STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 169050-26578 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: Digital Only Album
Reviewed by Paul S Ganney
Austria-based Johannes Maria Knoll has an impressive back catalogue of releases - but none in his name. They're all albums he's played on. Now, though, it's Johannes' turn to have his name and photo on the cover. Weighing in with 17 tracks, you can't claim to be short-changed by this album. It's mostly instrumental metal (the spoken piece in the opening "Creation" did leave me wondering whether it was just a long guitar intro. . .). The focus is therefore very much on Johannes' guitar playing, which, I'm pleased to say, is excellent. The titles therefore are the themes for the pieces, taking us from creation, through several Pentateuch themes and then jumping into the life of Jesus, picking some key events and taking us through to the album-closing "Resurrection". They're not just odd titles either as the styles frequently support the title well - especially the manic jumping around of "Confusion Of Tongues" (I also liked the use of sound effects such as a starting pistol in "Exodus" and a baby laughing in "His First Coming"). Comparisons with the likes of Joe Satriani are obvious, but this is much less subtle than Satriani (aside from the aforementioned "His First Coming" and the jazzy "Joy") and stays more within genre. The mixing is top-notch, with the lead guitar clear yet upheld by very powerful backing (I was very impressed by the organ work on "The Sermon On The Mount"). Lead guitarists could learn a lot from this man about how to be part of a band whilst also shining.
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