25.12.16

Musicians Death in Curse of 2016

As tribute to the most recent celebrity death, George Michael on Dec 25th 2016, here a list to notable musicians who passed away in 2016. The so called Curse of 2016 included David Bowie, Nick Menza, Prince, and so on.

List of musicians, composers, celebrity deaths in 2016 :


27 December Carrie Fisher 60, actress for Princess Leia of Star War

25 December George Michael, 53, British singer (Wham!) and songwriter ("Careless Whisper", "Last Christmas") 

25 December Alexandro Choir, the Russian Red-Army choir and ensemble. Their plane crashed into Black Sea, with assumption more than 60 choir and band member reportedly on board and become victims.

24 Dec Rick Parfitt, 68, British singer, songwriter and guitarist (Status Quo), infection.

18 Dec Zsa Zsa Gabor, 99, Hungarian-born American actress (Moulin RougeTouch of EvilLili) and socialite, heart attack.

7 Dec Greg Lake, 69, English singer and musician (King Crimson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer), cancer.

5 Dec Adam Sagan, 35, American drummer (Circle II Circle, Into Eternity), lymphoma

31 July Mike Mohede, 32, Indonesian singer, heart attack.

27 July Einojuhani Rautavaara, 87, Finnish composer, complications following hip surgery

25 August Eddy Silitonga, 65, Indonesian singer.

20 August Tom Searle, 28, British musician and guitarist (Architects), cancer

28 June Scotty Moore, 84, American guitarist (Elvis Presley)

21 May Nick Menza, 51, German-born American drummer (Megadeth), heart failure.

25 April Remo Belli, 88, American drummer, developed the synthetic drumhead (Remo), complications of pneumonia.

21 April Prince, 57, American musician, songwriter and actor, Oscar (1984) and Grammy (1984, 1986, 2004, 2007) winner, accidental overdose of fentanyl.

16 March Frank Sinatra, Jr., 72, American singer (That Face!) and actor (Hollywood Homicide), heart attack

14 January Alan Rickman, 69, English actor (Harry Potter, Die Hard, Love Actually), pancreatic cancer.

10 January David Bowie, 69, English singer-songwriter, musician ("Space Oddity", "Heroes", "Starman"), and actor (Labyrinth, Zoolander), liver cancer.


5 January Pierre Boulez, 90, French composer and conductor.

12.12.16

Ultimate List of Metal Christmas Albums

Yes, they are huge list of heavy metal, hard rock, shredding guitars that jamming on the Christmas tunes! This is the (kind of) ultimate list of never-ending christmas / holiday song packed in these albums.


- Merry Axemas - A Guitar Christmas (2005) and More Guitar Christmas 
Buy it Here - Amazon
A christmas guitar instrumental songs done by the guitar heroes of our time. Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Steve Morse, Jeff Beck, Neal Schon, Steve Lukather, Zakk Wylde etc. This is a must have album for guitar maniac.


- Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Trilogy (1996-2004)
Buy it Here
Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) is legend-wait-for-it-ary project that really put christmas tunes into super awesome form. TSO arranged at least three full christmas / holiday albums with guitar solos and symphonic as their forefront compositions. The albums contained their first release : Christmas Eve and Other Stories (1996), The Christmas Attic (1998), Beethoven's Last Night (2000), The Lost Christmas Eve (2004) and newer albums.



- Steve Lukather - Santa-Mental (2003)
Buy it Here
Steve Lukather and friends doing christmas album. The "friends" are : Jeff Babko, John Piere, Gregg Bissonette, Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen, Slash, Edgar Winter, Trevor Lukather, Simon Philips, Mike Landau etc. All packed in this creepy cover looking holiday album.



- A Proggy Christmas by the Prog World Orchestra (2012)
Buy it HERE
This is a Christmas project featuring Neal Morse , Mike Portnoy, Steve Morse, Randy George etc. This is the most proggy christmas album circulating around the world. Prepare to be blown away...


- Jethro Tull Christmas Album (2009)
Buy it HERE
Ian Anderson, well, Jethro Tull doing christmas concert. These arrangement heavily involved Ian legendary flute playing. They are folk-prog-hard-rock in it!



12.11.16

Freedom Call - Master of Light (2016)

They were described as flower metal, happy metal by audiences. Freedom Call had been in this territory ever since their first debut in 1999. Since then, the band had released nine albums, Master of Light is their latest in 2016. Master Of Light falls right between this category as well. Songs are as pompous as ever. In the meantime, Chris Bay and friends try to insert fresh elements also.

In mastering the flower metal, the album first track "Metal is for Everyone" is really  for every (flower) metal lover. The song is grander with their bold opening chorus. This tune can be line up to any Freedom Call catalog and fans will not divided between Trump or Hillary to called this their trademark. As mentioned before, the band try their best to bring new ideas. The percussion-like interlude in the middle is kind of strong idea in this effort. "Hammer of Gods" started with melodic intro, typical to their arsenal. The formula with catchy chorus line is the best way to start another boastful tune, as in "A World Beyond". For the title song "Masters of Light", the band decided to start calmly. Yet they always find a way in bringing the storm to the daylight. Another melodic intro is for "Kings Rise and Fall". "Cradle of Angels" is acoustic ballad in spirit. The remaining of the song notable to mentioned is in "Ghost Ballet". "Rock the Nation" is a flower-ed rock tune.

Master Of Light is another flowery delivery from Freedom Call. The whole package can be sing together with good old friends and beers, as all songs are design to be enjoyed in this situation. Chris Bay sings as epic as before. The guitar works is more simple compared to their "younger" years, yet sufficient to metalized everything. We still enjoy the works of two long-time friends of Freedom Call, Lars Rettkowitz in guitars and Ramy Ali in drum. Compared to their two last albums,  Master of Light is unchanged in their retorika will full of "for everyone..." words. Talking about band consistency, Freedom Call is one of that band that happy with their direction. In short, Master of Light is another touchdown continuation in Freedom Call world.

Metal Harem class : ******** eight stars out of ten

Freedom Call - Master Of Light  (2016)
Buy it Here - Amazon

1. Metal is for Everyone
2. Hammer of Gods
3. A World Beyond
4. Masters of Light
5. Kings Rise and Fall
6. Cradle of Angels
7. Emerald Skies
8. Hail the Legend
9. Ghost Ballet
10. Rock the Nation
11. Riders in the Sky
12. High Up

Chris Bay (vocals, guitars)
Ilker Ersin (bass)
Lars Rettkowitz (guitars )
Ramy Ali (drums)

5.11.16

Narnia - Narnia (2016) Album Review

There was a moment in Christian metal world where several bands co-exist together. The bands that storming this area included, Rob Rock, Impellitteri, Golden Resurrection, Divinefire, ReinXeed (although they are not really a christian metal band), further to German Pascua band. Along this cross breeding cage, there are two musicians Carl Johann Grimmark and vocalist Christian Liljegren. Both had been around the Christian metal realm with those bands mentioned above.. Taken a name from the famous C.S.Lewis novel, they found  Narnia and wanted this band to be at least three styles in their veins: progressive , neo-classical and christian metal altogether. History seen them as successful collaboration, releasing several albums that considered ground breaking in the genre : Awakening (1998) up to The Great Fall (2003). The band suddenly disbanded after T.G.F. which considered their best. A quick reunion was found in 2009 and thus born Course of a Generation (2009), but the band taking a step diverted from their previous styles and also Christian step aside as vocalist replaced by German Pascua.

