Check out this link to the homepage for the Genius Rock Opera and read the story, for it in itself is a great piece of fantasy fiction.

Killing Songs :

Without Me Today, Paradox, My Pride, There's A Human and Terminate

Marty

84 / 100

 

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.metalitalia.com 19.11.2002

GENIUS, A ROCK OPERA - A Human Into Dreams' World - Frontiers 2002

Quella che state leggendo è la recensione di un progetto partorito dalla mente di Daniele Liverani, chitarrista degli italianissimi Empty Tremor, in anni di duro lavoro sulla composizione di un'opera all'insegna della progressive music. Se inizialmente "Genius, A Rock Opera" era nata per essere eseguita unicamente da musicisti italiani, l'aver firmato per Frontiers Records ha permesso al giovane chitarrista di potersi avvalere di un rooster di tutto rispetto, ed ecco che come lead singer troviamo Mark Boals (ex Malmsteen), coadiuvato da una lunga serie di stelle che rispondono al nome di Lana Lane, Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger), Steve Walsh (Kansas), Daniel Gildenlow (Pain Of Salvation) e molti altri, ma soprattutto troviamo il ritorno sulle scene del grande, indimenticato Midnight, primo (e per molti unico) singer dei compianti Crimson Glory. Come già anticipato le principali influenze di questa vera e propria prog rock opera sono appunto il progressive di stampo Dream Theater, vedi songs lunghe ed articolate come "Without Me Today" o "The Right Place", senza disdegnare episodi più diretti e neoclassici come la malmsteeniana "Dreams" in cui Liverani ci delizia con la sua proverbiale perizia esecutiva. Al primo impatto "Genius..." può effettivamente risultare un tantino "pesante", ma ascolto dopo ascolto si noteranno sempre nuove sfaccettature, nuove minuzie tutte correlate ad un concept, di cui Genio è proprio il protagonista, nato originariamente come racconto scritto suddiviso in diciotto capitoli (come confidatomi da Liverani stesso). Non avere sottomano i testi durante l'ascolto sarebbe un grave errore, proprio perchè la musica combacia con la situazione narrata e tenta di ricalcare, di raccontare la storia con variazioni di pathos, momenti prima melodici poi evocativi, magistralmente narrati da tutti i characters coinvolti(l'insolita performance di Midnight farà gelare il sangue nelle vene, tanto è passionale!!). Fra tutte le metal opere e progetti simili usciti negli ultimi tempi, "Genius..." è senz'altro la più difficile da assimilare, ma dopo una minuziosa analisi sarà difficile non apprezzare il lavoro di Daniele Liverani. E, non dimentichiamoci, le canzoni per la seconda parte dei questa saga sono già pronte....stay tuned!

Jolly Roger

Voto 4/5 :

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.metallus.it 19.11.2002

Daniele Liverani ha lavorato quattro anni alla stesura delle fasi salienti della rock opera ‘Genius’. Tre capitoli, quattro punti cardinali onirici, quattro viaggi nelle terre dei sogni. Di fronte alla magniloquenza del primo episodio le reazioni avute, ben prima del suo apparire in forma definitiva, sono state di due tipi differenti: la prima di scetticismo e malafede, la seconda di adesione incondizionata basata sulla lista di “ospiti” piuttosto che sulla proposta musicale nella sua globalità. Entrambe sbagliate, entrambe approssimative. Il miglior approccio a questo lavoro è quello degli amplificatori da accendere seguito dalla ripetizione degli ascolti dei primi settanta minuti di musica. Il cast di stelle intervenute nel progetto è altisonante, i paralleli con i lavori di Ayreon fuori luogo se non per una certa vicinanza musicale con alcuni aspetti di ‘The Final Experiment’. Differenze sostanziali che si tramutano in una maggiore propensione “sinfonica” del lavoro di Daniele (chitarra, basso e tastiere) che ha coniugato il progressive rock con il metal nella sua accezione neoclassica, due facce tradizionali che avevano necessità di convivere sfruttandone meno i contrasti e andando a sottolinearne gli elementi in comune. ‘Genius’ non avverte l’utilità di essere preso canzone per canzone, bensì rivendica il diritto di entità unitaria ed inscindibile testo-musica-concetto (per questo è errato e riduttivo considerare questo progetto come un all-star-game), vista anche l’origine genealogica della storia scritta nel 1997 per un racconto a firma dello stesso Daniele. Se proprio volete sbirciare all’interno dell’opera avendo a disposizione una manciata di minuti, partite pure da ‘I’m Afraid’ traccia conclusiva nella quale confuliscono i movimenti precedenti. Ottima l’idea della voce narrante usata al fine di non perdere di vista la vicenda, pecca solitamente marcata nei concept album, così come gli intrecci narrativi sono ben sostenuti dalle strutture musicali delle canzoni che non peccano di virtuosismi fini a sé stessi ma sottolineano gli umori e le mosse delle vicende narrate. Volendo azzardare un paragone, questa volta, a differenza di ‘Avantasia’ e ‘Nostradamus’, ci si trova di fronte al medesimo concetto dei librettisti d’opera nelle cui intenzioni non era possibile scindere il lato lirico da quello musicale della rappresentazione: qui i suoni non hanno le intenzioni dell’orchestra bensì quelle del gruppo rock. Una menzione in particolare per Mark Boals a suo agio sulle partiture progressive del tutto inedite per l’ex Malmsteen, forse la più grande sorpresa delle voci riunite nel disco. L’origine dei sogni, di questo si parla in ‘Genius’. Allo stesso tempo, un sogno diventato realtà. Non resta che darsi la buonanotte: cuffie in testa e cd nel lettore.Fabio Negri

VOTO: 8,5

 

Genius review on http://metalflames.iespana.es/metalflames/ 19.11.2002

GENIUS: "A Rock Opera - A Human Into Dreams' World"

We haven’t recovered yet from the impact caused by “Avantasia pt.2” and we already have in our hands a new Opera Rock, a project called Genius. The true is that instead of taking advantage of the success got by these kind of works, Genius is a very matured project with much quality, which doesn’t repeat too many formulas and where it is worth it to spend a long time. What does this project have that another projects born to get a fusion with the opera don’t? Let’s see into it, with Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia we had a Heavy Metal work, we also have that double album by Nikolo Kotzev called “Nostradameus”, which seemed to be a similar work aimed at Hard Rock, well, Genius give us a similar work but that fits both Rock and Progressive Metal. Probably you are wondering who has dared to do such a difficult task initially reserved for virtuous people of such a high standard like Portnoy, Satriani, Petrucci or Michael Romeo; well, his name is Daniele Liverani and was totally unknown for the one whois writing this. This guy, who has both guitar and piano education, has composed by his own the whole work, from the music to the lyrics, and has also been in charge of the production and the finishing touches, only accompanied by his drummer Dario Ciccioni, who is only 19 years old and makes a magnificent work. Of course, he has counted on the help of important names of the scene when performing each of the characters that appear in this “A Human Into Dreams’ World”. For example, great legends of the progressive like John Wetton (Asia) and Steve Walsh (Kansas) as well as other “younger” ones like Oliver Hartmann (At Vance), Joe Vana (Mecca), the always fabulous Lana Lane, the ex-Malmsteen Mark Boals or the charming leader of Grave Digger Chris Boltendahl. For if this wouldn’t be a proof that you are in front of a work of great quality, Daniel revives for us Midnight, the vocalist of Crimsom Glory, in which means his official return. Musically, we find a complex work since it’s progressive rock, but quite accessible for any fan of our world, since the touches of Power Metal and eighties Hard Rock are in everyone of the themes this “A Human Into Dreams’ World” is made up, from the first theme that opens the album, “Without Me Today”, a long song of more than 12 minutes duration, where Mark Boals (main character of Genius), makes a remarkable exhibition, to the one that closes the album, “I’m Afraid”, where Midnight or John Wetton join this last one, for example. In “All Of Your Acts”, Lana Lane will make all melodic lovers have a great time with Boals in a memorable dueto, accompanied by a great piano played by the creator of this project. More hard sound the themes performed by Hartmann (“There’s A Human”) or Boltendahl. Before I finish this review, I must talk about some details, for example about the album concept, which deals with dreams, or that “Genius - Episode 1, A Human Into Dreams´ World” is the first of three albums (so if you like progressive metal you are lucky). I advise you that if you are able to listen to bands like Dream Theater or Symphony X, give a chance to this work that I doubt will disappoint anyone. And, above all, remember this name which people will talk about much in the future, Daniele Liverani, all a discover.

