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Solid Follow Up to the Debut - 80%

DeathRiderDoom, June 13th, 2010

*Written for the 10th MA Virgin Reviews Challenge

To me Vinnie Moore was always the coolest of all the ‘80s virtuoso’s. Now I’m not a complete and total guitar nerd or anything, so I’m, not gonna go into some huge rant about technical details, but I just LOVE his first two records as heavy metal albums, and yeah – they display excellent talents on guitar. Vinnie is well known for his involvement in the successful act Vicious Rumours, and his efforts as a contributing session musician for big name acts yet has been releasing material under his own moniker since ’86, which if you ask me, sits alongside the great works from all the virtuoso titans. His first two albums are personal favourites of mine from the genre, and I feel his style is perhaps a bit more emotive, urgent, and less “for the sake of it” than other virtuosos.

The solid debut ‘Mind’s Eye’ from ’86 might not be as commercially sccesful as ‘Rising Force’ but showcases Vinnie’s talents as a tier-one axeman with a collection of passionately emotive tracks. Vinnie follows up on the album with ‘Time Oddyssey’, arguably a very similar album, with many cuts in the same vein as the strong debut. My favourite tracks include the epic and passionate ‘Message in a Dream’, a progressive sounding lengthy cut which crosses the line in over nine minutes, as well as the upbeat opener ‘Morning Star’. Both cuts get stuck in my head – and like the remainder of the album, perhaps especially so, they are addictive, and very, very pleasing on the eye. As to be expected on this album – the guitars are all round great – carried through by a fantastically crystal clear production job. Symphonic touches are throughout, but not too frequently – most of the tracks are pretty grandiose, upbeat showcasings of mindblowing riffage and great melodies.

Anyway, if you’re a guitar nerd, or fan of the ‘80s heavy metal/ neoclassical virtuosos like Malmsteen, Michealangelo - there’s no reason you shouldn’t dig Vinnie Moore’s solo efforts. Both the debut and this one are solid, with Time Oddyssey being a worthy successful to his first solo effort. This album is a pleasure on the ears, and it surprises me that Vinnie Moore isn’t a bit better known. I’m not familiar with the guitarist’s later works, so I can’t compare this to them, but this one is pretty much on par with his debut, and benefits from a strong job by the other band members. If you’re not afraid of a little instrumental metal then check this one out.

-DeathRiderDoom