For seven years later, in today 2016, Narnia reunited the two founders, C.J. Grimmark and Christian Liljegren to released their new, seventh studio album self titled Narnia. Narnia 2016 is a returned to their root, progressive christian metal full of shred guitar works. For example the first song "Reaching for the Top" the drum intro almost mimicking their song "Nothing to Lose" from T.G.F. Reaching for the Top  started up with classic four bars guitar riffs then we greet by Christian voices. The song surely set up the elements of Narnia musics : sustained string layers in background, harmony choruses and many muscular progressive power chords. "I Still Believe" is simple melodic metal that easily remember by first time listener and it is, well, very melodic. On "Thank You" the band downgrade the locomotive gears to middle tempo and allowed passenger to enjoy a solemn song that really shine Christian's vocal quality. We also have music video for "Messengers", which a strong song with creative structure, inventive guitar chords and demiurgic song writing.


In speaking about lyric, the Christianity theme is their main inspiration. However a lyrics :
".... man kinds who do you follow,
 maybe He comes tomorrow...."  - Who Do You Follow
is simple yet fit the music well.

In general, Narnia is a strong returned from the band. Song are in extremely high quality. Carl Johann is re-nown guitar virtuoso, his works in this album is in heavenly standard that will satisfy all guitar fans. Is anything, the album is also closely similar to Christian Liljgren other band, Golden Resurrection, just slightly less neo-classical compared to them. If you really into Christian melodic metal, Narnia 2016 is a definitely strong album to have. In short, this is the album for both prog metal, believers and non.

Metal Harem class ********** nine stars out of ten

Narnia - Narnia (2016)
Buy it Here - Amazon

1. Reaching for the Top
2. I Still Believe
3. On the Highest Mountain
4. Thank You
5. One Way to the Promised Land
6. Messengers
7. Who Do You Follow?
8. Moving On
9. Set the World On Fire
10. Miracle (bonus)

Christian Liljegren - lead vocals
Carl Johan Grimmark - guitars
Martine Harenstam - keyboards
Andreas Johansson - drums
Andreas Olsson - bass

2.11.16

Hammerfall - Built to Last (2016)

Not long ago as in 20 years ago, in the town of Gothenburg Hammerfall was born. They were built with tarnished catchy metal tunes. The storm of power metal had landed in the Nordic region in good form. Assembled by five grown up long haired dudes, the band invented Hector the Paladin as their band mascot and released their first album. The rest is history, HammerFall is one of band that stand the test of time, consistently delivering album in the spirit of power metal and catchy choruses. Built to Last is their tenth studio album. Almost twenty years ago when Glory to the Brave released. As I listen to this album, I find nothing differentiated them from two decades ago. Songs are full of blasting riffs, galloping beat, solitude ballads and of course the epic choruses.

Songs as "Bring It!", "Hammer High", "Dethrone And Defy" and "Stormbreaker" are extension of HammerFall collection tales about fantasy and battles. Almost every song started with newly acquired guitar riffs. Listen to "New Breed" where the power riff is just a simple pattern. As simple as that funky Japanese guy that combined Pen and Pineapple, a guitar riffs and drum's tom tom power accentuation is equal to awesome power metal catch. There are "The Sacred Vow" and "Twilight Princess" to allow some respiration time for listeners or in other word, the slower ballad tunes.

Built to Last is as ambitious as the title suggest. This album will last a long time because the construction is vigorously loud and HammerFall-ed since the first notes. An album that reflected twenty full year in hammering metal. The album resembled closely to their previous (r)Evolution album so you can got the tutti to imagine. Joacim Cans nailed this album with the same stamina we enjoyed before. His voice is unexampled in the vast universe of power metal that still last up to this album. Take a look at Hector in the front cover, he stands triumphantly on top of the keep. And that is the spirit captured in this album, ten awesome songs that will make you want to climb to the top of the roof and scream "Hammer High until I die!....."

Metal Harem class : ********** nine stars out of ten


Hammerfall - Built to Last (2016)
Buy it Here - Amazon

1. Bring It!
2. Hammer High
3. The Sacred Vow
4. Dethrone And Defy
5. Twilight Princess
6. Stormbreaker
7. Built to Last
8. The Star of Home
9. New Breed
10. Second to None

    Oscar Dronjak – rhythm guitar, lead guitar, backing vocals
    Fredrik Larsson – bass, backing vocals
    Joacim Cans – lead vocals
    Pontus Norgren – lead guitar, rhythm guitar, backing vocals
    David Wallin – drums



27.10.16

Theocracy - Ghost Ship (2016)

Ghost Ship is Theocracy's long waited third studio album. As we enlightened in 2011, Theocracy burn down the road of mediocre with their album "As the World Bleeds". It is regarded as their breakthrough, the album pulled out lots of epic progressive metal tunes. They can be heard mixing the best elements of power metal, metalcore, thrash metal all the way into one umbrella in progressive metal.  To get it even intrigue, they baptized themself as Christian metal, hence the band's name suggesting. And their Christian themes are the strong one. Ghost Ship is under heavy pressure to get the band moved on from "As the World Bleeds", and the fans wait five years for it.

The wait is certainly worth it. Ghost Ship can be listen straight out of your darkest night and still it will sounds marvelous. There are no important steer turning of styles from their past. The only minor elements missing is their reduction of symphonic metal elements. The first song is "Paper Tiger" confirmed this. Instead of doing slow symphonic build up as in their song "I AM", Paper Tiger starts immediately with drum roll followed by melodic intro. Along five minutes of this song is the elements of power-thrash and progressive metal. Having power choruses is still their biggest selling point. The transition of the 2nd song is smooth, "Ghost Ship" elevated the atmosphere into darker nuances. Once should mentioned Matt Smith's clean singing is one of the trademark in Theocracy's music. "The Wonder of It All" is their faster cut. It is a double guitar riffs, as played by their axeman Val Allen Wood and Jonathan Hinds. Both trying to repeated some monumental ideas from "As the World Bleeds".

Theocracy also fluent in creating power ballad. "Around the World and Black" is their song in moderato time marking. Which leads us to their allegro-presto songs as in "Stir the Embers" and "A Call to Arms", For their finale, it is traditionally longest song, an almost ten minutes "Easter".

