Veteran guitarist Lou DiBello likely is not one of the most well-known figures in the mainstream rock community. That is despite his impressive resume, which includes honors graduate of the famed Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California playing countless shows across his home state of Illinois and even serving as a founding member of ESP. He has even released three full-length solo recordings that have gone on to become relatively popular in their own right. This past July, DiBello released his fourth full-length studio recording —Heatwave. Released fully independently, the eight song album is the kind of record that will appeal widely to fans of that music that bridged the sounds of the 70s and 80s. One could even argue that there is a hint of early 90s-era rock mixed into this record, too. All things considered, the album in whole proves to be a work that will appeal to a very directed audience, and could very well finally heat up DiBello’s solo career.
Lou Dibello’s latest full-length studio recording Heatwave is a recording that given the proper coverage and attention, could serve to finally heat up his career and spread his fame among his targeted audiences beyond his home state of Illinois. This is obvious right from the album’s outset in the form of its opener/title track. This full-on instrumental composition is easily comparable to works from the likes of Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen with its straight forward guitar riff and equally solid timekeeping. That guitar riff in question is upbeat both in terms of its tempo and its energy, meaning it is certain to put a smile on listeners’ faces with that vibe. The shredding, hammer pulls and other items incorporated into the song are direct links to the likes of the aforementioned guitarist. Bobby Whiles’ time keeping and Mike LePond’s bass work add just enough to the song’s foundation to solidify it even more. The end result of that whole makes the song a solid start for Heatwave and a work that puts on full display DiBello’s talents. That display of talent does not stop with the album’s opener. ‘The Meeting,’ the album’s halfway point, is yet another song that clearly displays DiBello’s abilities.
Musically speaking, ‘The Meeting’ conjures thoughts of Fates Warning, Queensryche and other similar veteran acts. That comparison is made through the combination of DiBello’s full throttle shredding and the work put in by his fellow musicians. Its lyrical content does just as much for its interest as its musical arrangement. Vocalist Carsten Schulz sings in the song’s lead verse, “Don’t you make a sound/No, don’t you move/Gather ’round/Listen to what I say to you/Hey, tonight’s the night…we’ve come together for one/Too bad his time has come/He will die.” There is mention in the song’s second verse of the unnamed figure for whom everyone was come together fighting back to save his life. Deciphering some of the song’s other lyrical content within its two verses is difficult sans a lyrics sheet. Regardless, the majority of the song consists of what has been cable to be decoded. Considering this, one can’t help but wonder about this song’s lyrical theme. It sounds like someone telling a campfire story or some such — a legend of a great figure perhaps. That could be completely wrong or right. Either way, the song’s arrangement which spreads the display of DiBello’s influences and abilities here couples with a lyrical theme that is certain to generate some discussion to make it another standout piece of the album’s whole. In turn, the song shows even more why this album could be the first big spark (yes, that pun was intended) to DiBello’s career finally burning even brighter (yes, that awful pun was intended, too). It still is not the last of the album’s most notable additions either. ‘Into The Arena,’ the album’s finale, is one more example of what makes this record potentially the next big step in DiBello’s career.
‘Into The Arena’ is one of the handful of instrumental songs included in the album’s eight-song, 36-minute body. What makes this arrangement stand out is that its arrangement more than lives up to its title. Audiences get in this powerhouse arrangement a song that –despite its clear 80s hard rock influences — is the type of song that could be used in so many sports presentations, from NFL highlights to the Olympics. It instantly conjures thoughts of athletes entering the arena of competition (whichever sport it may be) with thoughts of the competition to come as they mentally prepare for their matchups. The song’s “B” section, which is driven by its bass line, could be interpreted as the actual showdown while its “C” section could just as easily be interpreted as that competitor’s victory over the opponent after the harrowing fight. It’s just one more piece included in this record that 70s and 80s rock fans will appreciate. One could easily argue that the album’s penultimate offering, ‘When All Is Lost’ could be compared to a certain hit song from Poison while ‘Let Me Hear You Scream’ could be likened to works Ratt circa 1985 (the year that band released Invasion Of Your Privacy). Other works included in this record could just as easily be compared to works from Dokken. Considering such comparisons, it becomes clear from start to finish that whether full-on instrumental or works with vocals, this record has plenty to offer fans of rock’s era of big riffs and even bigger hair. Given the proper coverage to those audiences, this record could be the one that starts Dibello’s own musical heatwave.
Lou DiBello’s latest full-length studio recording, the eight-song 36-minute Heatwave, is a work that could be the work that finally heats up his musical career. That is as long as it is property promoted to his target audience. Its musical arrangements reach deep into the rock community’s era of big riffs and even bigger hear, with comparisons to the likes of Dokken, Poison, Fates Warning and so many others clearly evident. That wide reach of influences speaks volumes about DiBello’s talents and abilities. It shows he is not the type to just stick to one style of classic rock. He reaches across that span. The fact that he varies the songs from instrumental to full arrangements with vocal lines adds even more to that display. the lyrical content presented in the select songs is certain to generate just as much discussion among audiences as its musical arrangements. This is all evident throughout the course of the record’s run. Keeping this in mind, audiences who take in this record will agree that this could be the work that finally truly gets Dibello’s career hot (and yes, that terrible final pun was intended, too).
Veteran guitarist Lou Dibello has spent the majority of his career flying just under the main stream radar. He has crafted a handful of solo records while also serving as a founding member of ESP. He even holds quite a high honor from the Musicians Institute. He has taught countless other guitarists, who have gone on to their own success. yet through it all, DiBello still has not had that one album that makes him a household name among his target demographic. That could all change with this latest effort, given it gets the proper attention. That is obvious in the wide range of classic rock influences in his album’s arrangements and even through the lyrical content. Keeping this in mind, it proves to be a record that, from start to finish deserves at least one listen by fans of 70s and 80s rock aficionados. It is available now. More information on Heatwave is available online now along with all of Lou Dibello’s latest news and more at:
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