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A masterpiece of neo-classical speed metal - 91%

Estigia666, May 28th, 2003

Take Yngwie Malmsteen soloing, make it more varied. Then mix with some interesting and agressive riffs, along with a more different approach in songwriting, out comes this album. While the neoclassical shredding market became saturated with guitar players that reproduced the same old formula of watered down Malmsteen solos, this comes shining as one of the definitive works on the genre.

The riffs are grounded on speed metal (with some of them reminiscent to Accept's "Fast as a Shark", for a lack of better comparison) and in some occasions these step onto thrash territory, like, for example, that beast of a riff at the end of "Burn the Ground". As for the solos, you got barocque influence, along with some oriental scales thrown here and there, dissonant patterns (those are, however, among the least), etc. A lot of harmonies between the two guitar players, along with some old fashioned lead interchange. Most of it works, resulting in one hell of an album that, despite being so complex, it catches your attention from beginning to end.

As with every guitar shred album, this one has a couple of instrumentals: "Concerto" and "Speed Metal Symphony", the first being a catchy composition not far removed from Malmsteen and the second a track that relies on experimentation and throws some smoother, slow parts for good measure. All in all, recommended for both fans of neoclassical and speed metal alike. This will not dissapoint. Alexi Laiho wishes he could shred like this.