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.
Baroque & Roll comments - perhaps more prog metal than all out neo-classical but some nice classical themese and arpeggio ideas throughout.
2. Joey Taffola
Out Of The Sun
Guitarist Joey Tafolla teamed with two heavyweights - Tony MacAlpine (keyboards, melodies and production) and Paul Gilbert (guest guitar solos on four tracks) - and the result is a melodic metal feast topped with a barrage of ripping guitar solos and furious keyboard accompaniment. Tafolla's debut is powered by the rhythm section of former Rising Force bassist Wally Voss and innovative drummer Reynold Carlson.
3. Vinnie Moore
Time Odyssey was Vinnie Moore's 1988 follow up to "Mind's Eye" and was released on the Squawk label (a division of PolyGram Records), which also released the amazing "Maximum Security" by Tony MacAlpine. This release ontinues the neo-classical metal backdrop of his first album, while keeping shred guitar fans happy with cuts like "Prelude/Into The Future" and "Race With Destiny".
4. 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?
5. Theodore Ziras
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.
6. 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 comments - A good release but try and hunt down the self-titled release on Shrapnel Records, sadly long out of print
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.
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 comments: Be sure to check our Baroque & Roll's interview with Tom Hess here.
9. Matt Mills Project
Matt Mills Project
Loaded with blazing fretfire and a true contender for the NPM (notes per minute) award is the Matt Mills Project self-titled CD. The twelve all instrumental tracks feature a smorgasbord of large, swept arpeggiated sequences, diminished patterns and pedaled passages (ala Malmsteen and Moore) - with Mills' guitaristic prowess comes through strikingly on every track. He also favors a lot of harmonized lines -- a Malmsteen favorite -- and the song "Drive" is a showcase of this aspect of Mill's style. The Guitar Mania site even remarked, "Neo-Classical guitar has a new force - his name is Matthew Mills. Not since Malmsteen or Stump have we heard such a melodic assault of harmonized arpeggios combined with catchy melodies and awesome, jaw dropping technique." A true arpeggiated assault.
10. George Bellas
The third release from one of neo-classical's leading players. Loaded with deft fretwork, progressive frameworks and that Bellas "butter tone". A fantastic slice of fretboard action.
Baroque & Roll comments - read our interview with George here