Review: Jorge

Translation: Iker

 

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.radiorundehamm.de 19.11.2002

Genius : "Episode 1 - A Human Into Dreams´ World" (Frontiers/Point Music)

 Au weia, ob Episode 1 so der gelungene Titel ist? Na ja, zumindest macht man uns unmissverständlich klar, dass uns hier wohl nicht in einigen Jahren eine Geschichte erwartet, die vor diesem Epos spielt. Bei Genius handelt es sich um eine sogenannte Rock Opera, die ja wohl in letzter Zeit wieder schwer in Mode gekommen sind, siehe Avantasia (deren Debut wohl ungeschlagen bleibt) oder auch Nicolo Kotzev´s Nostradamus. Eine Starbesetzung wird uns auch hier geboten. Den Charakter Genius verkörpert kein anderer als Ex-Malmsteen-Sänger Mark Boals. Des Weiteren wirken noch Lana Lane, Daniel Gildenlow (Pain Of Salvation), Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger), Joe Vana (Mecca), Jon Wetton (!!!), Steve Walsh (Kansas), Oliver Hartmann (At Vance), Ex-Crimson Glory Frontröhre Midnight und Philp Bynoe (?) als Storyteller mit. Letzteren hätte man sich meiner Meinung nach besser gespart, da die gesprochenen Passagen doch eher störend wirken. Wie so etwas besser geht, hat Frank Zappa auf Joe´s Garage als Central Scrutinizer vorgemacht. Ausgeheckt hat das ganze eine italienischer Gitarrist namens Daniele Liverani, der einigen von euch als Gitarrist von Empty Tremor bekannt sein dürfte. Der Opener "Without Me Today" legt mit seinen über 12 Minuten gleich ordentlich vor, ehe mit "The Right Place" ein gutes Duett von Mark Boals & Lana Lane folgt. Bei "Paradox" geht mir der relativ hohe Gesang dann doch auf die Nerven, ehe mit Chris Boltendahl auf "The Glory Of Our Land" gesangliche Abwechslung kommt. "All Of Your Acts" ist dann wieder straighter mit Yes-mäßigem Falsettgesang und gedoppelten Harmony Leads. "Dreams" erinnert dann voll an Herrn Malmsteen, ehe es bei "My Pride" ein Wiederhören mit der genialen Stimme von John Wetton gibt. "There´s A Human" kommt dann mit der Röhre von Oliver Hartmann, während auf "Terminate" Midnight mal wieder zu hören ist. Insgesamt ein ambitioniertes Werk, das man mehrfach ganz durchhören sollte. Beim Anspielen der Tracks bekommt man nicht den richtigen Eindruck, also nehmt euch Zeit. Ach ja, Daniele Liverani hat sich natürlich vorgenommen, uns in den nächsten Jahren mit den Episoden 2 und 3 zu beglücken.

 

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.powermetal.de 19.11.2002

Genius - A Human Into Dreams' World

AVANTASIA-Fans aufgemerkt, es naht eine neue Heavy Metal Rock Oper.

Mastermind hinter diesem aufwendigen Werk ist der italienische Gitarrist Daniele Liverani, der mit einem Batallion namhafter Musiker einer phantastischen Geschichte ein spektakuläres Gewand verpasst hat.

GENIUS ist eine Rock Oper in drei Teilen. Insgesamt 33 Songs (Elf Tracks pro CD) werden sich in vier Stunden Spielzeit präsentieren. "A Human Into Dreams' World" ist der erste Teil von ihnen; die beiden Nachfolgenden werden in den nächsten zwei Jahren veröffentlicht.

Seit dem Beginn ihrer Existenz haben sich die Menschen niemals gewundert, wie und warum sie träumen. Aufgrunddessen weiß niemand, was hinter der Erfahrung der Träumens steckt: Es ist der 20.Dezember 1999, ein Montag Morgen wie schon unzählige zuvor. Genius, ein junger Heavy Metal-Schlagzeuger, wird um sieben Uhr früh von seinem Wecker aus dem Schlaf gerissen. Im Halbschlaf lauscht der intelligente Bursche dem eigenartigen Rhythmus des alten Gerätes, und mit dem Gedanken, diese Sequenz auf einer Snare nachzuspielen, schläft der Junge noch einmal ein (An dieser Stelle folgt ein wahnsinnig progressiver, vertrackter Part, sehr keyboardlastig, sehr nett). Versehentlich wird Genius nun jedoch während eines kurzen Traumes in einer parallelen Dimension festgehalten. Dort hält man ihn aufgrund der Melodie in seinem Kopf irrtümlich für einen der Ihren, für einen sogenannten Twinspirit.

Somit entdeckt er schließlich die Geheimnisse der Herkunft und Herstellung menschlicher Träume, und sorgt unwissenderweise für verschiedene Probleme und Paradoxe, die schließlich fast die gesamte Existenz und Sicherheit dieser parallelen Dimension in ernsthafte Gefahr bringen. Auf seiner Reise trifft Genius, dessen Charakter von Mark Boals (Ex-MALMSTEEN, RING OF FIRE) gesungen wird, auf seltsame Wesen. Acht von ihnen erscheinen in der ersten Episode, und jeder von ihren Darstellern hat selbst bereits ein Stückchen Geschichte im Hard Rock oder Heavy Metal geschrieben. Somit fällt der Musikstil von GENIUS mit einer einzigartigen Zusammenstellung von Melodic Rock, Heavy Metal und Progressive Metal-Stilen erwartungsgemäß sehr variabel aus.

Eine Frage bleibt am Schluß offen: Wird Genius sich nach seinem Erwachen an diesen Traum erinnern, und wird er alles das, was er dort aufgedeckt hat, der gesamten Menschheit lehren (können)?

Insgesamt ist das Werk eine außergewöhnliche, epische Produktion. Das Hauptgewicht liegt auf einer freundlichen Hard Rock–Schiene und verbreitet eine intensive, aber recht angenehme Stimmung. Im direkten Vergleich mit AVANTASIA fällt auf, dass das Songwriting weniger bombastisch und dafür um einiges progressiver ausgefallen ist. Dies macht die Rock Oper beim ersten Anhören recht gewöhnungsbedürftig, zumal ein (zugegebenermaßen erwartungsgemäßer) italienischer Einschlag deutlich erkennbar ist. Insgesamt ist "A Human Into Dreams' World" ruhiger als AVANTASIAs "Metal Opera", eher langsamer, weniger hart und metallisch, also im breiten Feld zwischen Melodic Rock und Hard Rock angesiedelt. Die meisten Songs bewegen sich im Midtempo-Bereich.

Die Starbesetzung der einzelnen Charaktere ist bei GENIUS mindestens genauso schillernd wie bei AVANTASIA. Das Herzblut hinter der packenden Fantasystory schmeckt man hier zudem beinahe selbst auf der Zunge.

