Mega-killer, brain-damaging, massive 70s heavy guitar tribute disc by this amazing, bad-ass, heavy guitar axeripper from California. Includes 15 tracks (77 min.) of awesome, powerful, mind-blowing, retro-fied, guitar rock power trio madness of epic proportions. "The Warriors Before Me" features phenomenal cover tracks/jams by the following guitar rock legends: Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, Frank Marino, Uli Roth (Scorpions), Ritchie Blackmore (Rainbow), Pat Travers, Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath), Eddie Van Halen (V.H.), Gary Moore, Michael Schenker (UFO), Johnny Winter, Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Lonesome Dave Peverett & Rod Price (Foghat), Angus Young (AC/DC) & Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin)…
Brett Dean is not shy about revealing what his music is ‘about’. Whether inspired by certain individuals (as in Epitaphs), or by an ecological or human disaster (as in his String Quartet No. 1, on the now all too topical plight of refugees), Dean’s works are usually – perhaps invariably – driven by extra-musical narratives. Rather than tease out any innate structural puzzles or tensions, his music typically falls into short little dramatic narratives – no movement on this disc lasts as long as eight minutes, many of them rather less than five. The most obviously successful work here is Quartet No. 2, ‘And once I played Ophelia’, effectively a dramatic scena. Its soprano soloist is no mere extra voice (as in Schoenberg’s Second Quartet) but the leading protagonist. Allison Bell’s genuinely affecting performance is backed by the Doric Quartet’s expressionist scampering and sustained harmonies, the strings occasionally coming to the fore in the manner of a Schumann-style song postlude.
Legendary Australian guitarist Brett Garsed serves up a big helping of solo delights on "Big Sky," his latest musical offering. On a large canvas fitting for a grand Monet, Garsed once again paints a musical landscape using large and brilliant brushstrokes highlighted by subtle colors and fine detail. Fittingly titled "Big Sky," the new album satisfies as it delivers extraordinary playing from the trio of Garsed, Ric Fierabracci (bass) and Toss Panos (drums). The trio's versatility is aptly demonstrated across the CD's ten tracks of melody-infused instrumental rock music. Rich textures are combined with bursts of sound and other-worldly playing, lending credence to the album's title.
Brett's long-awaited follow-up to Rock Fusion features an amazing 6-tune Live Footage section (with Craig Newman on bass, Stuart Fraser on guitar and Angus Burchall on drums). The Instructional Section gets you up close and personal as Brett imparts a wealth of information for players of all levels.
Battles' John Stanier, Ian Williams, and Dave Konopka always sound psyched to play together, but never more so than on their first entirely instrumental album, La Di Da Di. While vocals – first provided by Tyondai Braxton on their early work and by a host of collaborators on 2011's Gloss Drop – might have seemed necessary to humanize their experimentation, they're not missed on the band's third full-length. If anything, removing them gives the trio's ideas to generate sparks the way they did on Mirrored (particularly on "Tricentennial," which recalls the mischievous alien anthems of their debut) while keeping Gloss Drop's immediacy. Battles' mix of muscular drums and riffs and heady melodies and electronics has never sounded so liberated, whether on "The Yabba," a thrilling seven-minute excursion that sounds more like seven one-minute songs strung together, or on the relatively serene "Luu Le," which uses the same amount of time to close the album with a sun-dappled suite. Here and throughout La Di Da Di, the band sounds mercurial but not chaotic, with an interplay that ebbs and flows like creativity itself.