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Artist:

Van Wert, Allen "Robot"

Album:

Robot

Year: 2004
Format: CD
Label: Unsigned
Genre: [Guitar-oriented Instrumental Rock/New Age/Electronic]
Overall Rating: 8.0
Music: 8.5
Production: 7.5


The first thing that crossed my mind when I received Allen "Robot" Van Wert's debut solo album 'Robot' was that here's a guy who's definitely into Buckethead. That really drew my attention, since I'm into freaky guitar instrumentals in the vein of Buckethead, Mattias 'IA' Eklundh and the like. I assume Van Wert has also listened to the big names of instrumental rock (namely Joe Satriani and Steve Vai among others), since there are some similarity in his guitar licks to the aforementioned artists.

The material on 'Robot' is quite diverse guitar-oriented instrumental music. At times there's over-the-top experimentality but from time to time Van Wert refrains from shredding and concentrates on melodic, laid-back guitar playing instead. Basically with 'Robot' Allen Van Wert proves that he has both sense of melody and some chops, but at times he slightly overdoes the guitar shredding part. Nonetheless, the album as a whole is rather intriguing recording to listen due to its variety (let alone its experimental edge). In addition, there are some really cool parts here and there making the album somewhat inspiring record to listen from guitarist's point of view.

The weakest aspect of 'Robot' is the production, although it's quite good. However, the distorted rhythm guitar tone could have been thicker, and also some other sounds could have been more to the point. Nevertheless, mostly the sounds are atmospheric and the guitar leads are occasionally rather apposite (both tone-wise as regarding the performance). Unfortunately, slight distortion occurred few times, but nothing grave.

Allen Van Wert's 'Robot' is an album that favourably surprised me... I didn't know what to expect although I had my presumptions about it. There are a lot of great songs on 'Robot', and in case you listen to guitar-oriented instrumental music you should definitely give this album a try. If I was to name some highlights on this album, I'd stress 'Magnets', 'Boundless', 'The Rift', 'Turbo and Ozone', 'Rain on the Window', 'The Others' and 'Sweet Dreams'.

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- MAGE (April 7th, 2005)



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LINE-UP:
Van Wert, Allen "Robot": Everything
Producer: Van Wert, Allen "Robot"
Mixing by: Unavailable
Mastering by: Unavailable
TRACKLIST:
Van Wert, Allen "Robot" - Robot  CD  Cover Image
01. Intro
02. Magnets
03. Polarity
04. Tobor
05. Boundless
06. Lethal
07. Robot Funk
08. Speechless
09. The Rift
10. Breath of the Alien
11. Turbo and Ozone
12. Rain on the Window
13. Shouting into Waves
14. Child Learning to Ride a Bike
15. The Others
16. Truth
17. Sweet Dreams
18. Here Come the Chills

Length: 54:39
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