Ghost Ship is an album as expected from these amazing talents. Though the album happened to not repeat the ultimate epic as in "As the World Bleeds", all songs can easily absorbed as parts of their fantastic repertoire. Fans of Dream Theater will simply familiar with all their twisted progressive arrangements. Their double guitars added bits of Megadeth also. Theocracy is pacifying all the best to created their own musics. I suggested those who never listened to Theocracy to back cataloged with "As the World Bleeds" to have the best from "Ghost Ship". For longtime fans, the embers is ready to stir!

Metal Harem class : ********* nine stars out of ten


Theocracy - Ghost Ship (2016)
Buy it Here - Amazon

1.Paper Tiger
2.Ghost Ship
3.The Wonder of It All
4.Wishing Well
5. Around the World and Back
6. Stir the Embers
7. A Call to Arms
8. Currency in a Bankrupt World
9. Castaway
10. Easter




Matt Smith-Vocals
Val Allen Wood-Lead Guitar
Jonathan Hinds-Guitar
Jared Oldham-Bass

17.9.16

Kai Hansen - XXX-Three Decades in Metal (2016)

This is indeed a triple XXX rated for metal album. Kai Hansen is the name we should all be known by three decades ago. He was the front man of Helloween. His screaming and fast guitar playing is what transformed Helloween into international pioneer in speed and power metal. Soon after he departed, Kai is forming Gamma Ray, which existed till today with dozen of awesome power metal albums. XXX-Three Decades in Metal sounds like a compilation of his works but it is not. This album is somewhat a solo works by Kai Hansen and invited friends. Here the album compiled together awesome names in metal. He reunited with fellow ex-Helloweeneers such as Michael Kiske and Roland Grapow. He even invited Michael Weikath to do their legendary guitar duet in this album. Apart from that, many names such as Ralf Shceepers, Dee Snider, Tobias Sammet and others appeared on the album.

Overall, surprisingly, this album sounds heavy metal in general. Kai Hansen welcomely explored the straight forward heavy metal and not very much doing his trademark power metal genre he grown up with. The first song "Born Free" is very '80s American hair-metal sounding. It is just awesome guitar riff with fast double metal showering. Kai's voices is what connected us with his identity. On the reunion jamming party, here comes song "Stranger In Time" with Kiske, Sammet, and Frank Beck + Roland Grapow put in together. The song may well put into late Helloween era actually, but again it is a straightforward guitar riff + double kick. On the drumming side, Daniel Wilding is recruited for the party. Looking at his "port folio" we will see he was on board with Carcass, Heaven Shall Burn, Trigger The Booldshed and so on. He is very young and haven't even born when the first two Helloween albums on released.

Some of other, longer, song such as "Fire And Ice" gives the minutes to dedicated soloist Michael Weikath solo part. The songs invited talented young vocalist of Clementine Delauney (Vision of Atlantis), Marcus Bischoff (Heaven Shall Burn) and  Richard Sjunnesson (The Unguided), thus making the song got a bit taste of Gothic Metal and Death Metal altogether. The other highlight songs are "Making Headlines" which is catchy in song writing, minor key feel and Tobias Sammet really shine the song with his voices. My favorite in the album.

Most interesting is Dee Snider collaboration with Kai Hansen in "Contract Sun". We got to hear how's Hansen doing in the '80 metal style that more close to Dee Snider. The other dark side is "Left Behind", where Kai Hansen further delved into modernity, this is like combination of alternative metal with bit of metalcore feel. The album closed with "Follow The Sun", the only song that brings back Kai Hansen to Helloween-ish power metal.

XXX-Three Decades in Metal happened to be awesome offering from Kai Hansen. The songs are all simple, guitar-riff driven and all focused on some easy melodic song writing. Song structure are not complicated, just enough to repeat the highlight and yet that was all needed. The diversity of styles indicated the intention of the writer to experiments and try out all the other metal styles. Well, after three decades this is what some musicians like to do, isn't it? With majority of songs created based on the guest singer style association, the album become potentially able to reach out more listener. Final words, it is a fine album where Kai Hansen sharpening his musical journey with adventurous songs.

Metal Harem class : ********* nine stars out of ten

Buy it Here - Amazon

Kai Hansen - XXX-Three Decades in Metal (2016)

01. Born Free
02. Enemies Of Fun (Ralf Scheepers & Piet Sielck)
03. Contract Sun (Dee Snider & Steve McT As The Manger)
04. Making Headlines (Tobias Sammet)
05. Stranger In Time (Michael Kiske, Frank Beck, Tobias Sammet & Roland Grapow - Guitar Solo)
06. Fire And Ice (Clementine Delauney, Marcus Bischoff, Richard Sjunnesson & Michael Weikath - Guitar Solo)
07. Left Behind (Alexander Dietz & Clementine Delauney)
08. All Or Nothing (Clémentine Delauney)
09. Burning Bridges (Eike Freese)
10. Follow The Sun (Hansi Kursch & Tim Hansen - Guitar Solo)

Line Up:
Eike Freese - guitar (Dark Age)
Kai Hansen - vocals / guitar (Gamma Ray, Unisonic, ex-Helloween)
Alex Dietz - bass (Heaven Shall Burn)
Daniel Wilding - drums (Carcass, The Soulless, Trigger The Bloodshed)

10.8.16

Mark Wood – Turbow (2016)

Not before long, a variation of shred guitar rock now existed in violin form. Rock violinist Mark Wood has produced several albums in this form before, but his latest album , Turbow, is really going to blew up everyone. Turbow consisted of eight tracks, all full of violin-shred musics. Similar to what Michael Angelo Batio doing with guitar, the electric violin doing just great. Similar to what Lindsey Stirling done in dubstep, or if you remember, Vanessa Mae done in disco just few decades ago, the electric violin now have its own symphonic metal album.

Check the Youtube video relases by Mark before we speaks volume :



That is the opener of this "the most dangerous rock violin album ever".


No kidding, the rest of the songs are indeed in the highest standard of symphonic metal  we usually heard from shred guitarist. The 2nd song "Attitude Adjustment" is the only song featured a vocals. "Inferno" is prog-metal like composition, Its begin with staccato notes.  Mark Wood introduce the theme to make this song as epic as ever. "Wood's Bolero" is another top cut. This one set in flamenco influenced scale. Combined with flashy acoustic guitar, Wood's Bolero is going to set new history as the first record in combining symphonic metal, flamenco, and shred violin. "Fan The Blames" introduced nice violin intro, that show how awesome the fiddle can do in metal environment. A rather "mellow" tune can only found in "LuminoCity", where the violin back to do their best business in melancholy song. "Turbow" is a bit about Mark showing off his solo violin. The album ended with "Labor Of Love", a song that mirror the spirit of '80s hair metal spirit. The violin can do the riff as well.

There are so much energy in this album. The idea of violin in symphonic metal is awesome and Turbow do it in the best way. The only comments is just the violin trying hard to do what the guitar usually do. Nevertheless, Turbow show off many original exercised that typical and only best done with violin. Metal lover will find their beloved music revitalized with addition of violin as their new alternative instruments. Listen to this, seriously.

