Giulio Nightfall – Singles Review
Hard to argue with a list like this! Giulio Nightfall and I clearly share the love of a lot of the same great music, artists & bands…songs even when it comes right down to it; I really dig the selection of songs he’s chosen to cover over at his YouTube channel. He’s pretty much covering the map from Yngwie Malmsteen to Lana Del Ray – how’s that for a widespread range of tunes? Tons of awesome stuff everywhere you look & listen…Nirvana, 30 Seconds To Mars, Alice In Chains, Neil Young, Blue Oyster Cult – and through his own wildly skilled guitar talents, puts his own spin into everything you’ll hear. Let’s check out a sample or two and dig into this setlist of songs he’s been putting out into the universe…
From what I can find online from Giulio, this is one of his latest covers from earlier this year. We’ll progress through his catalog and check out a variety of sounds, styles, and approaches he’s taken throughout the years…and some will go on to be better than others for sure, we all have our favorites – but hearing this at the beginning definitely set the standard for the expectations to follow. Covering an Yngwie Malmsteen song is no joke…in fact, I don’t even think any average human-being would even think about taking his music on without knowing for a certain fact that they had the chops to pull it off. And that’s where I’m pleased to report that, at his most focused, Giulio is a competent & complete virtuoso – a cover as well done and extraordinary as what he does with “Brothers” is all the proof your ears should need. If you’re a fan of those giants of the axe like Johnson, Vai, Malmsteen etc. – then there’s no way you wouldn’t appreciate what Giulio can bring to guitar – he sounds incredible on this first cut in what’s a seriously complex track not just for the instrumentation but the level of emotion involved in the sincerity of HOW it’s being played…that’s what makes this cut completely stand-out. Giulio has found all the right dimensions & depth of this track to discover the best of what it has to offer and brought it all right to the surface in a full-band setting with Marcos on keys, Hector on bass and Glenn on the drums all lending their flawless assistance to a challenging song they make sound easy. Really well done and an exquisite cover all-around…”Brothers” would go on to remain one of my favorites in this set of tunes that I’m reviewing today…it’s audible perfection from beginning to end.
This was instantly fascinating to me. The Cure are one of my two ultimate all-time favorite bands…and to hear what Giulio has done with this cover of their song from The Crow Soundtrack is seriously cool. Quite honestly – this is a seriously insightful adaptation – I’m highly impressed with where Giulio has taken this song and really discovered a whole layer of melody you don’t really hear in the original. The guitar solo on this tune SCORCHES – it’s SO GOOD! But let’s be real here – right from the very beginning he’s found amazingly innovative ways of drawing “Burn” out in exciting new directions. Vocally, he’s also pretty well suited for a Robert Smith sound…that’s an artist that’s never felt the need to be 100% bang-on with tone so much as he’s always wanted the right expression, energy & emotion to fit the moment…and I think for the most part, Giulio is able to find the essence of what’s required to make that magic happen here. If you’re familiar with the original – and you should be, it’s one of the most underrated songs by The Cure in their entire catalog – you’ll immediately appreciate how Giulio puts his own stamp on the sound of this one…you can really hear him feeling the vibe here and creating an all-encompassing atmosphere to surround you while you listen to this song. The drums have that essential distance in their sound & rapid movement…bass is thick & powerful…guitars are off-the-charts cool.
This one’s a tougher one for sure. Best to remind ourselves that Giulio is a guitar player at the end of the day…the vocals are a work in progress. My advice for the man is to remember that if he’s gonna add them at all, he’s gotta give them everything he’s got; holding back here on “Would” is definitely costing him a bit more than he’d probably like in tone. Looking to a hero like Layne Staley, even in that Unplugged setting which this cover version patterns itself from, he’s still bringing it with full power, tone, & energy. Giulio ends up sounding more timid here…which is…an interesting call to make and approach to take towards such a powerful song. Timing is also getting to him a bit on this cut as well in the relationship between the guitars & bass if you’re listening closely…on the surface, most people wouldn’t notice too much. But all-in-all…when you hear what Giulio is capable of on a song like “Brothers” or “Burn” – it’s kind of impossible not to notice that this particular cover of the Alice In Chains megahit has gotten away from him a bit by comparison.
“Nothing Else Matters”
With my feelings on Metallica long documented on this page, I can’t pretend to be in love with the band, I haven’t been into them for years. That being said, of all the songs of theirs that I can tolerate, this is the closest to that from their catalog. There is some really beautiful guitar written into the melody of this particular tune, lots of great emotion…and all-in-all, this is a worthy cover of the classic Metallica song that is able to harness the essential ingredients of the megahit. Giulio does a great job with the guitars, the bass is fantastic, the vocals hold their own…the main switch in the song between the verse and chorus maximizes the energy between the two parts and really takes the experience up a level. The highlight for me was listening to the music smooth out past that full roar of the chorus into moments like around the 3:15 mark…or the solos around two-minutes later on just past the five minute mark…highlight instrumentation in this set from Giulio. Given that he’s a massive fan of Metallica, I’d assume he’s loving the fact this cover came out so close to the original…that’s gotta be satisfying.
