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The best kept secret in music


"From the AOR Heaven Newsletter:"

From the AOR Heaven Newsletter:
Italian shouter CHRIS CATENA without any doubt has created a little masterpiece with his new album "Freak Out!" - fans of DEEP PURPLE will dig it for sure as it offers high class 70s typed hard rock. GLENN HUGHES belongs to the impressive list of guests here which also contains Chuck Wright, Tommy Aldridge, Bernie Marsden, Eric Singer, John Lawton, Dave Meniketti, Jeff Scott Soto and many more. Just check out the funky and rocky club suitable smasher "Freak Out Tonight" - high class stuff! To sum it up Italian shouter Chris CATENA has created a high class, top produced album that reaches the highest possible, - AOR Heaven


CHRIS CATENA Freak Out Iuma IMRC 007 (2004)

Italian vocalist Chris Catena has assembled a veritable ‘Who’s Who’ of hard rock musicians on here. Catena is heavily influenced by Deep Purple, Trapeze and early Whitesnake, with ex-Purple and Whitesnake members Glenn Hughes, Bernie Marsden, Tommy Aldridge and Micky Moody all appearing. Add to this the talents of Jeff Scott Soto, Tony Franklin, ex-Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick, ex-Uriah Heep singer John Lawton and Y&T’s Dave Meniketti to name but a few. But despite all these star names is the music any good? Yes indeed! Prime time 70’s hard rock with a big funk vibe running through it coupled with modern production.

‘Crazy Man’ is the fine example - mixing guitar solos, swirling keyboard solos and big funk groove - nice. Glenn Hughes pops up on ‘Freak Out Tonight’, a groove-laden rocker (just how many albums doe this man guest on?). Lend your ears to ‘Lady Starlight’ and you’d swear it was Moody/Marsden era ‘Snake and also ‘Sweet Talker’, which of course is an old ‘Snake Chestnut, with Micky Moody adding his distinctive slide guitar.

An interesting album and one to be enjoyed by all lovers of hard rock. Deserves a big audience - just hope it doesn’t get buried amongst all the other albums out there.


Review by Jason Ritchie -


B rating -

The Good - Chris delivers big in the way of emotional commitment to his music.  This man is way into what he is doing and you can't deny that his music comes from his very soul.  The album starts off with a huge bang in the song "Crazy Man."  Deep Purple fans will rejoice as Catena is borrowing from the mold in a big way.  We mean that as a good thing.  The entire album will get your groove going as well as rock you out.  A good effort that leaves us wondering where this man is going next.

The Bad -  Chris self-produced the album which can be a bad thing.  He tends to be so emotionally involved that he could not pull the plug on the weaker songs.  The album would do better if it were shorter and only included the best of the best.  An outside ear comes in helpful in trimming the fat.

The Bottom Line - Chris is an amazing vocalist.  He is a talented songwriter and he knows where he is wanting to go.  There is enough jamming to satisfy the purest and enough soul and groove to keep you on the edge of your seat.  A fine start to a promising career. -


Chris CATENA: "Freak Out" 7

Frontiers Records 2003
Review by Martien Koolen,
2 January 2004

Italian rock singer Chris Catena embarked in a solo project called “Hidalgo”in 1994 and he even played in a grunge band for almost two years. In 2002 he decided it was time to record his own stuff and almost a year later he released his first solo album called “Freak Out”. The guest list of musicians that helped him is rather impressive; take e.g.: Glenn Hughes, Bruce Kulick(Kiss), Tommy Aldridge(Whitesnake), Doug Wimbish(Living Colour), Eric Singer(Alice Cooper) or Dave Meniketti(Y & T). The music on this album is a mix of hard rock of the seventies with funk, metal and blues; so Trapeze meets Whitesnake, or Kiss meets Deep Purple...

Chris’s voice sounds rather like Glenn Hughes or David Coverdale; just enjoy the fantastic opener “Crazy Man” and you catch my drift; a Purple/Whitesnake-ish up-tempo track with a dazzling guitar solo and lots of excellent high screaming from Chris at the end. “Freak Out Tonight” could as well be on the last Hughes solo album; just listen to that remarkable high-pitched vocals. “Lady Starlight”, is a rather bluesy Deep Purple-like song(even the title) with a rather catchy refrain. As you continue to listen to the songs you get a deja-vu feeling every time a new song starts. Take for instance the organ intro in “Take Me Away”...need I say more.

So, Chris does not “cover up” his great influences and role models, but his voice is that good, that in the end you forgive him for being so unoriginal. Just listen to the guitar driven rockers “Getting Tighter” or “Sweet Talker” and you will be screaming for more. Maybe there is a great future ahead for Chris Catena, if he tries to create his “own” musical rock style. -


- FREAK OUT! (IMR/Frontiers - Europe)
- FREAK OUT! plus bonus (Nippon Crown - Japan)
- FREAK OUT TONIGHT EP (IMR/Frontiers - Europe)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Chris Catena is an Italian rock singer with almost 20 years of experience in the Italian rock and hard rock scene. After a long experience with various bands he started working to his debut solo album. It took to years to have the final release of the album "Freak Out!" where Catena list of musicians coperating to the album is simply impressive and features guest artists such as Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Trapeze - duet vocals on Freak Out Tonight), Doug Wimbish (Living Colours, Madonna, Rolling Stones), Stevie Salas (Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, George Clinton), Bruce Kulick (Kiss, Meat Loaf, Michael Bolton, Grand Funk), Tony Franklin (The Firm, Whitesnake, Jimmy Page, Roy Harper, Blue Murder), Tommy Aldridge (Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne), Eric Singer (Kiss, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, The Cult), Myron Dove (Santana, Prince, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder), Dave Meniketti (Y & T), Virgil Donati (Steve Vai, Planet X), John Taylor (Duran Duran), Stephen Ferrone (duran Duran, Michael Jackson, Tom Petty, Robbie Williams, Average White Band), Chester Thompson (Phil Collins, genesis, Frank Zappa, Weather Report), Jeff Scott Soto (Y. Malmsteen - duet vocals on What You Gonna Do When Your Love Is Gone ), John Lawton (Uriah Heep - duet vocals on It's A Long Way To Go ), Chuck Wright (Quiet Riot, Alice Cooper, House of Lords, Giuffria), Vitalij Kuprij (Ring of Fire), Micky Moody (Whitesnake), Bernie Marsden (Whitesnake, Alaska), Kelly Simonz, Johnny Olhin (Nation, Dyonisius), Nobby (Nation, Dyonisius), Al Kooper (Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Jimy Hendrix) and many others.
Chris Catena will features in few forthcoming projects such as "Moonstone" featuring Glenn Hughes, Graham Bonnet, Kelly keeling, Eric Bloom, Steve Walsh, Ian Paice, Chris Catena, Tony Franklin, Howie Simon, "Pavic" a brand new class metal AOR band, Radioactive (the brand new album of the band born from an idea of the great swedish guitar hero Tommy Deenander featuring great names such as Reb Beach, Steve Lukather, Bobby Kimball, Neil Scon, Fergie Fredriksen and so on), "Shadrane" (the prog metal opera of the band "Neurastasia" featuring Catena on vocals, Vivien Lalu on keyboards, Daniel Flores on drums, Joop Wolteers on guitars) .