Metal Harem class : ******** nine stars out of ten

Mark Wood - electric violin
Elijah Wood  - drums
Laura Kaye
Steve Costello - guitars
David Z Rock - bass

Buy it Here - Amazon
Mark Wood – Turbow (2016)

01. Fire ‘n Ice 05:38
02. Attitude Adjustment 07:03
03. Inferno 05:04
04. Wood’s Bolero 04:15
05. Fan The Flames 06:08
06. LuminoCity 04:47
07. Turbow 05:38
08. Labor Of Love 04:41

25.7.16

Levin Minnemann Rudess - From the Law Offices (2016)

This is the 2nd album by the trio gentlemen of progressive metal. From the camp of prog rock is Tony Levin who bassist in King Crimson and Peter Gabriel, if you would call it progressive rock. His jamming buddy are Jordan Rudess and Marco Minnemann. Jordan and Tony already have jamming history in Liquid Tension Experiment (LTE), a mirror project of Dream Theater back in the day of Mike Portnoy. Interestingly is the duo pairing with Marco Minnemann. We all know Marco. He played in a lot of other project in similar style to this record. Marco closely "encounter" with Jordan and Dream Theater in the famous 7 drummers audition for Portnoy replacement. So I guess all the trio gentlemen already has bite of chemistry before they decided to do recording. Their first debut in 2013 was quite successful and accepted by the community. "From the Law Offices" is the follow up of that album.  From the Law Office follow closely the spirit of that album. This record is all about progressive metal, unlimited creativity and out of the world improvisation skill.

There are sixteen tracks on the album, enough to fill up of your day with quality music. The first track "Back to the Machine" is a cheekily starter. The song built up from simple riff. It is a good song that demonstrated how the drum going to respond in this simple melodic. After Levin and Marco setting up the basis , the main role is played by Jordan, who going to lay down all the melodies of the song. This basic formula is what defined the essence of trio LMR. As the second song come in, "Ready, Set, Sue" is much more "complicated". This song is set in funk, prog and techno feel, enjoyable mix. "Riff Splat" turn the highlight role to the bass. A loud overdrived bass making this song quite muscular. Although this album did not included any guitarists, the present of guitar can be heard in "Marseille" and "Balloon". The rest of songs done in similar fashion, tense improvisation and also lots of innovation.

This records is for prog fans that combined the fans base of three different world. From King Crimson to Dream Theater to Kreator, well, it was Marco's band after all. From the Law Offices followed up the trend of joining big names in trio setup. This is a great addition to similar project such as the Aristocrat, LTE, the Winery Dogs and so on.

Metal Harem class: ********* eight stars out of ten

Buy it Here - Amazon
Levin Minnemann Rudess - From the Law Offices (2016)

01. Back to the Machine
02. Ready, Set, Sue
03. Riff Splat
04. What is the Meaning?
05. Marseille
06. Good Day Hearsay
07. Witness
08. Balloon
09. When the Gavel Falls
10. The Verdict
11. Free Radicals
12. Magistrate
13. Shiloh's Cat
14. The Tort
15. Testimony
16. Habeas Porpoise
17. The Tort (Ver. 2xb-74)

Line Up:
Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, King Crimson) - Bass, Cello, Chapman Stick,
Marco Minnemann (Joe Satriani, The Aristocrats) - Drums, Guitars
Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) - Keyboards

21.7.16

Vivaldi Metal Project - The Four Seasons (2016)

As the universe has known, "The Four Season" is a Baroque musical piece composed by Antonio Vivaldi. Yes, that was in the year of 1723. The works actually not very much "popular" at the time, well if you lived in the era of Vivaldi you probably heard this too often, only later got its "classic" status in the next century. By the year of 2016, The Four Season is already one of the most known, universally accepted, greatest classical music composition by a subgenre of Baroque period. There are endless list of adaptation of Four Season through out the history of music.  Finally, of course they naturally reach the world we belong, the power metal world.

Vivaldi Metal Project is the most ambitious works that trying to transform The Four Seasons into power metal version in its entirety. The man behind this project happened to be Giuseppe Iampieri aka Mistheria, who works previously in Bruce Dickinson, Roy Z, Rob Rock as keyboardist and arranger. The link of full description in official website pointed out the history behind this project. In brief, mr Mistheria worked for this project for at least two full years and incorporated at least 130 musicians to make this happen. Vivaldi's The Four Seasons  then adapted into power / symphonic metal version. This version is not a notes by notes transcription, but merely a source of inspiration, as the music itself merit a huge portion of original creativity by the band.

As for reminder, here is the full movements of Vivaldi's Four Season :
Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269, "Spring" (La primavera)
        I. Allegro (in E major)
        II. Largo e pianissimo sempre (in C-sharp minor)
        III. Allegro pastorale (in E major)
    Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 8, RV 315, "Summer" (L'estate)
        I. Allegro non molto (in G minor)
        II. Adagio e piano - Presto e forte (in G minor)
        III. Presto (in G minor)
    Concerto No. 3 in F major, Op. 8, RV 293, "Autumn" (L'autunno)
        I. Allegro (in F major)
        II. Adagio molto (in D minor)
        III. Allegro (in F major)
    Concerto No. 4 in F minor, Op. 8, RV 297, "Winter" (L'inverno)
        I. Allegro non molto (in F minor)
        II. Largo (in E-flat major)
        III. Allegro (in F minor)
Therefore, Vivaldi Metal Project simply adopted all those 12 movements into a lyric-completed symphonic metal songs. There are two original songs though, as a prelude and in between the album. The first one is the 1st track "Escape From Hell". However, a sorry from us, these original songs largely going to be ignored as our focus is on the Four Seasons itself. "The Illusion of Eternity" is direct version of Allegro from Spring. The original Vivaldi melodies and passage well preserved, giving this song a world wide familiarity. Those who understand how hard is song writing should praise the the band creativity to be able to do this. The verses and chorus now sounds natural as they were first composed as metal song. The next song "Vita" is lesser strictly following Largo,  the song only captured the intro idea but then inserted a nice song into it. This formula repreated in many songs and they were all well fit.

Indeed, the best tunes I recommended next are "Sun of God", taken from Allegro in Summer. The piano intro works really well in mixing power metal and Vivaldi, the song as well. "Thunderstorm" is considered the most "head banging" part of Four Season, and this version serve the burden well. Prepared for the thunderstorm of shreds and bombastic works here, along with majestic choruses hired by the band. "Alchemy" also demonstrated that the band and the arrangers do a lot of homeworks to make this adaptation really stand out. This piece of music step further into the progressive metal zone, and if you got Vivaldi, power and prog join together you know the result. The finale is "Doomsday" which the final part of Four Season, taken elements of Winter part but duly played it as orchestra version in the end.

Provided that the musicians involved here are all big names, the outcome is very above expectation. When I first the heard the project honestly there is a shadow of doubt, but this album cast away any of it. Vivaldi Metal Project is a very strong remark from the metal community in paying tribute to classical / baroque music. If you like both world, then this is a must have creation for you.

