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A Very Likeable Album - 95%

Debopam Roy, December 22nd, 2012

The thing with shredders is, they try to put as many notes as possible within a minuscule time-frame, and they may have accomplished something very vastly difficult to achieve, but they leave the listeners out in the rain. The rule of the game has been to sacrifice melody for increasing technicality. Ohmura, Takayoshi knows this all very well, but chooses to ignore it, and it is this decision, which has made this album what it is. Solid riffing, with very catchy melodies, and a very good overall song-structure. This is one fine album.

Catchy, is the word here. Starting from the riffs, to the lead lines, to the chorus, everything sticks in your mind for a while, and like I mentioned before, Takayoshi-san has not tried to be a one-man shred show, and has done his utmost to put himself at the service of expressing the song. But, do not misunderstand me, he has crafted this album in such a way, that he can showcase his considerable guitar skills, even without being over-the-top. The lead lines are quite complex and very melodious, a simple combination which many of the world's greatest shredders has failed to achieve. Glam influences are very prominent, and so is the use of a distinctly oriental sound. He has merged both of them quite well. The guest vocalists have all been fantastic, never too loud or brash, just doing as much as needed, nothing more, nothing less.

This album had a lot of commercial potential if it had been released during the 80s. But unfortunately it is quite a few years late. In the year of 2007, lot of people have moved on from this sort of music, and that is why it is not a surprise that Takayoshi-san is rather unheard of. Two highlights of the album would have to be 'When I Close My Eyes' and the ending track 'Every Time'. The former has a very striking chorus, and the latter has a memorable riff. What both songs have in common though, is a very melodic, yet complex lead guitar solo.

Production values are not as good as you'd like them to be, but that is a minor glitch which you should not give too much weightage to. It is far from a lyrical masterpiece, but at least it does not make you cringe. To conclude, I'll say I see no reason for any metal lover to dislike this album. This guy deserves more popularity, more respect. He has proved himself, he is not just Marty Friedman's second guitarist, he is Takayoshi Ohmura, who can really play his instrument and craft a full song at the same time.