Release DetailsLABEL Steiger Productions
RELEASED ON 8/23/2003
posted on 3/2004 By:
I do not consider guitar virtuosity a musical form. It's a compliment, an accentuation of a form. By itself it means nothing. I think of it as dunking in basketball. It may or may not look impressive, but it's two fucking points just like any other inside shot. The question is, does it get the team going, or are you just some playground showboat with skills and no game?
To adequately review a record by a guitarist and some other guys means to try to see beyond the "dunks". If you have the balls to make a record that is about how dexterous your fingers are, I am willing to bet your skill is not really in question. So right off the bat we can go ahead and say that Steiger can play the guitar. Fast. So what? So can a shitload of other guys and gals. The real question to anyone who isn't a guitarist is can the guy make MUSIC? And because this is a heavy metal site, can the guy make that kind of music?
Yes. Not all the time, but when the Project gets past the cotton candy, there are some seriously effective compositions here. Even with the near constant soloing, there are songs on here that almost give me the same feelings I used to get from Metallica or Maiden non vocal pieces. There is mood and passion in them which makes you forget the whys and hows and just fall into the pieces
But there are just as many numbers that seem to be resumes for one man's abilities and not musical pieces. These are simply annoying, like listening in on someone else's job interview. Hearing someone talk themself up over and over again. Fuck off already. I imagine there are people who get all wet hearing a guy shred for 4 minutes straight, without rhyme or reason, but I don't want them near me, and if I see them I will fist fuck their heads.
It's more than just that, though. In the year of their Lord 2004 bands are writing compositions so complex and staggeringly powerful that they shame half of what is offered here. Without the human element of a vocalist, there is nothing else BUT composition for the listener to focus on, and after you have listened to Ion Dissonance, Psycroptic and Capharnaum, it's almost a joke to hear these guys play warmed over Dream Theatre. If you have these kinds of chops - and this group DOES have chops and to spare - then INVEST that shit in some forward looking writing.
OK ok. As far as production, it's a tad too effected. Sometimes the sounds all just mash together senselessly, but for the most part it does an adequate job of presenting the group's strong points. It's meatier than some guitar solo records, but not remarkably so.
Bottom Line: Is there one? There are some great numbers on this disc. There are some incredible performances, and not just by Steiger. And there are about an equal number of 'been there done that' numbers and typical skill fests. You would have to be retarded to deny the talent presented though, and for some people that is enough. If you are them, if you enjoy the Satrianis and Vais of the world, you should jump on this record. You get some serious musical bonus for your money. And even if you have a passing affection for decent musicianship all by itself, give this a listen. But if you are after something meatier in your musical diet, this is probably not for you.
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