Released: 2001, Leviathan Records
Does this guy ever take a break? Not only is David one of the best and most accomplished guitarists in the world with over 30 releases to his credit, he is also the driving force behind Leviathan Records. David Chastain should be no stranger to anyone in the metal world reading this review. He is the founder of the group Chastain which at first highlighted the amazing vocals of Leather Leone and now is fronted by another female in Kate French. He also is part of seminal cult band CJSS who just released a new CD not too long ago. David also has dipped his foot into the blues ocean and has released a blues rock disc with his group Southern Gentlemen, who if I'm not mistaken, are working on another CD. Amongst all these group releases David has also released numerous guitar instrumental CDs. As if all these musical projects are not enough to fill his time, David is also the mind behind Leviathan Records. Leviathan is the home of some of David’s projects but also of such diverse acts as Kenziner, Joe Stump and Vain Glory. I once reviewed David and asked him where he got the time for all these projects. The gist of his answer was that the just loved music. I guess that is why he has so much music just lying around ready to be released when it could be properly packaged. ROCK SOLID GUITAR is such an album.
The CD started out as just a jam session but after hearing the tapes David decided that it was too good to lay around gathering dust. Joining David is drummer Mike Haid and bass player Steven Taylor. According to David the material on the CD was planned to a degree but he was free to move around inside the piece as much as he wanted. And it shows. The songs sound spontaneous and full of energy. None showcase this like the opening song "Burning Passions". On this track the rhythm section is tight and Chastain is all over the place. He plays what comes to mind and the track is all the stronger for it as he displays some of his mastery of his instrument. "Sounds Cool To Me" is filled with emotion and Chastain fills the songs with lots of bluesy hard rock drenched solos. One of the most upbeat tracks is "Dancing With The Devil’s Mistress". To me this track has a real late 60s ,early 70s sound with a very basic bass line that actually helps to highlight the guitar playing. Other highlights are the touching ballad "In Memoriam", which is dedicated to all those that we have lost through time, and the closing track "Hat’s off to Angus and Malcolm" pays homage to the bluesy hard rock of 2 of genre’s guitar legends.
Every time I hear a release from David Chastain, he never ceases to amaze me. From Zanister to CJSS to Chastain to Southern Gentlemen, his projects are always of the highest quality and never carbon copies of each other. If you crave some instrumental hard rock, then David Chastain and ROCK SOLID GUITAR is the place to find it. http://www.leviathanrecords.com