"A Human Into Dreams' World" beinhaltet eine Menge großartiger Duette, beispielsweise zwischen Lana Lane und Mark Boals, Walsh und Wetton, Gildenlow und Boals, nicht zu vergessen die Chöre, die mit einer Stimmgewalt von sechs bis sechsundzwanzig Stimmen auftreten. Auch zu lachen gibt es etwas, beispielsweise wenn Chris Boltendahl als Stationmaster singend den Eindruck beim Hörer erweckt, gerade fürchterlich unter Bauchkrämpfen zu leiden.

Allen neugierig gewordenen Lesern sei hiermit GENIUS' "A Human Into Dreams' World" empfohlen. Es lohnt sich.

Anspieltipps: The Right Place sowie alles andere!

Katrin Müller [01.11.2002]

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.silverdb.com 19.11.2002

Russ:

Genius is a Rock Opera in 3 chapters. “A Human Into Dreams’ World” is the first one ! The second and third chapter shall be released during the next two years.

The music and lyrics were written, arranged and produced by Daniele Liverani

The whole concept runs around the many characters that Genius meets during his journey, only 8 of which are appearing in this first episode. Each of the characters is a piece of history in hard rock and heavy metal music ! From the official return of Midnight, the mighty singer of the US metal band Crimson Glory in the 80’s, to progressive music legends John Wetton (Asia) and Steve Walsh (Kansas) plus new and upcoming talents like Daniel Gildenlow (Pain of Salvation), Oliver Hartmann (At Vance) and Joe Vana (Mecca) not forgetting the “Queen Of Symphonic Rock” Lana Lane, the amazing Mark Boals (Ring Of Fire, ex Malmsteen) and last but by no means least the unmistakeable tone of the German Metal God Chris Boltendahl of Grave Digger!

The music style is very varied featuring a unique and spectacular blend of Melodic Rock, Heavy Metal and Progressive Metal styles for 72 minutes of music powered by a winning cast of some of the best singers from all the ages and styles...  Comments & Reviews:

We want to hear your reactions to our review and this recording. Go to our forum/discussion area , start a topic and give us your thoughts.

 

11/11/2002 MJBrady:

Russ' review summed up the effective elements of this conceptual episode of what will be the first of a trilogy. Genius is in many ways similar to what Ayreon has been doing on recent ventures. However, I would have to say that the music on the Genius cd has quite a bit more of the technical instrumentations of the better progressive metal out there, much in the style of Dream Theater, not a surprise given the background of the projects leader Daniele Liverani, who was also the keyboardist and leader of the Italian progmetal band Empty Tremor, who many know as one of the more convincing DreamTheater- like bands.

Liverani was the keyboardist of Empty Tremor, but on this recording he serves as the projects guitarist as well as keyboardist, bassist and conceptual composer. Take note, that he is every bit as good a guitarist as he is a keyboardist, and he is a great one indeed. The similarities to Ayreon are strictly in the fact that the characters of the story are assigned to the committee of stellar vocalist that you see in the performers section of this page.

Liverani not only enlists the help of a impressive list of vocalists, he also found a drumming sensation in a young Dario Ciccioni, who powers the music into intense progressive metal territories, with dizzying bass and tom work, perfectly complimenting the technical arrangements created by Liverani.

To get the most from this cd, first you must buy into the conceptual aspects of the music, which will require your full attention, as the story line is of a fictitious nature, one that would have done well as a book, let alone as an attachment to this ambitious progressive metal music. The effectivness of this recording is best experienced through carefull listening, where you can appreciate each singers contribution to the character profiles they represent. The music alone is very nicely adapted to the overall story, and offers the very intensity, technicality as well as musicianship fans of progmetal demand.

What surprises me about this cd the most, besides the sound quality, vocal work and ambitious writing, is Liverani's guitar playing, after hearing him labor away as the keyboardist in Empty Tremor, I had no idea he was this good, and his guitar plays an important role in the overall sound of this ambitious work. It is very Petrucci like in style, and he lets loose only occasionally, but it is very obvious that he is of the upper echelon of progmetal players out there.

Progmetal and progrock has seen it's share of concept cds, some with great effect, some not so great, many so cheesy that it is hard to get through the keyboard dominated mixes to hear the others instruments, that is not a problem here, this cd pays careful attention to every detail, and that makes for a very intriguing as well as entertaining cd, and one that will require several listens to fully discover.

 

10/17/2002 Rshermer:

If you are reading this review to determine whether you should buy the album or not, save yourself some time and just buy the album.

As the name suggests this is part one of a three-part rock opera. Rock operas are traditionally one of two types. There is the broadway musical rock opera which utilizes many talent vocalists mixed with what most progressive enthusiasts would dub as "less than stellar" musical fare. The other typical rock opera is one produced by a single band. The music is usually very good, but an entire opera sung by just one or two vocalists sort of misses the point.

This album does something pretty amazing. The music is powerful and moving. It has a solid prog base with a metal edge and sophisticated classical structures. The story line is fun and even enthralling. But it is the vocals that really set this work apart. When legendary guitarists get together on an album, the competition can reduce the sum to less than the parts. However in the opera setting, these vocal icons team up to produce a work that until now, I had thought simply not possible. Note that this reviewer buys a lot of music that has no vocals at all.

It can be tempting to bypass the addition of an operatic work to your collection. However this is one opera you'll want to listen to again and again. Keep in mind however, you'll be in for the same experience you had in the first "Lord of the Rings" movie. I was completely engrossed in the story when all hell broke loose. Shortly after that, I heard, "To be continued." On first listen, I felt like Dorothy in Oz hearing, "Dorothy, wake up!" Too bad CD's only hold an hour worth of music. We are already in line waiting for episode two.

 

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.disintegration.it 19.11.2002

Album della Settimana: "A Rock Opera" - (Frontiers) 

Non fatevi ingannare dal titolo altisonante, "A Rock Opera", che potrebbe indurvi a pensare all'ennesimo, ampolloso concept di metal sinfonico, a cui ci hanno abituato autorevoli esponenti della scena internazionale (per la verità con risultati economici eclatanti, viste le vendite di Avantasia, tanto per fare un esempio). Il polistrumentista Daniele Liverani, mente dei nostrani Empty Tremor, preferisce non fossilizzarsi sul power metal orchestrale tanto in voga di questi tempi, per concentrarsi su un sound melodico-progressivo che deve molto alla lezione impartitagli da gruppi come Journey, Threshold e Ayeron. Al progetto prendono parte special guest d'eccezione come Lana Lane, Mark Boals , Midnight e Chris Bolthendal, che non hanno certo bisogno di presentazioni.. Ed a colpirmi subito è la magistrale interpretazione di Lana in "The Right Place", dove emerge il suo cantato epico e romantico, che ti trasporta in un mondo dove i sogni possono diventare realtà. Che dire poi del ritrovato Midnight, storico singer dei Crimson Glory: quando lo sento pronunciare versi deliranti in "Terminate" mi vengono subito in mente i gloriosi anni ottanta/novanta quando nel metal progressivo dettavano legge Queensryche, Heir Apparent e Crimson Glory per l'appunto. Anche Bolthendal svolge bene il suo compito, tant'è vero che Liverani gli ha scritto un pezzo battagliero("The Glory Of Our Land") che ben si adatta alla sua timbrica roca. Il buon Mark Boals recita la parte del leone tra i brani di "Genius"(l'opener Queen-oriented è tutto un programma!!!), avendo fatto tesoro delle sue esperienze artistiche, che lo hanno portato a suonare in compagnia di mostri sacri come Malmsteen e Macalpine. Insomma "Genius" non è il solito concept che ti stanca dopo un paio di ascolti, ma un lavoro molto ben strutturato dove la componente melodica ben si sposa con le chitarre graffianti di alcuni pezzi che, sono sicuro, incontreranno i favori anche di chi solitamente si ciba di sonorità più estreme.

