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Genius neoclassical shred - 98%

swordfisch, November 26th, 2007

I really don't understand why George Bellas doesn't seem to appeal to more metalheads. Have many even heard of this guy? And if so, have you actually heard any of his music? If not, you're missing something really special.


His previous cd, 'Mind over Matter' was truly phenominal - a cd full of staggering
songs/compositions played with transcendental technique & feeling.
The sort of cd you confidently believe can't be surpassed. So it was incredible & more than a little impressive to discover 'Venemous Fingers' is able to match and even surpass 'Mind over Matter'. 'Venemous Fingers' is an appreciable leap forward from, well pretty much everything really, imho!!
I urge everyone who loves quality, technical, neoclassical metal, (or even just superbly crafted compositions, regardless of genre), to give this guy, and this cd in particular, a listen.


Right from the opening, Bellas chooses to exhibit his Paganini-like talent with poise, class and plenty of energy. The production is simply stunning, and more than that, is a work of art in itself! Crystall clear with plenty of bottom end/bass. Each instrument has this surreal clarity and separation, which all somehow combines synergistically. Very much in a fist-pumping, laugh out loud at the sheer genius of it sort-of-way...


The compositions themselves are mindbogglingly technical & earthy/human at the same time. Some feat, George.
I'd like to nominate large parts of this cd for the 'grooviest music' awards. There's monsterously infectious grooves lurking everywhere on this cd, brilliant and memorable counterpoints to the lengthy guitar pyrotechnics. Want specifics? Check out these neck-snapping passages: 0:29; 3:35; 5:30 on 'Journey To The Stars' ; 0:55; 1:55 on 'Shedding Skin'; 3:11 on 'Light Speed'; 0:42 on 'Adrenalin Rush'; 5:16 on 'One Last Wish'; 3:40 on 'Time Warp'.


What about Bellas' actual guitar playing? Unparalleled, unrivalled, & unmatched.
Michael Angello may well be slightly faster, and quite probably has superior technical skills (I can't believe I can say this), but imho, Bellas is the Earth's preeminant guitarist. Sublime, seamless solos that set new standards for tone, feel and intensity. Jaw-dropping speed, virtuosity and creativity.
'Shedding Skin' is a perfect example. A towering monument of neo-classical perfection that induces equal amounts of joy and awe.
The previous cd had a similar type of track, 'Fast and Furious' : very fast & technical and unbelievably infectious.
Both 'Fast and Furious' & 'Shedding Skin' are an unintentional throwing down of the gauntlet by the astonishing Mr Bellas to the rest of the guitar monster fraternity.
I'm not just talking about the guitar solos here, but the whole package: guitar, composition strength, production, supporting instruments (kudos for the exemplary drum progamming), & energy/intensity, etc.
Truly astonishing music. There's something immensly satisying about listening to (very) loud neo-classical metal played by someone who stands toe-to-toe with the Mozarts & Paganinis of this world.

As an wierd (and probably imagined) side effect, listening to this music seems to expand your intelligence/consciousness (I can use all the help I can get). Sounds ridiculous, I know, but there it is. Michael Angelo's cds have the same effect. Definitely towards the inspirational, positive end of the metal spectrum.

How good is George Bellas? Arguably head & shoulders in a field bristling with chops monsters: Michael Angelo, Rusty Cooley, Theo Zirus, Matt Mills, Joe Stump, Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Romeo, David Valdes, German Schauss, etc etc.
Arguably, Bellas is the Roger Federer, Kelly Slater or Valentino Rossi of guitar (neo-classical/shred).
How good is 'Venemous Fingers'? The best guitar instrumental cd I've heard & in the top 5 for favorite metal cds.