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So what that Jeff only shreds? That's great! - 100%

Mr Matt, April 23rd, 2018

There is really nothing I have to complain about here in "Zero Order Phase", Jeff Loomis's first solo album. Some might say all Jeff does is shred and fast arpeggios. Maybe so, but that's great! The music in which most of it is shredding and arpeggios is amazing and I love it. Amazing display of skill shown by Jeff in this album. Each piece caught my attention and I couldn't simply stop listening without listening to the whole thing. Despite that most of what he does is neo-classical playing and shredding, each song is different and stands out. This has to be one of my favorite metal solo albums.

As far as my knowledge goes, most of the soloing on "Zero Order Phase" was improvised. I think that's amazing. I remember in "Shouting Fire At A Funeral", Jeff starts out with some slower melodic stuff then builds up to fast playing off of that. I saw on a TAB of that piece, and each part where the guitar is soloing it is titled as 'improvisation 1' and improvisation 2' and so forth. Thinking of that, I myself came up with some ideas for my own improvisation on "Shouting Fire At A Funeral". I think writing the pieces like this might make it easier or even more fun for someone else to perform it.

The full skill and talent of Jeff Loomis is poured out in "Zero Order Phase". I saw on a list that had the NPS of various guitar players says Jeff Loomis sweep picks 18 notes per second in "Devil Theory". That is just as fast as Yngwie Malmsteen can alternate pick. Probably the peak/best part of this album has to be "Miles Of Machines". While "Shouting Fire At A Funeral" was my favorite piece on this album, "Miles Of Machines" is probably the best. The variations of patterns Jeff puts in there is something we don't hear often in music in general. Good luck deciphering that, pop music. Who says there can't be emotion/musicality in shredding?

In closing, While some people might say that all there is when he shreds is playing melodies and arpeggios and other techniques really fast. Well, yeah, and that's awesome. But more importantly, to those people, I urge you to go back and listen more to the music and each note in the techniques and tricks you might hear countless times in neo-classical playing instead of looking at them as just techniques everyone does, in the sense that each note matters and contributes to the piece as a piece of music rather than paying attention to the individual techniques. For example, B minor arpeggio swept across all 6 (or 7 in Jeff's case) strings, has been done countless times. But add that to a piece of music around other notes and it becomes part of the song. Hopefully that makes sense, but that's how I can best explain it.