Metal Harem class : ********** nine stars out of ten

Buy it Here - Amazon
Vivaldi Metal Project - The Four Seasons (2016)

01. Escape From Hell
02. The Illusion of Eternity
03. Vita
      - part 1: Darkness
      - part 2: Light
04. Euphoria
      - part 1: Metamorphosis
      - part 2: Into the Game
05. Sun of God
06. Immortal Soul
07. Thunderstorm
08. The Age Of Dreams
09. Alchemy
      - part 1: The Abyss
      - part 2: Canto
      - part 3: Golden Number
10. Stige
11. The Meaning of Life
12. The Final Hour
13. Grande Madre
14. Doomsday
      - part 1: Skyfall
      - part 2: Doomsday
      - part 3: Resurrection

Line Up:
MISTHERIA (Bruce Dickinson, Rob Rock, Roy Z,) - keyboard player, composer and producer
Alberto Rigoni (Bass)
Rick Wakeman

Guests:
Mark Boals (Y. Malmsteen), Rob Rock (Impellitteri), Fabio Lione (Rhapsody of Fire/Angra), Edu Falaschi (Almah), Ruud Jolie (Within Temptation), Rolf Pilve (Stratovarius), Michael Lepond (SymphonyX), Michael Angelo Batio, John Macaluso (ARK/TNT),  Marco Sfogli (J. LaBrie), Mark Wood (Trans-Siberian Orchestra), Andreas Passmark (Royal Hunt), Vitalij Kuprij, Mark Cross (Scorpions/Firewind), Dirk Verbeuren (Soilwork), Chris Caffery (Savatage), Dani Loeble (Helloween), Victor Smolski (Rage/Almanac), Steve Di Giorgio (Testament), Anna Portalupi (Tarja), Atma Anur (T. MacAlpine/G. Howe), Tommy Denander (Radioactive) and 100+ other musicians

Sinfonietta Consonus Symphonic Orchestra (Poland),
Academic Choir Angel Manolov (Bulgaria),
the “Chamber Choir Ivan Filipovic” (Croatia)
the “Rock Academy Choir” (Croatia)

Trailer:



24.6.16

Steve Vai - Modern Primitive / Passion & Warfare (25th Anniversary Edition) (2016)

Frankly speaking, Steve Vai's Modern Primitive is modern recording of his primitive songs. Yes it is. In Steve's own words :

"I’m [giving] an extra CD with material that’s never been released. It’s music the I’ve either recorded or written in between Flex-Able and Passion and Warfare. If you’re familiar with Flex-Able, it’s a very strange record: I recorded it when I was 20. And if you listen to Passion and Warfare, it seems [like] a completely different guy. So what happened in between? Where’s the missing link?" 

"Seven to eight songs are already tracked, and they just need a couple of finishing touches," Vai added. "Then I’m gonna have the old band get together that I had back then, just to lay down some other tracks we used to perform in that period. So it’s new music and frankly it’s turning out to be one of my favorite records." 

A whole CD worth of new Vai music is released in June 2016, bundled as "Modern Primitive". What's so new about this cd is as describe here: The first is "Bop!", is strangely having more funky slap bass than Steve playing guitar. We got Steve Vai in bit of background. If you like combination of funk and mind blowing Steve Vai dynamic, here the music for you. "Dark Matter", "Mighty Messengers" and "The Lost Chord" are vocalize songs, Steve Vai's own singing over his composition. Oh please mr.Vai, we wanted new guitar instrumental music from you instead. Luckily there is "Upanishads", which is the purely done with guitars. This one sounds very Ultra Zone era also. Then  finally the 7th song, "And We Are One", which is the ballad tune in that magic numbering (the 7th song in all Steve Vai's album will be a ballad). Remind us to For The Love of God.  "Lights Are On" are another straightforward , well short of straightforward, guitar instrumental track. If you notice, in Modern Primitive we got lot of power bass line, as in this one. "No Pockets" is sound very '80s glam rock atmosphere with its guitar riff intro. Steve (still) singing in this one, probably under his Whitesnake era influence. And then we got three parts of "Pink and Blows Over", another very Frank Zappa-ish composition. The whole suite is kind of jazz dominant. The third movement is the most mind blowing, worth the wait.

Interesting collection to any of Steve Vai crazy music. Remind you, the "seriousness" of these tracks is understandably "left over" category. Indeed the recording show what it could be like if Steve Vai going to record a song in between his 1984 to 1990 "blank" era.

Buy it Here - Amazon
Steve Vai - Modern Primitive / Passion & Warfare (25th Anniversary Edition) (2016)

CD1 - Modern Primitive:

01. Bop!
02. Dark Matter
03. Mighty Messengers
04. The Lost Chord
05. Upanishads
06. Fast Note People
07. And We Are One
08. Never Forever
09. Lights Are On
10. No Pockets
11. Pink And Blows Over: Part 1
12. Pink And Blows Over: Part 2 (Mars Attack)
13. Pink And Blows Over: Part 3 (Jazzbo Paddle-Foot)

CD2 - Passion And Warfare 25th Anniversary Edition:

01. Liberty
02. Erotic Nightmares
03. The Animal
04. Answers
05. The Riddle
06. Ballerina 12/24
07. For Love Of God
08. The Audience Ls Listening
09. I Would Love To
10. Blue Powder
11. Greasy Kid's Stuff
12. Alien Water Kiss
13. Sisters
14. Love Secrets
15. Lovely Elixir (Bonus)
16. And We Are One (Solo #2) (Bonus)
17. As Above (Bonus)
18. So Below (Bonus)

23.6.16

Derdian - Revolution Era (2016)

Derdian is the Italian power metal band that years ago known for their "New Era" trilogy. The trilogy offered full power metal acts. At the time, power metal seems on top of every album releases and Derdian must compete hard with other, well, almost similar concept and songs. The band put it lots of hard works and gained power metal community attention as a rewards. The two albums after that was "Limbo (2013)" and "Hard Reset (2014)", also in the style of bombastic power metal atmosphere. Over the years the band stand the test of time, as by now I see less power metal survived the era of 2000s-2015s, Derdian stood up still. And in this 2016 album, Derdian re-visited their "New Era" songs, a compilation of their most bombastic tunes. The new album is called "Revolution Era", is actually compilation album with the songs re-recorded with guest vocalist. Not much arrangements changes, except this one mixed with bigger low frequency, making it sound fatter and "modern". If you like traditional high pitch power metal mixing, then just referred to their original version in "New Era" album, part 1 to 3.

