It takes trust to assert that God created the Universe – the heaven, the Earth and, after all, man in His image – out of nothing, but this trust comes easier when you look at the Creator. It takes trust to assert that a single musician created "Revenge" – the rhythm guitars, the bass, the drums, the lead guitar and the vocals, and then produced it – but that trust comes easier when you look at the creator: Giuseppe Caruso, alumnus of the finest Italian music colleges, former instructor of percussion at the Institute of Science Poerio in Foggia, ex-Node, presently Ira, both death metal bands, recording under tutelage of Tommy Talamanca of progressive death Sadist at Nadir studio. The chips are there, so we can expect something great. After all, God created man in His image.

The journey through Caruso’s creation is like going through history of heavy rock music, where we find everything from hard rock through classic heavy metal, thrash, death, except for black metal. Giuseppe’s voice may seem over the top, at first, until you realize each phase actually matches the vocals as King Diamond announces the Mercyful Fate of "Satan’s Fall" with Dave Mustaine (Megadeth) rejoicing to see him "Rust in Piece" (The Black Warrior), Ozzy Osbourne (Black Sabbath) and Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) croon (in British accent) on top of "Iron Man" (Goya) in "Fear Of the Dark", while Bon Jovi lays you down in the "Bed of Roses" (Angel of Consciousness), Klaus Meine (The Scorpions) steals your heart (in a German accent) in the "Wind of Change", "Crazy World" in "Dream Time" and John Lennon bids you to "Come Together" to "The Abbey Road" for "The Rock Rite". When you listen closely you might recognize Megadeth’s "Peace Sells But Who’s Buying" riff patterns you might take for Annihilator’s (My World), Gregor Macintosch’s (Paradise Lost) gorgeous lead (Goya), the Iron Maiden of Adrian Smith or Dave Murray of Powerslave/Somewhere In Time fame (Angel of Consciousness) you may confuse with Mastodon or catch a doom/death of My Dying Bride on my favorite "Revenge", all of the above examples by no means exhaustive of content. You can take Gene Hoglan’s (ex-Death) in “Goya” or Matthew Archer’s "Embraced" (Paradise Lost/Shades of God) drum patterns (The Rock Rite), Steve Harris’s (Iron Maiden) bass line (The Dark Life) Dave Mustaine’s knack for heart-wrenching melodies (Angel of Consciousness), Bon Jovi Richie Sambora’s (The Dark Life) or even Jimi Hendrix’s solos (My World) for a witness besides mine, "Revenge" is an immaculately skilled, executed and produced record. Why would I, then, find fault? Well, if The Flood is any indication, even God can make miss-takes.

As any great artist, and, in this case, a pure musical genius, might be tempted to do, Giuseppe tends to get a tad self-indulgent, at times. "Black Warrior" may dazzle with power and meticulous attention to detail, on first or second listen, but further immersion reveals one of the weaker, simpler, songs. Similarly, you may marvel at Caruso’s fantastic “Rust In Peace”-worshipping “Wild Existence”, or My Dying Bridian "Revenge"with its incredibly emotional vocal delivery, stirring up dark emotions within you never knew you had, but get tired of hearing "South Park’s" Eric Cartman repeatedly sing of liberty in the Scorpionish "Dream Time". Finally, after seventh revolution the charm breaks as you wish Giuseppe Caruso took more risks considering his amazing knowledge, skills and abilities (black metal?)

Overall, I am very thankful for Giuseppe Caruso, his Mind Enemies and his "Revenge". All the instruments and production slay with vocals and songwriting in the upper tier. The time spent with his art has been very personally precious to me as he imparted additional therapy on my achey breakey heart (stuck in your head now courtesy of Billy Ray Cirus). I know Giuseppe will continue to amaze us in the age to come. Highly recommended, especially “Wild Existence” and the title track/closer.