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instrumental

CD review TOUNDRA "Vortex"

Veröffentlicht am 15. April 2018 von Markus W. in Toundra, Instrumental, Vortex, Rock, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Hardrock, Post-Metal

CD review TOUNDRA "Vortex"

(8/10) Spanish prog rocker Toundra break the pattern. Two years after having released their latest album “IV”, following “I”, “II” and “III”. So there was a crystal clear numbering system connected to their releases and everybody expected – indeed – “V”. However, in order to surprise fans the title of the new longplayer is different. “Vortex” is what the fifth album is called and at least we can conclude that the title starts with a ‘v’.

What’s actually more exciting than the name is the music that come with “Vortex”. Toundra’s sound reminds me of Muenster-based Long Distance Calling. One thing the bands have in common is the instrumental songs that sometimes get extended to epical length. There is a feeling of jam sessions that acted as a base for these eight songs of which “Mojave” is with 11 minutes the by far longest. Good musical craftsmanship together with a sense for powerful riffs and a strong, but not too catchy melody line stand for the basic ingredients of what you get served by the Spanish quartet.  I could see too many differences in their approach compared to “IV”. It’s more the details that are slightly different, leading to exciting news tunes that are treat for fans of ambitious and layered progressive rock that builds on some post-metal influences too.

“Vortex” is an album that slowly unveils its addictive potential. Once you’re lassoed by these cinematic soundscapes you don’t have a choice more than giving the album a few loops.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Intro Vortex
  2. Cobra
  3. Tuareg
  4. Cartavio
  5. Kingston Falls
  6. Mojave
  7. Roay Neary

 

Label: InsideOut Music

Genre: Prog Rock

Release Date EU: April 23rd, 2018

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CD review LONG DISTANCE CALLING "Boundless"

Veröffentlicht am 17. Januar 2018 von Markus W. in Long Distance Calling, Boundless, News, CD Review, InsideOut, Post-Rock, Rock, Instrumental, Alternative Rock

CD review LONG DISTANCE CALLING "Boundless"

(9/10) And here comes the next band from Muenster, Germany, releasing a new album. This time it’s post-rock passionistas Long Distance Calling that unveils a new pearl.

The quartet, comprising of Jan Hoffmann (b), Dave Jordan (g), Florian Füntmann (g) and Janosch Rathmer (d), founded the band back in 2006 with a debut, entitled “Satellite Bay” being released in 2007.

Over time Long Distance Calling added five more records to their impressive discography with the newest strike being ready to be published. “Boundless” is the title of the seventh studio album, featuring eight formidable songs, celebrating the beauty of instrumental music. Long Distance Calling proves that good music doesn’t need words. Music is art and art is created, at least to a certain extent, based on emotions and it's these emotions and feel, that's transferred with each of the eight tracks on “Boundless”.

As with the predecessors also the new album contains music that is timeless, impressive, intense and to the point. In contrary to “Trips”, the new album is a pure instrumental adventure, which starts heavy. “Out There” comes with an extremely powerful riffing. To break the pattern of sound there’s a sphereful middle part embedded before the tune builds up again towards the end. Due to that, the song represents the album in a great fashion and stands strong as an opener.

Calmer tones are captured on the album too. “In the Clouds” is such a song. In general it’s an atmospheric track that includes a lot of passion and dedication. There are some noisy outbursts too, but it’s the ease that dominates.

With “Like a River” the band added a light-hearted tune to the album that includes a violin, before “The Far Side” starts roaring. Long Distance Calling found their own sound that can be immediately identified as being from the Muenster-based quartet. The pleasure that comes with “Boundless” is the variety of sounds and the unexpected twists that surprises. It takes a lot to keep the listener’s attention with a solely instrumental album. Long Distance Calling took this challenge already some years ago and “Boundless” shows again how easily they can handle it.

Next to the songs it’s amazing how tight the guys play on the album. The quartet performs as a rock solid unit, something you can experience on “Boundless” but also during their live shows.

“Skydivers” marks already the end of “Boundless” and is the Grand Finale of an almost 50 minutes long sound experience. There is no way to get around this album, at least not for fans of progressive post-rock that combines musical savvy, creativity and emotional depth to a terrific total. Don’t miss this longplayer.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Out There
  2. Ascending
  3. In The Clouds
  4. Like A River
  5. The Far Side
  6. On The Verge
  7. Weightless
  8. Skydivers

 

Label: InsideOut

Genre: Alternative Rock

Release Date EU: February 2nd, 2018

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CD review MARTY FRIEDMAN "Wall of Sound"

Veröffentlicht am 19. Juli 2017 von Markus W. in Prosthetic Records, Marty Friedman, Instrumental, Heavy Metal, Shred, Rock, Prog Metal, News, CD Review

CD review MARTY FRIEDMAN "Wall of Sound"

(9/10) Marty Friedman is definitely no dark horse when it comes to rock and metal. The guitarist from Washington DC, who lives in Japan since more than a decade, earned some first credits as being part of Cacophony. Together with Jason Becker he was the driver for two awesome instrumental releases of which the debut “Speed Metal Symphony” is a classic up to date. Almost in parallel the first solo album saw the light of day. “Dragon’s Kiss” was the name of this longplayer which was published by Shrapnel Records too, the home of many other shred guitarists such as Tony McAlpine and more.

“Wall of Sound” is Friedman’s newest strike and it features eleven tracks, showcasing again the capabilities and passion of the six string guitarist. He seems to become one with his instrument, leading to tunes that are alternating between heavy grooving riffs, furious solos and tangible soulful moments. The result is a ‘wall of sound’, which makes the title of the album to more than just a statement – it’s a promise.

To make this ‘wall of sound’ as solid as possible Friedman involved some guests. Drummer Anup Sastry is part of the album sharing some drum duties with Gregg Bisonette. This groove machine gets complete by bassist Kiyoshi. The only non-instrumental track on the album is entitled “Something to Fight”. This song gives the album another moment of suspense with singer Jorgen Munkby of Shining doing an excellent job. Next to vocals it’s the crazy saxophone that makes this number to a real special one, in a positive way. Creativity culminates in this song, making it to a highlight on “Wall of Sound”.

Marty Friedman’s new solo album is an ambitious instrumental release that’s spice-up by a great song that combines guitar and vocals in a perfect total. This longplayer is a treat for your ears and even if you’re not a guitar passionista you will find enough on an album that allows headbanging as well as it’s a soundtrack for musical experts, demanding finesse and skills.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Self-Pollution
  2. Sorrow and Madness (featuring Jinxx of Black Veil Brides)
  3. Streetlight
  4. Whiteworm
  5. For A Friend
  6. Pussy Ghost (featuring Shiv Mehra of Deafheaven)
  7. The Blackest Rose
  8. Something to Fight (featuring Jorgen Munkeby of Shining)
  9. The Soldier
  10. Miracle
  11. Last Lament

 

Label: Prosthetic Records

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date EU: August 4th, 2017

 

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CD review TUESDAY THE SKY "Drift"

Veröffentlicht am 28. Juni 2017 von Markus W. in Tuesday The Sky, Rock, Prog Rock, Prog Metal, Ambient, Instrumental, News, CD Review, Inside Out

CD review TUESDAY THE SKY "Drift"

(8/10) Jim Matheo's creativity and inspiration doesn’t seem to know any restrictions. It feels like writing new songs is a natural gift of the guitar virtuoso. Not only that he is one of the main pillars when it comes to prog metal legend Fates Warning, also his contribution to e.g. the O.S.I. project and others underlines the importance of the American guitarist when it comes to rock and metal.

This time it’s another solo project initiated by him that will delight fans of progressive rock music. Matheos, who also did all the bass parts on the album, teamed-up with drummer Lloyd Hanney to create this beautiful release. “Drift”, that's the name of the longplayer, is an instrumental album, with two exceptions. “Vortex Street” as well as “Westerlies” include some vocal parts done in a perfect way by Anna Lynne Williams. What you shouldn't expect in this context is lyrics telling a story. Williams’ vocals are more treated as an additional instrument that adds to the totality of these two soulful songs. Next to her there’s another guest who was invited to contribute to the album. Two songs include keyboard parts of no less than Kevin Moore, well-known from e.g. his times with Dream Theater.

Tuesday The Sky's debut contains tracks being build on musical perfection without losing heart and soul. In general I’m not the biggest fan of instrumental albums since very often the capabilities of the ones involved are in focus. What suffers sometimes is the joy of a song being in the spotlight. Tuesday The Sky did manage to bridge this gap. Matheos’ guitar enchants musicians and non-musicians in the same way. He gives each of the ten tracks an identity that catches the listener from the first note played up to the end of the album. The feel that’s involved should be experienced by listening to the album with earphones on and eyes closed. This gives you the entire width and depth which is embedded in songs like “It Comes in Waves” and “Drift”.

Jim Matheos releases with “Drift” an album that is more than just a nice extra to bridge the waiting time until a new Fates Warning album will hit the shelves of the record shops. This longplayer is well-executed cornerstone in progressive rock music, an instrumental album you should have listened to.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Today the Sky
  2. Kite
  3. Vortex Street
  4. It Comes In Waves
  5. Dyatlov Pass
  6. Far And Away
  7. Westerlies
  8. Roger, Gordo
  9. The Rowing Endeth
  10. Drift

 

Label: Inside Out

Genre: Rock

Release Date EU: June 30th, 2017

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New TUESDAY THE SKY video

Veröffentlicht am 16. Juni 2017 von Markus W. in Jim Matheos, Prog Metal, Prog Rock, Rock, Ambient, Instrumental, Tuesday The Sky, News, Video

Tuesday The Sky, the new Ambient Instrumental Rock project by Fates Warning guitarist Jim Matheos, will be releasing its debut album ‘Drift’ worldwide on June 30th, 2017 via InsideOutMusic.

Jim Matheos checked in with the following comment about “Vortex Street”
“”Vortex Street' was co-written with vocalist Anna-Lynne Williams and is a bit different from most of the songs on “Drift” in that the main focus is the vocals, as opposed to the more guitar centered material on the rest of the album. The basic outline of the song was written using the AdrenaLinn II to process the guitars and bass so that they, hopefully, don't sound like guitars anymore. Those ideas were sent to Anna-Lynne, who crafted the beautiful melody lines. The "chorus" was created by editing and processing some of the main vocal lines along with some alternate vocal ideas Anna-Lynne provided."


Tuesday The Sky and “Drift” sees Matheos expanding the boundaries of his playing and sound even further than ever before. “Drift” came together in the downtime between Fates Warning finishing “Theories Of Flight” and the beginning of the touring cycle, enabling Matheos to explore a type of atmospheric and instrumental music you might not expect of him. Taking cues from artists like Brian Eno, Boards Of Canada, Sigur Ros and Explosions In The Sky, he explores expansive textures and ambient electronica, as well as some of the most colossal riffs he has ever produced.

“Drift” also features the talents of God Is An Astronaut’s drummer Lloyd Hanney, who provides a rhythmic backbone that is at once punchy, precise and restrained when necessary. Other guests include long-time OSI collaborator and former Dream Theater member Kevin Moore who plays keys on two songs as well as Anna-Lynne Williams (Trespassers William, Lotte Kestner), who provides ethereal vocals (of the non-verbal kind) on two other songs.
“Drift”, whose cover artwork created by Jan Tomic can be seen above, will be released as special edition CD, black LP + CD & digital download. Here is the album’s track-listing:

Tuesday The Sky – “Drift”:

  1. Today The Sky
  2. Kite
  3. Vortex Street
  4. It Comes In Waves
  5. Dyatlov Pass
  6. Far And Away
  7. Westerlies
  8. Roger, Gordo
  9. The Rowing Endeth
  10. Drift
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CD review DER ELEFANT "Der Elefant" EP

Veröffentlicht am 29. Dezember 2016 von Markus W. in Der Elefant, Tieflader, Farmer Boys, Power Metal, Modern Metal, Instrumental, Alternative Metal, CD Review, News, Rock

(8/10) Alex Scholpp should be no new name to you guys. The guitarist from Stuttgart, Germany is known from his activities with Farmer Boys, Tieflader, Tarja and some more projects. Scholpp teamed-up with bassplayer Kevin Chown and Timm Schreiner on drums - all three knowing each other from Tarja's band.

This trio started with a group called Der Elefant (German for 'The Elephant') and wrote three tracks that ended up on the first output - an EP, simply named "Der Elefant".

The name might sound a bit weird but knowing the background gives some clarity. There is the saying of "The elephant in the room..." which basically means that there is an obvious truth which is ignored and denied by people. The band took this human (dis-)ability of denial as an inspiration for their music by making a statement with their music rather than with words. This undertaking led to three powerful instrumentals that have a touch of a jam session.

"Caterpillar" breaks the first ground. The tune is build on heavy riffs which reminded me, to a certain extend, of Tieflader. Next to the mighty guitar riffing there are some melodic sections embedded in this song, all build on a steady rhythm foundation. Track number two got the powerful name of "Elefante" and it's the heaviest one out of all three numbers on this EP.  This instrumental is faster than the other stuff and you can feel the energy of an elephant with each drum beat. Last but not least there's "Freedom", a song that's kept in more mid-pace. The entertainment factor of "Freedom" is the forceful groove that comes with it, a strength that's reflected basically in each of the three tracks.

"Der Elefant" became an interesting EP of a trio that started to explore a partly new territory with creating their own songs in the here and now. Let's see if this project belongs to the more sustainable ones. However, the EP makes a lot of fun. Good stuff.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Caterpillar
  2. Elefante
  3. Freedom

 

Label: Self-released

Genre: Modern Metal

Release Date EU: December 9th, 2016

 

CD review DER ELEFANT "Der Elefant" EP
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Live review AMORPHIS / LONG DISTANCE CALLING, 013, Tilburg, 01.12.2016

Veröffentlicht am 2. Dezember 2016 von Markus W. in Long Distance Calling, Amorphis, Prog Rock, Instrumental, Heavy Metal, Melodic Metal, Death Metal, Live Review, Tour, News, Alternative Metal

It might become a tradition that Finnish Amorphis embark on a smaller winter tour around Christmas, celebrating the anniversary of milestone albums. It was two years ago when the guys played a few shows between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, focusing on the entire “Tales From the Thousand Lakes” album that was at that time released 20 years ago. This year the six-piece band puts another album into the spotlight. It was back in 2006 when Amorphis released with “Eclipse” another masterpiece, so a ten years anniversary party.

As in 2014 (it was Avantarium) also this year the support act for these shows was very well chosen. It’s Long Distance Calling from Germany that got the role as special guest for this tour, a package that at first glance seems to be quite different. However, after having seen the show I must say that both bands fit together very well which was also proven by the audience that filled-up the venue already during the set from the Muenster-based band.

Actually it was the second time this year that the four guys came to Tilburg. After having played a headliner show in the smaller out of the two rooms at the 013 the band came back this time with a six track opening show. It felt like the band’s growing their fan base since the venue was already quite packed when the quartet entered the stage at 20:00. Compared to last time, when they had singer Petter Carlsen joining them on tour, Long Distance Calling only played instrumental songs this time. However, I don’t think that anybody who was attending the show missed the ‘vocal songs’ since the band started a progressive rock firework that was highly appreciated be the crowd. Songs like the might “Trauma” are excellent and work perfect as being a part of a live show. The band unleashed a lot of energy that was immediately pick-up by the fans. Long Distance Calling was more than an opening act that night. They played an gorgeous show that night that asks for continuation. Hopefully they’re coming back to Holland in the not too far future.

Live review AMORPHIS / LONG DISTANCE CALLING, 013, Tilburg, 01.12.2016
Live review AMORPHIS / LONG DISTANCE CALLING, 013, Tilburg, 01.12.2016
Live review AMORPHIS / LONG DISTANCE CALLING, 013, Tilburg, 01.12.2016

After the standard 30 minutes break it was time for some Finnish metal by Amorphis. The scenery was kept simple and straight-forward. This wasn’t a too big of a surprise since space was limited, considering a six-piece band that had to fit on this quite small stage. However, the guys used every centimeter and obviously enjoyed themselves playing a 90 minutes show in Tilburg.

After an intro, “Kullervo”, the band from Helsinki started with “Two Moons”. This song is the opener of the “Eclipse” album followed by the other nine tracks in chronological order. Each of the ten tunes is a little highlight in itself with “Brother Moon” standing out even a bit more. Since “Eclipse” was released almost one decade after “Tales from the Thousand Lakes” hit the shelves, the entire set was less oldschool tha two years ago and reflected more the current Amorphis sound. The harsh death metal moments have been very limited since the band didn’t go too far back in history. “My Kantele” from 1996 was the ‘oldest’ tune performed that night – in an acoustic version.

And of course it has been two highlights at the end that closed this metallic evening. “Skyforger” and “Silver Bride” both belong to the best Amorphis songs and therefor act as a worthy grand finale.

Like said in the beginning, this kind of winter tours isn’t a tradition yet, but let’s see if things find a continuation next year. There would be a good reason since the debut “The Karelian Isthmus” faces its 25 years anniversary – so, why not….

Live review AMORPHIS / LONG DISTANCE CALLING, 013, Tilburg, 01.12.2016
Live review AMORPHIS / LONG DISTANCE CALLING, 013, Tilburg, 01.12.2016
Live review AMORPHIS / LONG DISTANCE CALLING, 013, Tilburg, 01.12.2016

Setlist Long Distance Calling:

  1. Into the Black Wide Open
  2. Black Paper Planes
  3. Trauma
  4. Momentum
  5. Arecibo (Long Distance Calling)
  6. Metulsky Curse Revise

 

Setlist Amorphis:

  1. Two Moons
  2. House of Sleep
  3. Leaves Scar
  4. Born from Fire
  5. Under a Soil and Black Stone
  6. Perkele (The God of Fire)
  7. The Smoke
  8. Same Flesh
  9. Brother Moon
  10. Empty Opening
  11. Intermission (Piirpauke)
  12. Enigma (acoustic version)
  13. My Kantele (acoustic version)
  14. From the Heaven of My Heart
  15. Sampo
  16. Skyforger (encore)
  17. Silver Bride (encore)

 

 

Location: 013, Tilburg, The Netherlands

Date: December 1st, 2016

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CD review IF THESE TREES COULD TALK "The Bones of a Dying World"

Veröffentlicht am 8. Juni 2016 von Markus W. in If These Trees Could Talk, News, CD Review, Post Rock, Instrumental, Rock, Alternative Rock

(9/10) If these trees could talk, they would tell the story of an instrumental band from Ohio that has released already two records and gaining momentum. If these trees could talk, the story would be about a band that convinced Brain Slagel that much that he offered the guys a deal at Metal Blade. If these could talk it would be about a band that creates well-crafted post rock music that comes without any vocals.

If These Trees Could Talk has their new album ready to be shipped and it is the debut for Metal Blade. The label also reissued the earlier outputs of the guys which is great. It allows rock music enthusiasts to discover even more of this interesting band.

The mainmen behind this album, called "The Bones of a Dying World", is drummer Zack Kelly and guitarist Coby Kelly. The two of them have been the creative drivers, coming up with ideas that led to nine extraordinary song. Each of the nine numbers on this album is build on great melodies that are fascinating. These tunes take you in a world of big soundscapes and arcs of melodies. It's about songs that are very well done, easy to access and still complex, packaged in a tight and dynamic sound framework.

Each of the songs is a little masterpiece in itself. The album has a lot of these melodic moments that could be a soundtrack for getting lost in your own dreams. But If These Trees Could Talk are smart enough to also break the pattern once in a while. Moments of harsh guitars appear here and there, something that spices-up this album.

After you've listened to "The Bones of a Dying World" you can understand the fascination of Brian Slagel. This music is extremely well-done post-rock that deserves nine points from Markus' Heavy Music Blog.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Solstice
  2. Swallosing Teeth
  3. Earth Crawler
  4. After the Smoke Clears
  5. The Here and Hereafter
  6. Iron Glacier
  7. The Giving Tree
  8. Berlin
  9. One Sky Above Us

 

Label: Metal Blade

Genre: Post Rock

Release Date EU: June 3rd, 2016

CD review IF THESE TREES COULD TALK "The Bones of a Dying World"
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New video from LONG DISTANCE CALLING

Veröffentlicht am 15. April 2016 von Markus W. in Long Distance Calling, News, Video, Prog Rock, Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Instrumental

"Getaway" is the new video of German rockers Long Distance Calling. The tune is taken from the upcoming album "Trips" that's coming via Inside Out Music later this month. The band could gain German actor Ralf Richter for playing a role in this clip. All together a good package of music and visual approach. Nothing else expected from these guys.

 

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CD review ZOMBI "Shape Shift"

Veröffentlicht am 31. Oktober 2015 von Markus W. in Zombi, Goblin, Soundtrack, Instrumental, Rock, Electro, Prog Rock, News, CD Review

(8/10) You could that this is the right review for Halloween - a band called Zombi. No, seriously, Zombi is from Pittsburgh and the guys stand for progressive rock music that comes with many electronic features and synthesizers. 

Zombi was inspired by Italian soundtrack composers of Goblin, while they took the inspiration for the bands name from a movie called "Dawn of Dead" which was named "Zombi" in Italy.

Steve Moore (b/synthesizer) and A.E. Paterra (d), the two men behind Zombi, released a first album back in 2004, called "Cosmos". Three more longplayers followed and the newest one is called "Shape Shift".

The new record comes with nine instrumental songs that are epical. The tracks carry a lot of feeling and emotional intenstity. In the best meaning of the word we can say that it's soundtrack music, even though there is no film connected - at least not in the common sense. 

If you listen to the album with your headphone, lean back and close your eyes, the movie starts in your imagination. "Shape Shift" isn't an album that is just for fast consumption and done. This record, with it's long and intense tunes, asks for time. You need to dive into this world of melodies, rhythm and sound constructs to get the full joy out of it.

So, eventhough there is Halloween today, Zombi has nothing to do with this day. Zombi is an experience in itself.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Pillars of Dawn
  2. Total Breakthrough
  3. Misson Creep
  4. Interstellar Package
  5. Diffraction Zone
  6. Toroidal Vortices
  7. Shadow Hand
  8. Metaverse
  9. Siberia II

 

Label: Relapse Records

Genre: Rock

Release Date EU: October 16th, 2015
CD review ZOMBI "Shape Shift"
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CD review VINNIE MOORE "Aerial Visions"

Veröffentlicht am 22. Oktober 2015 von Markus W. in Vinnie Moore, UFO, Shred, Heavy Metal, Instrumental, Classic Rock, News, CD Review

(7/10) Vinnie Moore belongs to the golden generation of shred guitarists from the eighties. The first time I heard the sixstringer was on Vicious Rumors' "Soldiers of the Night" which he enriched with is guitar play. But very soon Moore started to release solo records which had a focus on his guitar, meaning, it has been instrumental records. It has been the times when Shrapnel Records brought quite some of those sensational shred guitarists into the spotlight. It has been the days of Tony McAlpine, Racer X, Marty Friedman, and so on.

