Gabriel’s is a classically trained keyboardist and arranger from Milazzo in Northern Sicily, the very town In ‘Homer's Odyssey’ where Ulysses was shipwrecked and ultimately where he came face to face with the most famous of the Cyclopes,’ Polyphemus’. Such archetypal settings that no doubt explain ‘Gabriel’s propensity for music scores of such elaborate magnitude and gravity. As in the case of this album under review, part two of a grandiose rock opera entitled “Fist of the Seven Stars Act 2 –Hokuto Brothers”. Not in this case centered on Greek Mythology but based on the Japanese manga and anime "Hokuto no Ken" and a continuation of Kenshiro, story, apparently one of the most known and appreciated anime characters of all time.
"FIST OF THE SEVEN STARS ACT 2 is a humongous project indeed with a hefty cast of around thirty musicians and vocalists all participating in this epic rock opera and certainly on a similar scale to ‘Ayreon’ with a complex of different characters. The first thing that strikes you is that ‘Gabriels’ does not assume a totally center staged starring role during the proceedings allowing each and every one of the guest musicians room to maneuver and express their own individual musical talents, which, is surely the sign of a good and competent arranger. Of course, interwoven throughout the thirteen tracks Gabriel's busy keyboards provide a lush background of instrumental fills gluing together and literally controlling entirely the flow and direction of the music. But, that is not all for ‘Gabriels’ talents and skills expound even further soaring out and over the musical fray with some wonderfully harmonic climatic sequences and chord progressions that lift the music to even more glorious levels of musical aptitude, especially the forays when a rocking Hammond style organ is interposed within the mix.
From a ‘Rock Opera’ perspective, it is indeed a full-on powerfully dramatic presentation with majestic vocals saturated to the brim with two and three-part harmonies all beautifully executed amid the incursion of lead guitars strutting their stuff and ringing out loud and clear to enhance the musical spectrum. One can sense the excitement that could be generated at a concert with a conglomeration of singing, lively keyboards and excellent support musicianship. As you would expect from the kind of songs associated with a ‘Rock Opera’ It generally follows a predictable musical pattern with the individual songs tending to follow the song and chorus format. But obviously, it is constructed in this manner to appeal to a mixed rock opera audience with a slight hint of fun in the shape of Gibert and Sullivan about the proceedings.
Summary: A very dynamic and powerful Rock Opera, melodically instrumental with nice boisterous and seemingly fun songs,
The record contains several special guests representing the characters of the opera: Wild Steel (Shadows of Steel), Jo Lombardo (Metatrone, Ancestral), Frank Caruso (Arachnes), Dino Fiorenza (Metatrone). Beto Vazquez (Beto Vazquez's.