Eddie Vantez - Rough Diamond

Eddie Vantez – Rough Diamond

87 / 100

Here is the debut solo album by Chilean keyboardist Ed Carabantes from the band Hunter, going under the name Eddie Vantez, its keyboard overload!

Written by: gdmonline

ARTIST: Eddie Vantez
ALBUM: Rough Diamond
LABEL: Lion’s Pride Music
YEAR: 2022


LINEUP: Eddie Vantez – vocals, keyboards * Claudio Guerrero, Rodrigo Bugallo, Fran Alonso – guitars * Ignacio Ruiz – guitars, keyboards * Nilver Perez – keyboards * Charlie Giardina, Juan Carlos Alfaro, Fernando Galleguillos – bass * Gabriel Seri – drums * Gigolette Angeline – backing vocals * Hernan Mellado – saxophone

TRACK LISTING: 01 Is This Love * 02 Little Sister * 03 Live On Love * 04 One Lonely Night * 05 Give In To Love * 06 Fire * 07 Rough Diamond * 08 The Phoenix Has Risen * 09 Gigolette * 10 It’s All Up To You * 11 Healing Touch

RATING: Score Of 70%



I’ve been following the activity of Chilean band Hunter since 2019, including last years synthwave side project Gigolette. Now in 2022 we get the keyboard drenched solo album for Hunter’s main man Ed Carabantes going under the stage name of Eddie Vantez. I’m also partial to keeping an eye on the roster of Danish indie label Lion’s Pride Music too, so it’s only a natural progression for me to follow this up.

The Songs

All of the songs here make for a good listen, and with two keyboard players on deck, the ivories get a real workout. ‘Is This Love’ is the perfect way to start, a racy number which gives the album an immediate energy boost. ‘Little Sister’ is a remnant of the late great 80’s, rolling keys in the vein of Survivor plus all those punchy gang chants.

The brakes are applied to the ballad ‘Live On Love’, not an album highlight for me, much better is the flashy rocker ‘One Lonely Night’ though it is filled with clichés. ‘Give In To Love’ resumes the slow to mid tempo speed, offset by a sharp guitar solo. ‘Fire’ will be familiar to those of you who heard last year’s Gigolette album, though I’ll admit I preferred that synthwave version rather than this one.

‘Rough Diamond’ has its moments, a guitar rocker mostly with keyboard inserts throughout. Most of the songwriting has emanated from the class of Melodic Rock/AOR 101 as evidenced on ‘The Phoenix Has Risen’, a catchy tune in places, worth a listen. ‘It’s All Up To You’ features more guitar work than most, and would rank among the better tracks here. ‘Healing Touch’ finishes up as a happy go lucky tune, the rhythmic arrangement reminded me of the Phil Collins hit ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ or perhaps the Journey track ‘Positive Touch’.

In Summary

A couple of songs appeared on Gigolette‘s excellent’ Shine’ album from 2021, namely ‘Fire’ and ‘Give In To Love’, but they’ve been upgraded from lush synthwave pop to keyboard laced AOR. However, everything appears to be played rather safe here, with the required starch and zing only rising to the surface sporadically. Certainly an album that should appeal to some listeners here.


Is This Love

Eddie Vantez - Is This Love? (Official Lyric Video / 31 October 2022)

Healing Touch
Eddie Vantez - Healing Touch (Official Music Video / 31 October 2022)

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