The highlighted guest vocalist range from Fabio Lione (in Lord of War) to Ralf Scheepers. From D.C. Cooper to ex- Dark Moor Elisa Martion. Selection of songs are impossible because these are indeed the best song selected from their trilogy. Even so, I will say the first three songs are the best to represented Derdian, Burn, Beyond the Gate and Battleplan, are the songs that championed Derdian into front line of power metal. They are traditional "cheeky" yet you can't resisted to keep listening and headbanging. The only song I can't find references is "Lord of War" by Fabio, perhaps a new song. Forevermore is newer version to their "Part. 3" album, featuring Elisa C. Martin and Terrence Holler, they performed this beautifully as always. The most simple form of power metal can be found in the song "Eternal Light", you only need one hell of guitar melody, cliche singing line, the guitar power chords and double pedal drumming. Yet, this are the backbone of everything done since the day of Helloween's Keepers.... to Rhapsody of Fire. "Black Rose" is piano ballad in the intro then unfolded into full band, one of song which shine from their new singing intrepretation. The last notable song is "New Era" which is now sung by female voices, Elisa Martin, making this version the most difference to its original. The band also like to inserted comical piano passage, as happened in this song.

In short, Revolution Era is celebration of Derdian's career. Enjoy your power metal singers re-interpret Derdian's songs. They are in some way kind of "cover version" because the original version also stand out pretty well. Interesting idea by the band. In the line up notes, the previous Derdian singer is no longer there, which is the position in the band that always changing. If you are somehow interested in listening to Derdian, Revolution Era can be your best introduction. On personal note, we are fans of the band and enjoy this album very much!

Metal Harem class : ********** nine stars out ten

See New Era Pt. 3 review by Metal Harem

Derdian - Revolution Era (2016) 
Buy it Here - Amazon

01. Overture (feat. Apollo Papathanasio  - From "New Era Pt.2")
02. Burn (feat. Henning Basse - From "New Era Pt.3")
03. Beyond the Gate (feat. GL Perotti - From "New Era Pt.1")
04. Battleplan (feat. Davide Damna Moras - From "New Era Pt.3")
05. I Don't Wanna Die (feat. D.C. Cooper  - From "New Era Pt.2")
06. Screams of Agony (feat. Mark Basile - From "New Era Pt.1")
07. Lord of War (feat. Fabio Lione)
08. Forevermore (feat. Elisa C. Martin & Terrence Holler - From "New Era Pt.3")
09. Eternal Light ( feat. Roberto Ramon Messina - From "New Era Pt.1")
10. The Hunter (feat. Ralf Scheepers  - From "New Era Pt.2")
11. Black Rose (feat. Andrea Bicego - From "New Era Pt.3")
12. Incitement (feat. Leo Figaro - From "New Era Pt.1")
13. New Era (feat. Elisa C. Martin  - From "New Era Pt.2")
14. Cage of Light (feat. Apollo Papathanasio - From "New Era Pt.1")

Line Up:
Enrico "Henry" Pistolese - Guitars, Vocals
Salvatore Giordano - Drums
Marco "Gary" Garau - Keyboards
Dario Radaelli - Guitars
Marco Banfi - Bass

Guest vocalists:
Apollo Papathanasio (Ex-Firewind, Evil Masquerade)
Henning Basse (Metalium, Firewind)
GL Perotti (Extrema)
Davide Damna Moras (Elvenking)
Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear)
D.C. Cooper (Royal Hunt),
Fabio Lione (Rhapsody of Fire, Angra)
Mark Basile (DGM)
Elisa Martin (Ex Dark Moor)
Terence Holler (Eldritch)
Roberto Ramon Messina (Ex Secret Sphere, Physical Noise)
Andrea Bicego (4th Dimension)
Leo Figaro (Minstrelix)


19.4.16

Steve Morse – The Sessions (2016)

Being soloist and band member, Steve Morse released so many albums. His works range from progressive rock Dixie Dregs, guitar shredder in his solo albums, up to as part of Deep Purple. With such range of musics, one still can easily distinguished Steve Morse licks, the bluesy chromatic passage that attached to his style. Surprisingly, in this new album, The Sessions, Steve Morse works with many other singers and sing some cover tunes. This album is not Steve Morse's typical instrumental guitar album. Well, a bit disappointing for guitar fans, but the album provide excellent standard hard rock album, that very bluesy, very American in vibes.

The only three tracks of instrumental songs are first, Freedom, This one quite different from the rest of album. Freedom is calm, meditative nuance ballad, kind of new age-ish tune but with Steve Morse surprisingly playing guitar there. Then we have two very jazz tunes, At the Edge of the Middle, featuring Jim Beard (piano), Randy Brecker (trumpet) and Percy Jones (bass). A typical smooth jazz quintet with Steve Morse letting himself being part of world class jazz ensemble. Then the only instrumental track that really sounds like Steve Morse is in Travis Walk. This one featuring Kevin Curry, who probably the pianist that doing solo in there.

Of all the other songs, Steve Morse doing collaboration with world class singer. Notably is Joe Lynn Turner who ex-Deep Purple guy. Also Billy Sherwood of YES in Another Brick in the Wall Pt 1. Which is a Pink Floyd original song. Talking about progressive personality, we got Jordan Rudess inserted in Touch Me. And so are the other popular hard rock / prog rock songs got redo in this album.

The Sessions is session of Steve Morse doing collaboration with other hard rock / prog rock artist. Mostly are music giant from the '60-'70s. This album superbly done, so do not missed this out.

Metal Harem class : *********** nine stars out of ten

Buy it Here - Amazon

Steve Morse – The Sessions (2016)

01. Freedom - instrumental
02. Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 1 (feat. Billy Sherwood)
03. Heartbreaker
04. Here Comes the Sun (feat. Richard Page)
05. Touch Me (feat. Robert Gordon, Jordan Rudess,  Nik Turner)
06. The Logical Song (feat. Mickey Thomas, Tony Kaye)
07. Whipping Post (feat. Jimmy Hall)
08. At the Edge of the Middle (feat. Jim Beard, Randy Brecker, Percy Jones) - instrumental
09. Travis Walk (feat. Kevin Curry) - instrumental
10. Jungle Love (feat. Joe Lynn Turner)
11. New Year's Day













tags: zippyshare, novafile, uploaded , putlocker, download songs, torrents, unduh

8.4.16

Top Ten Jazz Rock Instrumental Guitar Albums of the year 2015

Well, as metalhead we are also listen to our paralel world in jazz universe. Here's the compilation of last year most exciting guitar orientated albums. Mostly are pure jazz but some also integrated rock elements in it. The Top Ten order is just for fun.



