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Nick D'Virgilio: Invisible

by Rich and Laura Lynch

On his long-awaited second solo record Nick D'Virgilio offers up a platter that is disturbingly predictive and eerily prophetic. On the title track to Invisible he sings about the troubled protagonist saying, "you're locked in and can't get out" - a sobering reality facing nearly every citizen on the planet at the moment. Recorded in the summer of 2019 and later in January 2020 - before our current "situation" - it's as if the prog multi instrumentalist was describing something unseen or not quite here yet.


On track #2 "Turn Your Life Around" describes a world full of zombies who have had their lives turned upside down to become just a confused mass of nameless and faceless numbers. "I'm Gone" in the third slot of the running order presents a different side of the story that celebrates the return of fresh air and abundant sunshine. Curiously, the one and only upside of the global lockdown are the variety of reports about reduced smog and a general healing of the globe. But, Nick D'Virgilio didn't set out to tell the Covid 19 story but it makes for a timely coincidence.

The record - set for a June 2020 release features an impressive cast of special guests including Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) / Paul Gilbert (Mr Big, Racer X) / Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel) / Carl Verheyen (Supertramp) / Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick) / Jonas Reingold (The Flower Kings / Steve Hackett) / Jem Godfrey (Frost*) and more.

Invisible is the sophomore album by this California born but Indiana based drummer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist. But a strong concept and a plethora of pleasing prog moments helps make sure there's no sign of the dreaded jinx here. Nick shares that it's "a collection of songs that make up the story of a man who is unhappy with where his life has ended up. He finally decides to take the scary step of leaving everything behind so he can go and find the meaning of his life." As we listened to this 14 track CD we felt that it was truly relevant as more and more people find themselves being described as "non-essential" but still believing that we all do have a purpose to serve.

The story of struggle and finding oneself is relatable and dramatically told in a rock format punctuated by ballads, brass, prog and strings. Nick's interpretation of "Money That What I Want" is darker and quite different from previous versions of the song while his originals are compelling and complex thus - Invisible is a concept album for contemporary times.

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