(Luca Visconti) Voto:8

 

Genius Ep1 review on www.revelationz.net 19.11.2002

Genius - Episode 1- A Human Into Dream World

This is the first part of three albums; together they will form the story about Genius’ jouney to the dream world. This is a special blend of music and vocalists. There are 10 different vocalists on this album and they are: Mark Boals, Lana Lane, Daniel Gildenlöw, Chris Boltendahl, Joe Vana, Steve Walsh, John Wetton, Oliver Hartmann, Midnight and Philip Bynoe. All of which play in brilliant bands, except Midnight who's been without a band for some time now. For me it is interesting to find Daniel Gildenlöw because I am a big fan of Pain Of Salvation, where he sings and plays guitar. And of course Chris Boltendahl of Grave Digger who has a very special voice normally.

This is a great concept album, with all the different vocalists, and just as I expected the tracks with Daniel Gildenlöw are brilliant.

Especially the track “Paradox” has such a great melody line, and the duet between Daniel and Mark Boals kicks ass. The music is a blend of heavy metal and progressive metal, with some very cool riffs and vocal parts by Daniel, it kicks ass.

The track “The Glory Of Our Land” is great too. It features some very cool music, and some interesting vocals by Chris Boltendahl. Chris sings in his normal way, with very hard vocals. He sounds brilliant and compliments the powerful music very well. I am totally hooked on the brilliant chorus with the keyboard in the background, and the choir kicks ass.

The general style of the album is Heavy metal with some elements of both progressive metal and power metal. The guitars are heavy the most of the time and sound excellent. This album is not as complex as I thought it would be; the tracks on the album are quite easy to get into, it kind of reminds me of Trans-Siberian Orchestra at times, with that kind of happy fell to it. The album has a very up-beat sound, not melancholic like I thought. A great example of this is the tracks “All Of Your Acts” and “My Pride” both of which are brilliant tracks, in fact all the tracks kick ass on this album.

The keyboards are great and they help to underline the music, they are in no way dominating or forced in the front. They have a place in the background which fits great. The bass and the drums sounds really cool and are very technical at times.

There is a special appearance by the ex-lead singer Midnight (Crimson Glory in the 80s) on Terminate. This track has some cool music and a great vocal side to it. I like the frantic sound of the instruments and the brilliant vocals by Midnight. This guy sings in a very cool fashion, which kind of reminds me of Dave Mustaine at times and of Halford at other times. That is how far Midnight’s vocal range is.

Well, this album is worth the money if you like great heavy metal with a little keyboard and many different singers. I for one will go out and buy this album. The concept is great and I like the story about travelling to the dream world.

Greatest Tracks: “Paradox”, “The Glory Of Our Land” “My Pride”, “Terminate” and “I’m Afraid”

Rating: 9/10

Mads - 10/23/2002

Other staff ratings and opinions

Steen

Rating: 9/10

Ever since I heard of this project I couldn't wait to hear what it would sound like. Being a huge fan of Crimson Glory I had been thinking about what happened to Midnight after all those years. Let me tell you, this guy is back with a vengeance and he hasn't lost "The Voice". Terminate totally blows me away.

I agree with Mads that the album is easy to get into but almost impossible to let go once you're sucked into this world of magnificent music.

Daniele Liverani (Empty Tremor) plays all instruments on the record except drums and I'm amazed with what he's created.

This album is 72 minutes of pure bliss. No bad songs, no boring moments, just brilliant music. All the singers put their own personal touch on the songs, which is another plus. Especially Mark Boals, Daniel Gildenlöw and Oliver Hartman really shine. But no one passes the might of Midnight. This guy is still amazing.

If had to name a couple of favourites it would have to be Dreams, Without me today, The right place, Paradox, There's a human and of course Terminate.

The only thing that doesn't hit the right note with me is the narrator. He detracts a little as I don't feel his voice fits the music so good and also, it feels like he's reading out loud at times. Is it just me or does it sound like he has a cold? I would have liked it if he sounded a little more into the story. Try to listen to "The hound of the Baskervilles" by Clive Nolan and Oliver Wakeman to hear an excellent narrator.

Still, he isn't that bad, just not on par with the brilliant music, which is almost...Genius (Sorry, couldn't help it:)

I can't wait to get my hands on the actual album and get really into it.

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.truemetal.org 19.11.2002

GENIUS ROCK OPERA - EPISODE I

"A Human Into Dreams' World" is the hugely awaited first episode of the Genius Rock Opera trilogy, written and performed by Italian musician Daniele Liverani, known for his work with the prog-metal Italian heroes Empty Tremor, who has put together this special project that will include a total of 33 songs (4 hours of music). The whole story concept refers to a dream experienced by the main character Genius that lasts only 10 minutes! Musically, this opera is suspended among Progressive, Hard Rock and Melodic Metal, with some Power elements in some passages. Narrations and interludes separate most songs. Mark Boals leads the way as Genius, a young heavy metal drummer who becomes accidentally captured in a parallel dimension where he discovers the secrets of the creation of human dreams. But there are other great vocalists on this first episode that are the cream of the crop for melodic/prog/metal such as Lana Lane, John Wetton (Asia), Steve Walsh (Kansas), Daniel Gildenlow (Pain Of Salvation), Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger), Oliver Hartmann (At Vance) and the mighty Midnight, singer of the US metal band Crimson Glory. For fans of these vocalists, this album is a definite must-have, 'cause the singing is absolutely fantastic, all the different singers put their own touch on the album. My favourite songs are "The Right Place", a piano ballad that features a highly emotional vocal duet between Mark Boals and female vocalist Lana Lane; "Dreams", a melodic up-tempo song carried by high pitched and majestic vocals by Mark Boals and "Terminate", on which Midnight rules with his voice. And finally, although the lenght of the songs is a little bit excessive in my opinion, this album won't bore you, thanks to its continuous changes of music and atmosphere. "Genius" will be in stores on October 21st. The second and third chapter shall be released during the next two years. For more details on the concept and samples, check out the website http://www.geniusrockopera.com/ (Review by: Marina)

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.rockreport.be 19.11.2002

Some of you will know Daniele Liverani as the guitarist of Italian progressive metal band Empty Tremor. Others will have frowned an eyebrow when they read the news about this rock opera coming up. How could this almost unknown musician gather such a cast of incredible artists for an album? Well, one thing is for sure. He won’t stay unknown after the release of this ambitious product. Or should I say products? Because “Episode 1: A Human Into Dreams’ World” is only the first lengthy (over 78 minutes) part of a trilogy, of which the following episodes will be issued in the next couple of years!

The first story lines of this project came out of Liverani’s pen in 1999. This being released is a dream come true for the modest Italian. But that also counts for every true melodic and progressive rock fan. Next to Liverani himself and his buddy drummer Dario Ciccioni, with whom he plays in Khymera and takes care of the instruments, an incredible cast of singers can be heard on this disc (see line up at the right). Each of those is playing a role in the futuristic story that Liverani put onto paper all by himself. The main character Genius (impersonated by Mark Boals) wakes up one morning, fascinated by the rhythms of his alarm clock, which make him fall asleep again. The 10 minutes that follow are told in a total of 4 hours of music, spread over 3 albums. The 11 tracks on this first part tell the listener how Genius accidentally arrives in another world where dreams are made. He becomes friends with his own dream maker, but by entering this world he also endangers the lives of his new buddy and of the king of the continent he has arrived in. The episode ends with the arrest of the king and the so-called Dream League Force’s search for Genius’s new friend.

