Album Reviews

Kiko Loureiro – Sounds of Innocence Review

kiko loureiro_sounds_cover

Released by: Victor Entertainment

Release Date: July 19, 2012

Genre: Prog / Melodic Metal




Kiko Loureiro : Guitars

Carlinhos Noronha : Bass

Cuca Teixeira : Drums

Yaniel Matos : Keyboard



1 Awakening Prelude

2 Grey Stone Gateway

3 Conflicted

4 Reflective

5 El Guajuro

6 Ray of Life

7 The Hymm

8 M?e D’? Gua

9 Twisted Horizon

10 A Perfect Rhyme


Seven years after his solo debut in 2005, Brazilian guitar virtuoso Kiko Loureiro is back on the scene with his fourth full-length release “Sounds of Innocence”. For those unfamiliar with his work, Kiko began his career as a guitarist at the tender age of 19, in a band called “Angra”, a highly technical metal group based in Brazil, back in 1993. Since the launch of his solo career, Kiko has become quite renowned for his ability as a guitarist. Along with his records are generally well-received by fans and critics alike, he also released several instructional DVDs, where he shares some of the techniques that give him his sound.

“Sounds of Innocence” is a record with an interesting concept. Since Kiko is first and foremost, a guitarist, though he has played bass and drums on some of his previous records, his playing is the centerpiece of the record. In fact, all ten tracks on this record is completely instrumental, so there are no frontmen, or uttered words that can distract the listener from Loureiro’s top notch work on the fret board. The drum and bass tracks from Cuca Teixeira and Carlinhos Noronha respectively form a solid rhythm section. Their playing sticks to the basics for the most part, but that is also to assure that all attention falls on the guitar tracks. The rhythm section’s purpose is to build a solid foundation for the songs, and provide a beat, so there aren’t many drum or bass solos, or cool drum fills to speak of.

Although the absence of vocalists and lyrics may sound a little off-putting to some, the sheer range of styles and sounds Kiko gets out of his guitar playing is more than enough to make up for it. They may be all instrumental, but the band still manages to get each song to have its own distinct sound, and feel to then, which keeps them all sounding fresh, rather than a continuation of the previous track. Kiko really showcases his versatility quite well on this record, he can go from thrash, to flamenco, to a jazzy sound, and he can do it all over the course of a few songs. Another thing this record does well is the transitions between one song and another. Although the record is made up of ten separate tracks, the way they are ordered makes them feel somewhat like sections of one long jam session. The record begins with an ominous mood-setting acoustic track, slowly picking up in pace and heaviness with each of the following tracks, until climaxing around the three quarters point and then winding down on the last three tracks, until gently closing the record with a piano heavy tender jam. This arc not only helped the band cover so many styles without making the record feel disjointed, but also makes the album really interesting to listen to, as it builds up, then winds down.

All things considered, this record is worth about a 7 out of 10. It is definitely an interesting listen, and while it manages to have a full, complete sound without, and technically doesn’t need one, I feel it could have used a singer. Nevertheless, Kiko is definitely one of the better, more versatile guitar players out there right now, and to those who enjoy instrumental records, this is definitely worth checking out.



Written by Connor

Ratings    Connor    7/10


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