Songs of Fascination - "Trinity" by Virgil Donati
Virgil Donati is notorious for his technical expertise on the drum set. However, not everybody is aware that he is also one of the greatest composers living today. His solo album "In This Life" stands as testament to his capabilities not just on the drums, but as a complete musician. Featuring a huge lineup of A-class musicians like Alex Argento, Jeff Babko, and Marco Sfogli (to name a few), this album is a most-have for every progressive metal fan on planet earth.
One of the most rhythmically complex songs on the album is "Trinity." Here, we see guitarist Andre Nieri performing a complete play through of this masterpiece. Nieri was the guitarist that Donati chose to bring with him on the debut tour of his solo album - although to keep expenses down, he worked with keyboardists and bass players in each region he visited.
What strikes me about this song is not only the rhythmic challenge, but the way everything blends from a tonal perspective. The balance between the instruments in the mix is impeccable (you'll have to hear the album version to appreciate it fully). The chords chosen by Argento while comping under the guitar solos create the perfect atmosphere but leave space for the guitar to shine. The syncopated pattern opening the song layers the keys and guitar on the melody, with the bass weaving in and out - not directly on top. In fact, we hear this kind of layering many times - often the guitar plays a melody while the keys offer supportive gestures, or the bass may play in perfect unison with the drums. Everything is aligned cleanly, yet there is such a feeling of fluidity. Such a combination is not only rare - it's a quality that only the greatest composers can articulate convincingly.
You can pick up a copy of Donati's solo album on Amazon.