This fascinating story is accompanied by equally fascinating music. With a blend of melodic rock and – above all – progressive rock and metal, Liverani and his gallant mix of legendary and talentful artists provide a nice soundtrack for the story. Worth to be picked out from the bunch are bombastic opener “Without Me Today” with Mark Boals (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, now Ring Of Fire) on vocals, the 80’s melodic rock influenced “All Of Your Acts” having Mecca’s Joe Vana behind the mike, “My Pride” that perfectly fits the experienced and legendary voices of Steve Walsh (Kansas) and John Wetton (Asia), the grand return of Midnight (ex-Crimson Glory) on “Terminate” and the epic “I’m Afraid” featuring Boals, Daniel Gildenlöw (Pain Of Salvation), Midnight and Wetton. But the track that stands out another few more inches is the truly progressive “Paradox”. Don’t forget to study the structure of this song while you’re getting carried away by its complex rhythms and fascinating vocal lines performed by Boals and the superb Gildenlöw. This is where the prog fan in me comes in to decide this is a future classic.

The only serious remark I can make concerns the voice of narrator Philip Bynoe, known as bassist for Steve Vai and Ring Of Fire a.o. His narration is not bad, but it reminds me of the narration on the latest Ten album “Babylon”: not enough emotion and way too monotonous. But with the rest I can find no fault: an interesting story, very nice music, a powerful production (done by Liverani himself), an incredible cast of singers, … Is everything to your liking? (SL)

Score: 85 %

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.vampster.com 19.11.2002

GENIUS: Episode 1 - A Human Into Dreams` World

GENIUS ist auf dem Mist von EMPTY TREMOR-Keyboarder Daniele Liverani gewachsen und soll eine Rockoper sein. Schließlich klingt Rockoper viel schöner als Konzeptalbum. Verstärkung bekommt er dabei von solch illustren Namen wie Mark Boals (ex-MALMSTEEN), Steve Walsh (KANSAS), John Wetton (ASIA), Daniel Gildenlöw (PAIN OF SALVATION) und Chris Boltendahl (GRAVE DIGGER). Die Jungs und das Mädel (Lana Lane) machen ihren Job zwar wirklich sehr gut, aber das kann nicht darüber hinweg täuschen, dass das Songmaterial über weite Strecken unzusammenhängend und uninspiriert ausgefallen ist. Die meisten Stücke klingen so, als wären sie aus Fragmenten zusammengebastelt worden, die im DREAM THEATER-Proberaum wegen mangelnder Qualität unter den Teppich gekehrt wurden ("Without Me Today", "Paradox"). Dazwischen gibt es zur Auflockerung zwei Balladen, nämlich "The Right Place" mit einem schönen Duett zwischen Mark Boals und Lana Lane und das farblose "Father" mit John Wetton am Gesang, sowie zwei Heavy Rock-Nummern ("All Your Acts" und "My Pride"), die trotz einiger interessanter Melodien absolut fehl am Platz sind. Mindestens genauso unpassend ist auch Chris Boltendahls Stimme bei dem progmetallischen "The Glory of Our Land". Das passt einfach nicht zusammen. Nein, nein, nein!

Zwischen den einzelnen Stücken gibt es gesprochene Passagen (wie gesagt haben wir es hier mit einem Konzeptalbum zu tun), in denen erzählt wird wie ein Mensch Namens Genius zufällig in die Parallelwelt gelangt, in der die Träume der Menschen hergestellt werden. Dort trifft er jede Menge unterschiedliche Charaktere, die jeder in einem eigenen Stück vorgestellt werden. Das ist abgesehen von dem Mangel an zündenden musikalischen Ideen auch mein größter Kritikpunkt an der CD. Denn ständig treten scheinbar willkürlich neue Personen, Könige und Träume auf.

Erst ganz am Ende kommt Leben in die Bude, als in "There`s A Human" der Eindringling entdeckt wird. Oliver Hartmann (AT VANCE) macht bei dem Speed Metal-Track eine sehr gute Figur. US-Metal-Legende Midnight setzt bei "Terminate" dann noch einen drauf, wenngleich das Stück nicht die Klasse der ersten beiden CRIMSON GLORY-Werke erreicht. Dieser Mensch hat einfach eine gigantische Stimme! Beim letzten Lied ("I`m Afraid") wird es schließlich richtig spannend. Mark Boals (Genius) erkennt, in welcher Gefahr er sich befindet, Daniel Gildenlöw (Genius` Traumzwilling) macht das, was er am besten kann, sprich ängstlich und zugleich aufgewühlt singen, während Midnight als Herrscher der Traumwelt mit einem diabolischen Lachen alle Fäden in der Hand hält.

Ich hoffe, dass die Handlung und vor allem die ganzen angerissenen Charaktere in den nächsten beiden Teilen noch richtig ausgearbeitet werden. Denn dafür ist mit Sicherheit Potential vorhanden. "Episode 1" selbst sollte man allerdings mit Vorsicht genießen, weil wirklich sehr viele Längen und Durchhänger den Hörgenuss schmälern. Wenn man die Hälfte der Stücke aber mal wegprogrammiert hat, bleiben 40 Minuten gute Unterhaltung mit einigen verdammt starken Stimmen übrig.

Veröffentlichungstermin: 21.10.2002

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.breakoutmagazin.de 19.11.2002

Ancora un colpo a segno del Made In Italy… Daniele Liverani, infatti, ha realizzato con il supporto della Frontiers records una “Rock Opera”, intitolata “Genius”, articolata attraverso le avventure di un giovane che, risucchiato in una dimensione a lui estranea, si trova a comprendere il mistero della creazione dei sogni umani. Strutturata in tre dischi, sui quali appariranno ad impersonare i vari ruoli alcuni tra i più importanti cantanti della scena metal/hard rock internazionale, l’opera è un complesso mix di heavy, epic, power e per finire progressive metal. Il primo di questi tre episodi si intitola “A Human Into Dream’s World” ed è l’unico finora completato e pubblicato. La prima parte del concept, se così la si può definire, è formata da undici tracce, per un totale di quasi ottanta minuti, nelle quali emergono le prestazioni di singer del calibro di Steve Walsh (Kansas), Mark Boals (Ring Of Fire, ex Malmsteen), Lana Lane, Daniel Gildenlow (Pain Of Salvation), Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger) e Midnight (Crimson Glory). Oltre a comporre tutti i brani, l’artista Italiano Daniele Liverani si è occupato della registrazione del basso, delle chitarre e delle tastiere, mentre per la batteria si è avvalso della collaborazione del giovane marchigiano Dario Ciccioni, batterista solido, quadrato e che può contare su una buona preparazione sui tamburi. Il disco nel suo complesso suona in modo omogeneo, anche se, come precedentemente detto, spazia attraverso vari generi di metal, proponendo parti più lineari e d’impatto sotto i cantati e sequenze intricate e di maggiore spessore tecnico nei momenti strumentali (presenti forse in quantità leggermente minore). In generale tutto il lavoro è orientato più alla composizione nel suo complesso, e non è quindi volto a risaltare le doti del chitarrista o di qualche cantante in particolare, In ogni caso, per come sono affrontate le parti vocali, penso soddisferà più il pubblico heavy/power che quello dei progster convinti anche se, vista la qualità degli arrangiamenti, è facile che anche questi trovino molti spunti interessanti in questo album. Complimenti dunque al compositore italiano, che con questo ambizioso progetto affianca a pieno titolo varie release del calibro di “Star One”, “Nostradamus” e “Leonardo”, ed alla partenopea Frontiers, che ha permesso la formazione di un cast eccezionale.

