“Sounds Of Innocence” is the latest solo album from Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro featuring 10 tracks (well 9 plus a 40 second acoustic intro called “Awakening Prelude”) of instrumental rock infused with Latin rhythms and harmony creating a unique style of shred. This album has a little less of the South American musical influence compared to his previous album or at least the influence comes through the music in more subtle ways, I would say it is more straight ahead rock/metal this time around. There are some very memorable tracks on “Sounds of Innocence” such as “Reflective” which has had me humming the main theme for days, Kiko is not afraid to use lots of space in his melodies which is what makes them work so well, he doesn’t crowd the tracks with a million notes and maybe this is something that he has inherited from his Brazillian musical background. You can hear Kiko recording some of the parts for this track in the video at the bottom of the page as well as some of the complete track.
The track “El Guajiro” really illustrates Kiko’s South American roots using percussion instruments and rhythms to lay a foundation for an awesome juxtaposition of Metal guitar rhythms. Nobody fuses Metal with Latin music quite like Kiko and if you’ve never heard an example of this kind of Fusion before this is definitely the track to listen to. Kiko’s melodies are full of effortless sweep arpeggios and precision staccato phrases showcasing his flawless technique while still remaining catchy and interesting.
Another of my favourite tracks from “Sounds of Innocence” is “The Hymn” with a tremelo guitar intro that sounds straight from a James Bond movie. The main theme of the track has Kiko’s signature staccato harmonised guitar parts creating a layered rhythmic motif sitting underneath and he uses his Whammy bar for the lead part highlighting his Jeff Beck influence.
One of my favourite Brazillian instruments is the Berimbau which has such a unique sound and I believe this is the instrument used in the intro for “Mãe D’Água” that Kiko then emulates with his distorted rhythm guitar parts which sounds really cool. This is a really laid back track with a half time groove and some emotive playing from Kiko.
This album shows some very mature guitar playing from Kiko Louriero who certainly didn’t set out to show off his guitar skills but rather craft an album that takes you on a unique musical journey displaying Kiko’s rock, metal and Brazillian influences. At the same time though his guitar playing is unintentionally stunning, you only have to listen to the main chorus of “Twisted Horizon” to hear how incredible Kiko’s technique is, I couldn’t begin to write a melody that jumps all over the fretboard like that and yet sounds so musical. Kiko seems to have master all guitar techniques so that he can use them in very creative ways which makes him quite hard to categorise. If you enjoy instrumental guitar whether it be rock, metal or fusion Kiko Louriero fuses many styles together and in the process has delivered a very enjoyable album.
Kiko Loureiro Reflective from Sounds of innocence Guitar Recordings: