Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Neo-classical Charts (Month of May 06)

Courtesy of www.guitar9.com

1. Michael Romeo
The Dark Chapter

Romeo is an incredibly accomplished player drawing on a neo-classical style reminiscent of Yngwie Malmsteen while retaining his own identifiable signature that sets him apart from other players in this genre. He has received major coverage in many of the guitar magazines around the world and is best known for his role as lead guitarist in Symphony X.

2. Hess
Opus 2
The music of Opus 2 is rich in musical depth, progressive key changes and rhythms, orchestration, great passions of emotion, and of course, extreme double virtuoso guitar work. You have heard progressive bands, instrumental shred guitar masters, neoclassical virtuosos, cool film music and very dramatically expressive music before, but the only place you are likely to hear all of this in one CD is Opus 2.
Baroque & Roll comment: Be sure to check our Baroque & Roll's interview with Tom Hess now.

3. Hess
Opus 1
Hess, featuring guitarist Tom Hess, guitarist Mike Walsh and drummer Chris Dowgun come screaming out of Illinois with their 12 track debut album Opus 1. The CD features a new breed of high caliber instrumental guitar compositions combining the neo-classical styles of Yngwie Malmsteen and Jason Becker with the progressive rock styles of Dream Theater and George Bellas, along with the emotion of 19th century Romanticism.
Baroque & Roll comment: Be sure to check our Baroque & Roll's interview with Tom Hess now.

4. Theodore Ziras
Virtual Virtuosity

Greece's Theodore Ziras' brilliant neo-classical release Virtual Virtuosity. Classic sweep arpeggios, searing extended solo sections, memorable themes, and overall extraordinary playing mark this CD, Ziras' second, and cement his place in the roster of notable neo-classical shredders. Inspired by Bach, Vivaldi and Paganini, as well as a host of modern players such as George Bellas, John Petrucci and Jason Becker, Ziras played all the instruments and did all the recording, mixing, mastering and production himself.

5. Borislav Mitic
Fantasy is guitarist Borislav Mitic's 1996 Yugoslavian release which eventually led to his signing with Shrapnel Records. Featuring original compositions and works by Paganini, Handel and Bach, the CD is a neo-classical shredfest in every sense of the word.
Baroque & Roll comment: A good release but try and hunt down the self-titled release on Shrapnel Records, sadly long out of print

6. Yngwie J Malmsteen
Instrumental Best Album
Imagine taking the best of the Yngwie Malmsteen instrumental tracks from the Pony Canyon years, putting them together on one CD and putting it out for all the instrumental fans out there. What would you call it? How about the Instrumental Best Album?

7.Hideaki Nakama
Point Of No Return
Hideaki Nakama, a neo-classical and metal guitarist who gained fame with the hard rock band Hurry Scuary released a mostly instrumental showcase album in 1989 called Point Of No Return. The CD features seven instrumental tracks, along with two vocal numbers sung by bassist Norio Sakai.

8. Michael Harris
Sketches From The Thought Chamber
Sketches From The Thought Chamber, the newest creation from guitarist Michael Harris, represents his first solo release of the new millennium and fourth overall. The CD sheds new light on Harris’ compositional skills and versatility with an amazing collection of songs that range from the compositional ingenuity of "Prognosis" to the twisted fusion elements of "Neuro-Tranzmitter" and the subtle beauty of "A Soul’s Torment".
Baroque & Roll comments: Not strictly neo-classical but has touched of the genre throughout.

9. Joe Stump
Guitar Dominance
Guitar Dominance introduces the world to the full-throttle music of Joe Stump, whose guitar playing at times seems to exceed the limits of human capability. In the neo-classical style of Yngwie Malmsteen and Tony MacAlpine, Stump stakes his own turf with Guitar Dominance, breathing new life into the genre, and establishing himself as a guitar force to be reckoned with.
Baroque & Roll comment - be sure to check out our interview with Joe Stump now.

10. Victor Smolski
Majesty & Passion
This CD is a concept album with Bach's music in the focus. Smolski has taken some of Bach's well known contertos and suites and arranged the music for orchestra and metal band. Not too much has been changed from Bach's versions, yet the musical expression is very much different. The guitar sound playing the melodies and themes is so controlled and dry, showcasing how good a guitarist Smolski actually is.

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