Tony MacAlpine - Concrete Gardens (2015)

The 12th studio album from Tony. Concrete Gardens once again contained all shred guitar instrumentals. On this album, Tony supported by Aquiles Priester on all tracks and three other bassists. Jeff Loomis appeared on one song, "Square Circles". Some of the tracks are being recorded live with video, you can view it on EMG PickUp TV. Also Nili Brosh appeared on the live video.

Most of the songs done in progressive metal manners. "Exhibitionist Blvd." as the opener gives a concrete melodic licks, the song flows from one to the other parts smoothly. Mind blowing transitions and aggressive drumming. "The King's Rhapsody" is rather Djent-like, lots of dissonances scales, quite contrast from the first one. "Man In A Metal Cage" started with blasting drumming fills, the shreds on its full speed. "Poison Cookies" back to "average" tempo and melodic approach, suitable for beginner's ears. "Sierra Morena" is one of the album highlight, twin guitar attacks, odd metering, well, basically any progressive tricks and ideas put in together. It is continued to "Square Circles", Jeff Loomis joined in for a couple of bar jamming. These songs performed live in EMG TV studio Youtube channel. "Confessions Of A Medieval Monument" is kind having bit of power metal spirit. Tony closed the album with his trademark piano exercise, "Maiden's Wish" is quite a virtuoso pieces.

Concrete Gardens is one of Tony MacAlpine best album lately. Compare to his 2011 Self Title album, this one having more concrete basis to enjoy. The main menu is progressive metal, but it is done with excellence composition in it. Not just a blasting nowhere notes by average guitarist, Tony polished every song with great details. Aquiles Priester must enjoy playing on this album very much, his chops are top notch. This maybe the album where I really impressed by Aquiles after many years. Superb shred album that must be listened by all guitar lovers.

Favorite tracks: Exhibitionist Blvd, Napoleon's Puppet, Square Circles, Sierra Morena, Poison Cookies
Metal Harem class: ********** nine stars out of ten

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Tony MacAlpine - Concrete Gardens (2015)

01. Exhibitionist Blvd.
02. The King's Rhapsody - see Videos
03. Man In A Metal Cage
04. Poison Cookies
05. Epic
06. Napoleon's Puppet
07. Sierra Morena - see Videos
08. Square Circles - see Video
09. Red Giant
10. Confessions Of A Medieval Monument
11. Concrete Gardens
12. Maiden's Wish

    Tony MacAlpine – guitar, keyboard, bass (tracks 2, 3, 5, 10), production
    Jeff Loomis – guitar solo (track 8)
    Nili Brosh - guitar
    Aquiles Priester – drums
    Pete Griffin – bass (tracks 1, 4, 6–8)
    Lucky Islam – bass (track 9)
    Sean Delson – bass (track 11)
    Adair Daufembach – mixing
    Seva – mastering
    Michael Mesker – executive production

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