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Speed Metal Messiah is Joe Stump's seventh instrumental album, and according to Joe himself it's his best album. "Playing-wise, compositionally, production, tone and emotion — all aspects of this record are as close to my final vision as anything I've ever released", Stump proclaims. If you aren't familiar with Joe Stump, he plays instrumental guitar music in the style of Yngwie Malmsteen... So expect neo-classical shred with some baroque influences. By the way, Joe Stump was recently voted as one of the top ten shredders of all time in Guitar One magazine (not that these kinds of polls have any base on truth).
Usually shredders have tendency to get repetitive on their songs, but fortunately Stump has fluctuating material on this album. Only complaints regard the originality, almost everything has been already heard on Yngwie Malmsteen's albums. However, this doesn't bother much as this album is good (it withstands comparison with Malmsteen's albums). One of Joe Stump's strengths is his sense for melodic shred (usually shredders play atonal patterns, but fortunately Joe seldom relapses into such futility).
Production on this album is ok... There were only some background noise and distortion resulting from guitar amp and single-coil pickups (at least that's what I suppose). Fortunately this distortion was very exiguous so it didn't affect the listening pleasure too much. There were also slight clipping on few songs, which may result from recording the guitars too loud. Mixing on this album has been done suitably for the style.
All in all, this album is good addition for your collection (that is, if you're a fan of instrumental shred). I think it's quite a safe bet to say that fans of Yngwie Malmsteen will find this album very good. The length is over 69 minutes, during of which you'll hear 14 different songs.
Release date: 24.09.2004
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- MAGE (15.08.2004)
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