01. Chuck Loeb, Wolfgang Haffner, Mitchel Forman & WDR Big Band Cologne - Metro 'Big Band Boom' (2015)
BUY IT HERE
A collaboration of guitarist Chuck Loeb with other fellow musicians. Chuck Loeb had done several albums collabs with other in this way. This METRO is not driven by one individual but by a collective: guitarist Chuck Loeb, keyboard player Mitchel Forman, and percussionist Wolfgang Haffner! The new CD falls somewhere in the middle of the stylistic poles of jazz: the rougher East Coast, and the softer West Coast.  Musicians:
Chuck Loeb (Guitar); Mitchel Forman (Keyboard); Wolfgang Haffner (Drums); Percussion – Roland Peil 



02. Pat Metheny - Hommage a Eberhard Weber (2015)
BUY IT HERE
In January 2015 musicians and listeners converged upon Stuttgarts Theaterhaus for two consecutive nights to celebrate the 75th birthday of Eberhard Weber. The concerts centered around a specially commissioned 35-minute suite by Pat Metheny, with whom Weber had played and recorded back in the 1970s. Featuring Metheny, the SWR Big Band conducted by Helge Sunde, Gary Burton, bassist Scott Colley and Danny Gottlieb on drums, the composition was arranged around recordings of solos by Weber. Other performers during the two nights playing selections from Webers vast body of work were Webers longtime companions Jan Garbarek, Paul McCandless, Manfred Schoof and arranger Michael Gibbs, all drawing ovations from the packed house. A truly special event, this. - Michael Tucker, Jazz Journal.
Jan Garbarek (Sax); Pat Metheny (Guitar); Gary Burton (Vibraphone); Scott Colley (Double bass); Danny Gottlieb (Drums); Paul McCandless (Oboe, soprano sax); Eberhard Weber (Bass, from tapes); SWR Big Band (Helge Sunde, Michael Gibbs (conductors)).



03. John Patitucci Electric Guitar Quartet - Brooklyn (2015)
BUY IT HERE
This is kind of pure jazz - bass - guitar album, set in minimalistic quartet.
John Patitucci (Bass); Adam Rogers (Guitars); Steve Cardenas (Guitars); Brian Blade (Drums).



04. Steve Smith and Vital Information NYC Edition - Viewpoint (2015)
BUY IT HERE
Solo album of long time drummer Steve Smith.
Steve Smith (Drums); Mark Soskin (Piano, Fender Rhodes); Baron Browne (Bass); Andy Fusco (Alto saxophone); Vinny Valentino (Guitar); Walt Weiskopf (Tenor saxophone 2, 4).



05. Simon Phillips - Protocol III (2015)
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Simon Phillips with his 3rd Protocol album, guitarist Andy Timmons in charge.
Ernest Tibbs (Bass); Simon Phillips (Drums); Andy Timmons (Electric Guitar); Steve Weingart (Keyboards).



06. Steve Gadd Band - 70 Strong (2015)
BUY IT HERE
As the title suggest, Steve Gadd in 70 is still very strong and funky.
Steve Gadd (Drums); Mike Landau (Guitar); Larry Goldings (Organ); Jimmy Johnson (Bass); Walt Fowler (Trumpet).



07. Al Di Meola "Elysium"
BUY IT HERE
He came from the Land Of The Midnight Sun, sparkled on the jazz-rock stage as an Elegant Gypsy, came up trumps in the Casino with all the right chords and melodies, and his Splendido Hotel was the number one address for fusion fans around the globe.
Barry Miles - keyboards; Philippe Saisse - keyboards; Mario Parmisano - keyboards; Rhani Krija - percussion; Peter Kaszas - drums ; Al Di Meola - guitars



08. John Scofield - Past Present (2015)
BUY IT HERE
The nine exciting tunes Scofield penned on Past Present also reflects his philosophy on playing jazz music. He stresses the importance of being knowledgeable of the musics deep, complex roots while simultaneously being spontaneous and in the moment while performing it. For an artist with such a multifaceted discography as Scofields, getting to the root of jazz means channeling the blues, as demonstrated on the discs closing, titled-track.

Johns love for R&B and blues tends to inform all of his discs regarding of idiomatic styling. After all, his first guitar hero was the legendary B.B. King, who strummed very vocal-like single-note melodies. Singable melodies and infectious rhythms shine on the soul-jazz opener, Slinky, on which the guitar tickles an instantly catchy riff before Stewart underscores it with a supple 5/4 groove that suggests New Orleans second-line rhythm. Grenadier propels the momentum with a loping blues bass line while Scofield and Lovano trade soulful licks and tasty solos.

Past Present also highlights Scofields love for country music on the whimsical Chap Dance, which evokes both the wide-eyed Americana compositions of Aaron Copeland and the hoedown sophistication of Ornette Colemans harmolodics. Scofield says that the songs exuberant opening melody and spry rhythmic pulse remind him of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammersteins 1943 Broadway musical, Oklahoma!, particularly the scenes with the cowboys dancing in chaps and vests. 

John Scofield (Guitar); Joe Lovano (Tenor sax); Larry Grenadier (Bass); Bill Stewart  (Drums).



09. Scott Henderson "Vibe Station" (2015)
BUY IT HERE
Trio in jazz rock instrumental album.
Scott Henderson (Tribal Tech) - guitar; Alan Hertz - drums; Travis Carlton - bass



10. Jeff Richman - Hotwire (2015)
BUY IT HERE
Hotwire is the newest release by jazz guitarist Jeff Richman. The album features some of the best musicians in the world including drummers Vinnie Colaiuta, Gary Novak and Gergo Borlai, bassists Jimmy Haslip, Anthony Jackson and Dean Taba, Keyboardists George Whitty, Scott Kinsey, Mitchell Forman, Jeff Lorber and Gary Fukashima, horns by Brandon Fields and Jeff Beal, plus special guest - guitarist Mike Stern. Jeff has written nine original tunes from the funky 'Seven Up' to the fusion number 'Hit Spot' and even a melodic pop tune 'Chloe'.            
Jeff Richman, Mike Stern (Guitar); Vinnie Colaiuta, Gary Novak, Gergo Borlai (Drums); Jimmy Haslip, Anthony Jackson, Dean Taba (Bass); George Whitty, Scott Kinsey, Mitchell Forman, Jeff Lorber, Gary Fukashima (Keyboards); Brandon Fields, Jeff Beal (Horns).



11. Eric Alexander - The Real Thing (2015)
BUY IT HERE
Hey, Pat Martino in it!
More than one jazz critic has claimed that listening to tenor saxman Eric Alexander unfettered and at length, is one of the greatest treats in jazz. This imposing improviser is reunited here with his mentor, the veteran pianist Harold Mabern and joined by another hot favorite, the legendary and amazing guitarist Pat Martino on three of the eight tracks. Add in the still stunning engineering of Rudy Van Gelder and the swing engendered by bassist John Webber and drummer Joe Farnsworth and you have a formula for excellence, if ever there was one. Martino and Alexander perform together often in a variety of venues and their collaborations have produced some of the most inspired playing on disc.
Eric Alexander (tenor saxophone); Harold Mabern (piano); Joe Farnsworth (drums), Pat Martino (Guitar).

5.4.16

Top 10 Recommended Guitar Shred Albums of 2015

Sorry for a very late induction of 2015 Top 10 Recommended Shred Guitar Albums. The year was quite calm, Only few big names releasing their guitar orientated album. Nevertheless, Joe Satriani and Neil Schon did save the year with their release. The two top spots reserved to them as a they are indeed the godfathers of the genre. Here it is the Top 10 Recommended Guitar Shred Instrumental Albums of 2015.