“In The Air Tonight”
Dude likes his songs with big drums in’em…tracks like “Burn” and “In The Air Tonight” definitely confirm that. He’s got the atmosphere set right as far as the music is concerned…it stays pretty true to the original in that sense of the mysterious feeling you get when listening to this tragic tale. The lead guitars have a brilliant mix on the tone and sound excellent in this tune…musically, that’s where you’ll find the best parts of this particular tune…Giulio is a slightly odd fit for this cut when it comes to the vocals. Keep in mind the guy is singing in English when he’s clearly Italian…so it’s natural to hear a bit of a jarring effect to what you would expect from the original…somewhat…there’s still just as much tone & melody audible in vocals as there are in guitars…which makes it odd because clearly Giulio would then know what’s on & what’s off regardless of the language factor, know what I mean? So in that sense…he’s in theory, making some strange choices in his approach, but purposefully; as a result, you get some highlight moments from him on the mic on “In The Air Tonight” but a few noticeable misses as well in pursuit of his ambition. Guitar-wise, the man is shredding it up in behind the bass & vocals of this tune at the song’s most intense and laying out killer tones through the atmosphere of the song as it builds towards its biggest moments at the end.
“Don’t Fear The Reaper”
If you were to ask me to list ten songs of all-time that represented the best in songwriting & execution, you’d probably find “Don’t Fear The Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult in there somewhere. Giulio approaches this cut with those Alice In Chains Unplugged-like tones in his guitars and takes an acoustic direction with this version. And like…OKAY…the guitar solo and the way he plays around the 2:50 mark will DROP YOUR JAW in amazement – I absolutely love what he’s doing over that whole next thirty-forty seconds. Overall, I think he’s got a really decent cover of this song and I’m certainly not complaining. Like I said, he’s taking on what I’d consider to possibly be one of the top ten of all-time from all of music’s history…so to come out with any kind of favorable opinion on what’s essentially an untouchable song, is actually quite an achievement. Vocally, he suits this one really well for the majority of this song and I dig the slight changes he’s made in the pace in how he sings it…that’s a large part of the uniqueness in this cover, in addition to the acoustic sound of course. Most importantly, the haunting melody is still intact and you get a lot of what made the original so spectacular still coming through; Giulio’s made changes, but smart ones that identify this cover to his own sound. And I know I’ve already said it…but COME ON – the solo of this song is definitely one of the ultimate highlights I’ve experience with his music and I loved the way the song flowed so smoothly back into the verse from there.
“Ace Of Spades”
If you like Motorhead, you love “Ace Of Spades” – that’s an essential cut from their catalog. This cut dates back about a year or so & makes use of a full-band lineup in a worthy cover version of a hard hitting song. Vocals from Bojan are awesome, bass from Alberto grips & rips, drums from Jason are spot-on, and the guitars from Giulio sound inspired. Together they attack this one and hold nothing back – the energy is a perfect fit, the production’s got a grittier & dirty live-sound…for those out there looking for something recorded that really brings that live-vibe alive, this is a great example – you feel like you’re watching this happen in your mind while you listen to it. I was honestly never a massive Motorhead fan myself…a few tunes here & there, certainly “Ace Of Spades” – I just don’t know how anyone could deny the pure-ROCK frenzy this track becomes and it sounds like this full-band approach was one that really worked well to bring out the best in this legendary song.
“Man In The Box”
So…according to the notes I’ve got here, Giulio has has an issue with his tonsils for the past several years and only been back to singing for less than a year still. So we’ll leave it at that when it comes to the vocals and assume when he’s healthy, he’s ready to rock. I think the backing vocals came out great on “Man In The Box” and the guitars of course came out sounding excellent as always. All-in-all, one of the more faithful covers when it comes to the structure, sound, and flow – and overall, I’d imagine for many fans of the original song by Alice In Chains it would be extremely cool to hear the wild sounds of this tune still so intact. Cause let’s face it…you gotta have that signature sound of the original in this tune there somewhere if you’re really gonna make it work, and this is where Giulio excels for sure, he’s got the personality, charisma and attitude of the original guitars spot-on. Just as crunchy, wild, and straight-up entertaining when it comes to the sound you’ll find there…another solid indication of his ability to replicate the music made by his heroes with great success. Definitely one of the better tunes in the set as far as I can tell.
This cover dates back to 2013 – but this is definitely a solid rendition. I’ll admit…it’s a song that I’ve always got time for…no matter how many times I hear it on talent-shows etc., it’s a timeless melody that, as long as it’s not butchered in some brutal way, almost always connects. So he’s got that advantage working for him here, but I still think the way that he’s chosen to approach this, to keep it instrumental and captivatingly expressive through the lead-guitars substituting for the vocals…people will connect with this. I also think that, much like where this review started with “Brothers,” Giulio shows that he’s completely able to harness emotion through the guitars and express himself perfectly without words, just like all the giants out there from Vai to Satch, when he’s at his most focused. “Ave Maria” is a great example of the heart & passion that Giulio is capable of creating in his music and another strong highlight in his catalog that puts his control & musicianship in the spotlight for all to hear.
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