[Marco Poderi]

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.rocktime.fr.st 19.11.2002

Et dire que vous n'avez entre les mains que le 1er volet, sur les 3, que comporte cette śuvre, qui s'appelle en entier : "A Human Into Dreams' World". Car c'est une véritable histoire, une saga même, quand on en voit la taille, qu'a commencé à concevoir il y a plus de 3 ans Daniele Liverani, que probablement peu de non-initiés connaissent. Cet italien est le mentor du groupe de metal progressif Empty Tremor, auteur de 2 remarquables albums ("Apocolokyntosys" et" Eros And Thanatos") dans la 2ème partie des nineties, sans compter les nombreuses démos et autres essais en solo. Cette fois, Daniele a laissé son (ses) groupe(s) de côté pour s'atteler à une tâche que d'aucuns qualifieraient de monumentale. Cet Opéra, car il s'agit bien de ça, est prévu pour durer 4 heures. Il est en gros basé sur les rapports humains entretenus dans un voyage involontaire au pays où se fabriquent les rêves, sur l'amitié et tout plein d'autres éléments (en 4 heures, on peut en caser !). Avec la seule aide de son complice Dario Ciccioni, batteur de Khymera, l'homme-orchestre transalpin a instrumentalement parlant mis sur pied ce que j'oserais appeler le 2ème Prog-Metal-Opéra de l'Histoire (le 1er étant le difficile "Leonardo, The absolute man", que l'autre tordu de Vacaville, Californie, Trent Gardner, nous a donné en pâture pendant l'automne 2001). Le sieur Liverani s'occupant de tout sauf de la batterie, le plus difficile restait de trouver les chanteurs à qui confier les rôles; et c'est là que l'on tend l'oreille plus attentivement… En effet, la brochette de vocalistes retenus est d'un niveau plus qu'honorable ! Excusez du peu : Mark Boals (ex-Malmsteen, Ring Of Fire), Lana Lane, Daniel Gildenlow (Pain Of Salvation), Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger), Joe Vana (Mecca), Steve Walsh (Kansas), John Wetton (Asia, Uriah Heep, King Crimson), Oliver Hartmann (At Vance), Midnight (Crimson Glory). En plus de cette distribution éclectique (certains font du Metal pur et dur, d'autres font dans l'AOR et d'autres n'en sont qu'aux balbutiements de la carrière), c'est un des musiciens de Steve Vaï, Philip Bynoe, qui est chargé du rôle du narrateur. Et c'est là que le travail de Daniele Liverani apparaît comme énorme : chacun des chanteurs ayant enregistré ses parties chez soi, je veux dire : sur son lieu de résidence habituel, je vous laisse imaginer le reste, à savoir assembler, mixer, placer tout ça ensemble pour en faire quelque chose de cohérent. Heureusement, les parties où figurent des chśurs ont été enregistrées comme des chśurs, sans assemblage démentiel nécessaire. Certaines performances vocales sont de tout premier plan et permettent de remettre en selle des chanteurs qui n'avaient pas semblé au meilleur de leur forme lors de leurs dernières prestations (des noms : Steve Walsh, Midnight). La plus remarquable de ces prestations, c'est assurément celle de Daniel Gildenlow, qui voit ainsi son aura s'étoffer et s'étoffer encore (c'est déjà un grand et personne ne connaît ses limites !). Etant plutôt accro au Prog-metal qu'au metal dit-mélodique également qualifié de 'traditionnel', à savoir 'bourrin-jusqu'à-en-être-sourd', je dois reconnaître que dès l'intro, qui dure allègrement 12 mns, j'ai bien accroché. C'est probablement à cause des accents très proches de ceux de Dream Theater sur cette intro que les passages échevelés qui parsèment la suite me sont apparus plus digestes. C'est certainement dû également aux sonorités de claviers typiquement 'prog-metal italien' qui m'avaient accroché il y a quelques années; je n'ai jamais oublié qu' Imago Mundi, 4ème album d'Asgard, avait été longtemps mon disque de chevet. Autant à l'aise dans les chevauchées épiques, où Dario Ciccioni excelle à la manière des tonitruants marteleurs teutons, que dans les pièces plus posées et romantiques, le talent de Daniele révèle une palette de compositeur très large, qui couvre un registre impressionnant. Je vous laisse imaginer la voix toujours magique de John Wetton dans ces moments là ! Un disque qui pourrait sembler bien lourd à assimiler à cause de ses 72 mns mais qui, tout compte fait, ne produit aucun effet secondaire indésirable ni saturation. L'équilibre général, à mettre encore une fois sur le compte des grandes facultés de Musicien de Daniele Liverani, y contribue sans aucun doute… A recommander donc aux Musiciens de tout poil et ouverts d'esprit. On attend la suite… 

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.kansasfans.com 22.11.2002

“Genius”- A Rock Opera
The talented and friendly Mr. Daniele Liverani was kind enough to send me a promotional copy of his new epic “Genius” - A Rock Opera. The bait was an opportunity to listen to another one of Steve Walsh’s side projects, but as I listened to the CD it became obvious I was in for more of a ride than just a chance to hear Steve’s primal scream.
Detailed information about the rock opera can be found by going to www.geniusrockopera.com . In short this is story about a human, “Genius,” finding his way into the world of dreams. Personally I have never been a fan of rock opera’s because I find it difficult to follow the story. To overcome this issue Liverani uses “Philip Bynoe” to narrate the story, keeping the listener connected to the story line. I felt this provided the continuity I needed to follow the story.
A Rock Opera should be a story told to rock music, so I had certain expectations. I wanted to be able to close my eyes and see the performers on stage in my mind. I did not want a collection of closely related songs with no visual framework. Mr. Liverani provides images of each character, and as I listened to the CD with my eyes closed, I could see Genius’s characters performing. The narrator connected the points, and the characters perform in a sea of stars. 
The lead character, Genius, is performed by Mark Boals - a fabulous talent with an incredible voice. Other characters are: Lana Lane as “The Door Keeper,” Daniele Gildenlow as “Twinspirit 32,” Chris Boltendahl as “Station Master,” Joe Vana as “Mc Chaos Consultant,” Steve Walsh as “Wild Tribe King,” Oliver Hartman as “Wild Tribe Consultant,” John Wetton as “Mc Chaos King,” and Midnight as “Maindream.”
With all this vocal talent, I still feel the instrumental music really steals the show. This story is a fast paced, wild ride with extraordinary guitar work from Mr. Liverani. The music rocks and is fast driven yet never distorted or purposely weird or spacey.
The addition of Steve Walsh to the CD only left me begging for more. It was a tease!!! But we’re in luck since Mr. Liverani produces and plays on Steve Walsh’s Khymera project.
Ring….Time to wake up now.
I can’t wait for volume 2!
Bill McRea aka Depotgang

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.krimson-news.com 22.11.2002