01. Shockwave Supernova - Joe Satriani (2015)
BUY IT HERE
Joe Satriani assembly Marco Minnemann, Bryan Beller, and Mike Keneally to produced Shockwave Supernova. All Satch trademark tunes are available here. Full review


02. Vortex - Neal Schon  (2015)
BUY IT HERE
One of most productive all around rock guitarist, Neal Schon, well traverse into rock, jazz, R/B, funk and fusion. Vortex is a double CD and that always room for his musics.


03. Aerial Visions - Vinnie Moore (2015)
BUY IT HERE
Vinnie Moore come back to his solo work in Aerial Vision, after so many year we miss him in this kind of work. Joinning him is bassist Dave LaRue. As ex-Shrapnel generation, his works include blues and neo-classical metal. This album however provide more wider colors. A must have album. Full Review



04. Concrete Garden - Tony MacAlpine (2015)
BUY IT HERE
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. This is also Tony's album before he got struck by illness. Full Review



05. The Human Affliction - Paul Wardingham (2015)
BUY IT HERE
Paul Wardingham, the latest ultra fast shredder from Australia is on his second shred album. This is all about guitar and outer space theme. A brain blower for shred fanatics. Full review



06. Tres Caballeros - The Aristrocrats (2015)
BUY IT HERE
Being success with their first album,  these happy guys in The Aristocrats has pulled out their second studio album called (the) Tres Caballeros. Based on their album cover we may feel that the trio is very happy and enjoy much time jamming together. Not much rock band want to proclaimed their togetherness as solid as Disney's classic trio. As reminder, The Aristocrats is super talented band with Guthrie Govan on guitar, Bryan Beller bass and Marco Minneman drum. The GGBBMM is going to blow everyone's mind with their blazing progressive madness. Full review


07. Protocol 3 - Simon Phillips (2015)
BUY IT HERE
Legendary drummer Simon Phillips pulled out his solo drum shred album in Protocol III. The guitarist in charge is no other than Andy Timmons. This is a  jazz-rock, fusion type of album. Check it out.


08. Invent Your Future - Bunny Brunel (2015)
BUY IT HERE
Well, Bunny Brunel is session bassist mostly play in jazz. His fame was in Chick Corea and other jazz legends.  In this album, believe it or not, mr Bunny gathered top dogs in metal guitarist to help him. Listed is Tony MacAlpine, Julia Kosterova, Frank Gambale, and others. While in drum section, Virgil Donati is on the list as well. If you like bass , here is the ultimate album for you.


09. From the Wilderness - Thobbe Englund (2015)
BUY IT HERE
From the metal world, the entry is defended by Thobbe Englund. The Sabaton guitarist inaugurated his first solo instrumental guitar album in From the Wilderness. Totally shred album.


10. Life of Dante - Alexius September  (2015)
BUY IT HERE
And from the indie guitarist community, Life of Dante is work of Italian guitarist Alexius September. Some of the song featured well known drummer, Marco Minnemann. The works is totally in shred guitar style.

Notable mentioned :



Six String Renegade - Martin J. Andersen (2015)
BUY IT HERE
This is a semi instrumental hard rock album done by guitarist Martin J. Andersen. Six String Renegade is the debut album for Martin, who is the guitarist of Blindstone, hardrock / blues band from Danish. If you haven't heard about his name, google him now. The style has been around American blues and hard rock. Full review

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Enjoy other Top Ten lists:

Guitar Jazz Rock Album of the Year 2015 (new)
Guitar Albums of the Year 2014
------------------------------
Metal Albums of the Year 2013
Guitar Albums of the Year 2013
-------------------------------
Metal Albums of the Year 2012
Guitar Albums of the Year 2012
--------------------------------
Metal Albums of the Year 2011
Guitar Albums of the Year 2011

2.4.16

Before the Storm - Thobbe Englund (2016)

Thobbe Englund, also spelled as Thorbjörn Englund, is Sabaton forefront guitarist. Thobbe coming to the band in 2012 when Sabaton undergo massive lineup chances. While on his duty in Sabaton, Thobbe manage to release two solo albums under his own name. The first one is "From the Wilderness" in 2015 and happened to be guitar instrumental album that will pleased many shred guitar fans. A year has passed and Thobbe back to his latest studio album called "Before the Storm". This album contained massive songs, about 20 tracks of them. Unlike From the Wilderness, in Before the Storm Thobbe embarked into semi-conceptual album with full featured singer to voice this album. As expected, From the Wilderness is very well composed in my listening. The album ranged from heavy tunes, all the way to epic ballad. All these songs interlude with many instrumental tracks that fall into symphonic metal and shred guitar in combination.

The album started with heavy, low tune singing, opener called "The End of Oil". We got to taste a classic power metal guitar riff through the song. In describing the song we need to referred to the element of Judas Priest and imagine putting them into power metal spirit! The second following track is "The Eye of the Storm", very much Sabaton in style and this one is the first instrumental overture we got. This then followed up with devilish tune on the third track "Our $oil" , which continued the storyline. "Waitng for the Water" is a rest for our ear as it is the first ballad to come.  "Mons Spiritus" is neo-classical instrumental, decorated with classical instrumental such as pizzicato violin voices and choirs. The real guitar teaser comes in "The Great White Open", which is very Yngwie Malmsteening in vibes.

There are bunch of songs coming next. At this point the style of the songs begin to diversed. "San Francisco" and even stronger is "Ain't It Grand" are songs that very Americanized, alternative rock in some weird form. "The Freak at the Sideshow" is featured with female singer. Other instrumental tracks to mentioned is "Saturday Night in Hell" , a theatrical movie score in style. As well the last two tracks.

Overall, Before the Storm is album with big range of music style, but mostly can put in the symphonic metal umbrella. The insertion of voice songs are not bad for fans that expected Thobbe to release a full instrumental album. Though the style quite differed from Sabaton, this album can stand its own uniqueness, evidence of Thobbe individual creative power outside the band. Very enjoyable album in the end, although a bit of exhausting with over 80 minutes of "exploration".

Metal Harem class: ********* eight stars out of ten

Before the Storm - Thorbjörn Englund (2016)
Buy it Here - Amazon

1. The End of Oil
2. The Eye of the Storm (instrumental)
3. Our $oil
4. Waiting for the Water   
5. Mons Spiritus (instrumental)
6. The Great White Open  (instrumental)
7. Sixteen
8. Broken Dreams
9. Inspiration Well   (instrumental)  
10. San Francisco
11. I Know You Don't Mind
12. Ain't It Grand
13. The Ghost of Maria
14. As Time Goes By  (instrumental)
15. The Freak at the Sideshow
16. Why the Rum Is Always Gone   (instrumental)
17. Home to a Pirate
18. Saturday Night in Hell  (instrumental)
19. She Brings the Horizon  (instrumental)
20. Obrigado  (instrumental)

Thorbjorn / Thobbe Englund - all instruments


album review
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