“All the kids are talking about it, and I blanked when answering who my new favorite guitarist is… here he is, Matteo Mancuso. I have not seen anyone reinvent like this since Stanley Jordan.” To paraphrase Alan Partridge, these are not my words but those of Joe Bonamassa, and they also mean that whatever I say about “The Journey” doesn’t matter. Nevertheless, I can’t help but express my admiration for this brilliantly expressive piece of instrumental music.

Matteo Mancuso, hailing from the picturesque island of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea, to the South of Italy, proves his remarkable talent on “The Journey” right from the start. Having made his live debut at a tender age of 12, it’s clear that Mancuso is deeply steeped in the art of guitar playing. Moreover, the fact that this record was recorded by his father, who co-wrote a couple of tunes.

The album kicks off with “Silkroad,” a track that effortlessly transitions from a hard, almost metal edge to something more ephemeral, showcasing Mancuso’s versatility and command over the instrument. “Falcon Flight” follows with a more jazz-inspired, anything-goes pattern, displaying Mancuso’s ability to effortlessly navigate various musical styles.

“Drop D” is a standout track, captivating listeners with its beautifully expansive and expressive melodies. Mancuso’s guitar work is nothing short of mesmerizing, pulling you into the depths of the music and allowing you to lose yourself in its enchanting soundscapes.

“Blues for John” takes a playful turn, allowing Mancuso to demonstrate his playful side while still maintaining a level of technical brilliance that keeps the listener engaged. “Samba Party” lives up to its name, enveloping the listener in a warm Latin breeze, transporting them to a tropical dance floor.

As the album reaches its conclusion, “The Journey” serves as a beautiful and reflective ender. It almost pauses for a moment of contemplation, leaving a lasting impression on the listener. You can’t help but sense that Matteo Mancuso’s career is one to watch as he embarks on a promising musical journey.

“The Journey” by Matteo Mancuso is a remarkable debut album that showcases a new instrumental hero in the making. Mancuso’s undeniable talent and ability to effortlessly traverse various musical genres make this album a must-listen for guitar enthusiasts and music lovers alike.

Rating: 8/10

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