Genius: A Rock Opera Epsiode - 1: A Human in Dreams' World 
Almost a year ago I heard that an album was being created by Italian multi-instrumentalist Daniele Liverani (Empty Tremor). I had no idea who Liverani was or in what groups he played. All I knew was that he was creating a “rock opera” called Genius. Genius is a story about a rock drummer named ‘Genius’ that accidentally gets transported into the world where dreams are created. While in this world, Genius gets the unique opportunity to witness how dreams are created and thus becomes a threat to Dreams’ World. The plot sounded interesting and because it is a rock opera I found it intriguing, but with my busy lifestyle I could have easily passed up listening to another album from someone I knew nothing about. What won me over to give the album a listen was that the cast of singers include King Crimson/ASIA alumnus John Wetton as “King McChaos,” king of the European Dreamworld. Since I took the time to listen to the album, I discovered that Genius is a “smart” musical journey that can appeal to a variety of prog rock/metal audiences through its diverse musical compositions.
Genius: A Rock Opera, Episode 1- A Human Into Dreams’ World is part one of a three part trilogy. Clocking in at 79 minutes, the listener is treated to an adventure of storytelling and hard rocking as “sung” by the cast of singers. Besides John Wetton, the other cast of singers include: Mark Boals (ex Malmsteen, Ring Of Fire) as 'Genius’, Lana Lane as 'Doorkeeper', Daniel Gildenlow (Pain Of Salvation) as 'TwinSpirit n.32', Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger) as 'Stationmaster', Steve Walsh (Kansas) as 'Wild Tribe King', Oliver Hartmann (At Vance) as 'Wild Tribe Consultant', Midnight (ex Crimson Glory) as 'Maindream', Philip Bynoe (Steve Vai, Ring Of Fire) as 'The Storyteller'. The music is as varied as the artists on the album. The listener will hear everything from a “progressive rock” flavor on the title track to “death metal” on “Terminate.” Genius stays true to the rock opera format by spinning and weaving the story together as you listen song by song. I do suggest that the listener reads the synopsis that is included with the album to fully understand the plot.
Most of the songs involve solo performances by the various singers with a couple duets and a rousing quartet with Mark Boals, Daniel Gildenlow, Midnight & John Wetton for the ending track. The most moving of the songs on the album is a song called “Father”, which is sung by John Wetton. “Father” sounds like it was written by Wetton, but surprisingly it’s not. The song deals with a father and his love towards his son. I think every opera needs a love song, and this is it! Wetton delivers a vocal that is both convincing and passionate.
What I thought wasn’t going to be “my cup o’ tea” turned out to be something that I could sink into and enjoy. Genius is worth a listen for even the most not-so-seasoned prog or metal fanatic as there is something for everyone to enjoy on Episode 1.
For more information, including a complete synopsis on Genius: A Rock Opera, please go to http://www.geniusrockopera.com. Special thanks to Daniele Liverani and Frontiers Records (http://www.frontiers.it) for assistance with this review.
Posted by kaveman on Thursday, October 24, 2002

Genius Ep.1 review on www.hmportal.it  22.11.2002

Genius - A Human Into Dreams' World/Frontiers Records (2002)
Siamo entrati nell'era della tecnologia compatta dell'all-in-one; basti pensare per esempio al dvd-vhs, al frullatore-tritaghiaccio-grattugia formaggio, al fotocopiatore-stampante-scanner-fax. Non credevo che questa regola valesse anche per la musica, ma il nostro Liverani mi ha smentito: è stato capace di imparare a suonare tre strumenti (basso, chitarra e tastiera) a livelli fantascentifici. Questa rock opera segue la strada intrapresa da Ayreon, Avantasia e Nostradamus, discostandosi forse dal genere, infatti "Genius" è improntata su sonorità più progressive rispetto alle succitate opere. 
"A Human Into Dreams' World" è il primo dei 3 atti di "Genius". Le parti strumentali sono state tutte scritte e suonate da Daniele Liverani, ad eccezione della batteria del formidabile Dario Cicconi (che all'epoca delle registrazioni aveva solo 15 anni), batterista in grado di suonare difficili trame ritmiche senza risultare impersonale, il che gli permette di essere riconoscibile già da poche battute, cosa che non riesce a molti suoi colleghi. 
La storia su cui si basa il concept è di tipo fantastico: Genius (che è il personaggio principale della storia), viene catturato in una sorta di dimensione parallela e scopre come avviene il meccanismo dei sogni. Conosce Twin Spirit #32 (che è il suo gemello parallelo) e insieme si accorgono di essere in serio pericolo.
I guest comparsi in quest'album (per quanto riguarda le voci) sono Mark Boals, Lana Lane, Daniel Gildenlow, Chris Boltendahl, Joe Vana, Steve Walsh, John Wetton, Olivier Hartmam, Midnight, Philip Bynow, artisti di tutto riguardo che hanno fatto e stan facendo la storia del metal melodico e dell' hard rock.
Chi si aspetta da questo capolavoro pirotecnici assoli si sbaglia di grosso: "Genius" è un concentrato di stupenda melodia e di complesse parti ritmiche. Il concept, com'è giusto che sia, è incentrato sul ruolo che i cantanti svolgono: ognuno di loro è un personaggio definito della storia.
Il disco, visto anche il suo periodo lungo di gestazione, è impeccabile dal punto di vista della produzione.
L'unica cosa che si può paragonare a questo disco è il Mosè di Michelangelo tal'è è la sua bellezza e la sua purezza
Voto: 95
Tecnica 5/5
Songwriting 5/5 
Produzione 5/5
Innovazione 5/5
Recensore: Pera

Genius Ep.1 review on www.metalfactory.ch  22.11.2002


Genius Ep.1 review on www.metalfactory.ch 22.11.2002
GENIUS - A rock opera/Frontiers Records
Schon wieder eine Rock-Oper? Nur weil Avantasia plötzlich himmlische Verkaufszahlen erreichen, fühlt sich wohl jeder genötigt, eine weitere Variante der Metal-Opern auf den Markt zu werfen. Dabei ist nicht alles Gold was glänzt... Es sind hier sehr wohl bekannte Namen wie Mark Boals (ex-Malmsteen, Ring of Fire), Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger), Lana Lane, Steve Walsh (Kansas), John Wetton (Asia, Uriah Heep) und noch so einige mehr am Start. Und doch fehlt es mir bei dem Ganzen ein wenig an Eigenständigkeit. Die Idee hinter dieser Rock-Oper besteht darin, dass ein junger Mann namens Genius versehentlich in einer parallelen Welt gefangen wird, in der er erkennt, wie menschliche Träume entstehen. Die komplette Oper besteht aus drei Teilen, die vorliegende CD ist also nur Part "Eins" einer Trilogie. Die nachfolgenden Episoden sollen innerhalb der nächsten zwei Jahre aufgenommen und veröffentlicht werden. Die Idee hinter dieser CD kam vom Italiener Daniele Liverani (Empty Tremor), der komplett für die Texte und die Musik verantwortlich ist. Die Songs sind sehr unterschiedlich. Von der feinen, zarten Ballade bis hin zu sehr progressiven Stücken. Alles in allem solide Arbeit. Die verschiedensten Stilrichtungen sind miteinander vermischt worden, was alles abwechslungsreich macht. Einfach reinhören würde ich vorschlagen.
Saskia B.
Punkte: 7.5 von 10


Genius Ep.1 review on www.eustakio.com 22.11.2002

Partiamo dalla fine, ovvero: comprate questo disco. Compratelo perchè è bello, perchè finalmente un prodotto di tale livello viene dato alle stampe in Italia, perchè non è banale, perchè è emozionale, suonato bene, confezionato con cura, prodotto più che sufficientemente, e soprattutto perchè di album di questo livello è tanto che non se ne sentono.
Questo nascere e diffondersi di rock opera, prima Avantasia, poi Nostradamus, il ritorno di Sammet e ora questo Genius, in verità più simile per sonorità al progetto Ayreon, fortunatamente è sfociato in lavori di qualità, e l'opera di Daniele Liverani (Empty Tremors) non fa che confermare il giudizio, offrendo al pubblico un disco maturo, intricato e intrigante, da sentire decine e decine di volte per apprezzarne le sfumature. Un disco impreziosito da un lista impressionante di interpreti ma che vede il suo punto di forza nella meravigliosa colonna sonora, questa è la definizione più appropriata che trovo, che accompagna le vicende di Genius. La miscela di sonorità rock, progressive e metal è impreziosita da pregiati innesti sinfonici ed è sorprendente come la musica sappia rendere bene gli stati emozionali legati al racconto che si snoda durante i 79 minuti di ascolto.
A Human Into Dreams' World è frutto di un lungo lavoro in studio e non potrebbe essere altrimenti vista la pregevole qualità degli arrangiamenti e delle melodie di ognuno degli 11 pezzi, in cui spicca il fenomenale drumming di Dario Ciccioni, che si diletta in accelerazioni e tempi dispari da brivido.
E' doveroso scorrere il cast degli interpreti, ovviamente fondamentali vista la struttura dell'album, e la prima sorpresa è Mark Boals, cantante che in tanti abbiamo dato per morto troppe volte. L'ex vocalist di Malmsteen offre una prestazione ottima, in territori musicali per lui inesplorati, e riesce meravigliosamente, soprattutto nel raffinato duetto con Lana Lane. L'altro ruolo principale è affidato a Daniel Gildenlow (Pain of Salvation), formidabile come sempre. Ma questo disco segna un ritorno sulla scena musicale, un ritorno dei più graditi: sua maestà Midnight appare finalmente dietro ad un microfono per far squillare nuovamente la sua voce. L'indimenticabile cantante dei Crimson Glory opta per un'interpretazione molto teatrale, rabbiosa, quasi parlata, e che pur sprizzando personalità da tutti i pori non chiarisce quali siano le sue effetive capacità dopo tanto silenzio.
Prima di arrivare alla prestazione di Midnight, Genius ha tanti picchi qualitativi come la splendida interpretazione della lenta Father ad opera di John Wetton, o l'ottima Dreams con il protagonista Boals e My Pride (ancora Wetton con Steve Walsh), a mio avviso il pezzo migliore che si evolve negli oltre sette minuti che lo compongono lasciando ogni secondo a bocca aperta. Anche l'interpretazione cattiva di Boltendahl convince, così come Joe Vana e Oliver Hartmann al quale è lasciato il compito di cantare sulla canzone che funge da "singolo promozionale" di questa rock opera, There's a Human, il brano più semplice del lotto, un brano immediato, che pur non esaltando inserito nel contesto del disco acquista valore.
Un lavoro pregiato, che deve avere successo perchè finalmente siamo alle prese con un album di qualità, un album che non deve passare inosservato perchè sarebbe un crimine nei confronti della musica.
Voto: 9/10 - E.S.Tizi