OK, I agree. Those days are over which doesn't mean that releases of those guys aren't good anymore. Vinnie Moore is having a new record out in the shops in a few days. "Aerial Visions" is his eighth output and it's full of well done instrumentals.

Vinnie Moore worked two years on this record that includes with "La Grange" from ZZ Top also a cover version. The song is damn cool anyhow, but Vinnie Moore's version give the iconic track a slightly different touch even though the axeman sticks very much to the original. However, not having Billy Gibbons' typical vocals included makes this version already to a special one.

The other songs don't have to stand back. It might be that the totally wild days are over and "Aerial Visions" is more linked to UFO's sound. However, tracks like the galloping "Mustang Shuffle" or the more silent "Looking Back" show the great technic of Vinnie Moore.  And also the finale furioso called "A Million Miles Gone" is a highlight some other guitarists would love to write and record.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Mustang Shuffle
  2. Now's the Time
  3. Faith
  4. Slam
  5. La Grange
  6. Looking Back
  7. Aerial Vision
  8. A Dark Dream
  9. Calling Out
  10. A Million Miles Gone

 

Label: Mind's Eye Music

Genre: Classic Rock

Release Date EU: October 23rd, 2015

 

 

CD review VINNIE MOORE "Aerial Visions"
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CD review PAUL GILBERT "Stone pushing uphill man"

Veröffentlicht am 5. August 2014 von Markus W. in Paul Gilbert, Mr.Big, Racer X, Loverboy, Aerosmith, Instrumental, Rock, Hardrock, CD Review

(8/10) Paul Gilbert is one of the most important shred guitarists from the eighties and he still keeps this status till today. The albums from his band Racer X speak a clear language. Esp. the debut is still one of my all time faves.

Next to those more speed metal related releases Gilbert also played an important role in the rise of Mr. Big. He celebrated the biggest successes with the American allstar band. Songs like "To be with you" and "Green tinted sixties mind" are known by almost everybody.

"Let the guitar sing" is an often used term. Guitar wizard Paul Gilbert makes it real. "Stone pushing uphill man" became an instrumental album on which Gilbert uses his guitar to interpret the vocal lines from songs that accompanied him during his life. 

That means that we will find mainly cover versions on the album. But they have a new appeal. On none of the tracks Gilbert went too far away from the original version. I think this is good, because it keeps the basic spirit of the tune and helps to recognise it too. 

The start couldn't be more rocking than with Loverboy's smash hit "Working for the weekend". But also the soulful version of James Browns "I got the feelin'", the emtional interpretation of Elton John's "Goodbye yellow brick road" and the bluesy "My girl" from Eric Camen have their charm.

Paul Gilbert has also three own songs on the album. "Shock absorber" is one of them and shows the potential the guy has. The final track on the album is the title track "Stone pushing uphill man". It's the only song with vocals and is a slow acoustic song which builds up to a cool blues anthem along the way with an extra choir part towards the end. It has a lot of soul and is a highlight on the album. And it shows that Paul Gilbert is a pretty good singer too.

"Stone pushing uphill man" became a cool, mainly instrumental album, which is very entertaining. Gilbert manages to get the emotions and expressions of the original singers into his cover versions. An endeavor which I guess wasn't very easy but he succeeded. Cool stuff - not only for guitarists.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Working for the weekend (Loverboy)
  2. Back in the saddle (Aerosmith)
  3. I got the feelin' (James Brown)
  4. Goodbye yellow brick road (Elton John)
  5. Why don't we do it in the road (The Beatles)
  6. Shock absorber
  7. Purple without all the red
  8. Murder by numbers (The Police)
  9. My girl (Eric Camen)
  10. Wash me clean (kd lang)
  11. Stone pushing uphill man

 

Label: Shrapnel Records

Genre: Rock

 

CD review PAUL GILBERT "Stone pushing uphill man"
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