Ecco giungere, dopo la seconda parte della metal opera Avantasia di Tobias Sammet, una rock opera di concezione tutta italiana: Genius. Prima di entrare nel merito della recensione vera e propria vorrei spendere due parole sulla Frontiers, per la lungimiranza ed il coraggio mostrati nell'imbarcarsi in un'impresa di questo tipo; per la qualità decisamente elevata del proprio rooster e per il supporto fornito alla scena metal italiana (non ultimi le produzioni di Vicious Mary e White Skull). In secondo luogo vorrei fare un plauso al vero "Genio" della situazione : Daniele Liverani. Non dev'essere stato un compito facile concepire ed assemblare un'opera imponente come questa. Dopo aver saggiato le sue abilità strumentali nei dischi degli Empty Tremors, sua band di provenienza, che ha purtroppo raccolto sempre meno di quanto meritasse, abbiamo la possibilità di verificare anche le ottime doti compositive del polistrumentista grazie a questo disco, interamente scritto , suonato, arrangiato e prodotto da lui stesso, coadiuvato per le parti di batteria dall'ottima prestazione di Dario Ciccioni. E la voce direte voi? Il bello viene ora: per interpretare le parti vocali dei vari personaggi dell'opera, Liverani ha scomodato un cast stellare che comprende fra gli altri Mark Boals, Lana Lane, Chris Boltendahl, John Wetton, Steve Walsh, Daniel Gildenlow e ...Midnight, lo storico cantante mascherato della leggenda U.S. metal Crimson Glory! Scendendo maggiormente nei dettagli, nell'opera viene narrata la storia di Genius, un sagace ragazzo che viene accidentalmente proiettato in una dimensione parallela, nella quale scoprirà i segreti della produzione dei sogni umani. Durante il suo viaggio, che ricordiamo è suddiviso in tre capitoli, del quale questo album rappresenta un primo atto introduttivo intitolato "A Human Into Dreams' World", egli incontrerà diversi personaggi, con i quali avrà occasione di dar vita ad emozionati avventure, che lo aiuteranno a comprendere meglio i complicati meccanismi della mente umana, non senza però incappare in ingombranti paradossi, che metteranno anche in serio pericolo la sicurezza e l'esistenza stessa della dimensione parallela. L'argomento non è sicuramente di facile trattazione, ma è altamente affascinante e l'atmosfera che si respira durante l'ascolto è quella di sentirsi sempre sospesi fra realtà e fantasia, come immersi in un lungo sogno ad occhi aperti... La musica che accompagna la narrazione è veramente di qualità superiore e molto varia, si spazia infatti da abbondanti porzioni di metal progressivo a momenti di puro rock melodico, fino ad episodi in stile più classico e powereggiante. La lunga suite introduttiva "Without Me Today" è un utile compendio di cosa ci aspetta: la voce profonda di Philip Bynoe, nei panni del narratore, ci accompagna nel mondo di Genius e subito si viene assaliti da un vortice di sensazioni, man mano che si intrecciano le evoluzioni sonore sul pentagramma, accelerazioni, stacchi, aperture melodiche: il tutto per dodici minuti di puro magma progressivo. Nel secondo episodio "The Right Place" i ritmi si fanno più vellutati, e si materializza la regina del rock sinfonico Lana Lane che si produce in un bel duetto col protagonista Mark Boals. Si ritorna a premere sull'acceleratore in "Paradox", che si fa notare per un bellissimo interscambio fra Genius e il Twinspirit n.32, interpretato dal talentuoso singer dei Pain Of Salvation Daniel Gildenlow. Il vocione roco e prepotente del "becchino" Chris Boltendahl ci attende al varco in "The Glory Of Our Land", una delle canzoni più potenti e belle del disco, sostenuta alla grande da un bel coro magniloquente, che fa da contraltare all'irruenza di Boltendahl. Nell'arco di questo primo capitolo non vedremo però intervenire tutti e dieci i protagonisti del cast, ma soltanto otto. Mai come in questo caso mi sembra però futile continuare in un accademica descrizione dei singoli episodi, ogni brano è legato al seguente da una precisa logica e dai frammenti narrativi di Bynoe, che ci spiegano il tema trattato nel pezzo, ed è per questo motivo che Genius va gustato tutto d'un fiato, più e più volte, sino allo sfinimento! Che vi posso assicurare arriverà molto, ma molto tardi. Non nego che sia presente una punta d'orgoglio campanilistico, nell'affermare che Genius è uno dei dischi più belli dell'anno, per tutta una serie di motivi: la musica bellissima, il concept coinvolgente, il valore storico e le qualità artistiche dei cantanti coinvolti (superiore a mio avviso ad Avantasia, anche per la varietà dello spettro vocale che contempla), la produzione pulita e potente, in grado di dare il giusto risalto a tutti gli strumenti. Mi sto già fregando le mani nel pregustare i possibili sviluppi della storia, che verranno rilasciati nei prossimi due anni, ed immagino che sarà davvero impresa ardua per Daniele Liverani superare la bellezza di questo Genius. Semplicemente stupendo.
Voto: 8,5/10 - Andrea Brunazzo

 

Genius Ep.1 review on www.sz-online.de/freizeit/cd_kritik.asp 22.11.2002

Daniele Liverani, Genius A Rock Opera, Frontiers Records

Schon immer sind Menschen von ihren Träumen fasziniert. Der Italiener Daniele Liverani macht dies zum Thema seiner dreiteiligen Rockoper. Unterstützt von zahlreichen namhaften Kollegen schildert er auf musikalische Art und Weise die Abenteuer von Genius, einem Jungen, den es eines Tages in die komplexe Parallelwelt unserer (Alb-)Träume verschlägt. Gekonnt verbindet sich dabei progressive Rockmusik mit pompösen Musicalklängen. Die Geschichte ist gut nachvollziehbar, die englischen Texte sind leicht verständlich. Nur hin und wieder gerät das Ganze etwas zu schmalzig. Metalfans und Musicalliebhaber kommen dennoch voll auf ihre Kosten.

Fazit: Interessante Märchenstunde für Erwachsene.
Peter Dänhardt