Released: 2005, Lion Music
As perhaps the best instrumental guitar album I’ve heard in a long time, Elias "E.Vil" Viljanen brings forth a beautifully melodic collection of tunes that aren’t just a chance to show off some shred skills (which he does indeed have). The guitar melodies sing to carry each song along its own path. That’s what makes instrumental albums work; the guitar takes over for the vocals so that each song stands alone. He also incorporates some different styles to keep it fresh, like jazz, classic rock, or just simply slows things down.
After an intro, the album starts off with a killer track, "High-Powered," certainly an appropriate title. The main melody shreds, super heavy and a perfect lead off track to ease you into the greatness that is this album. He switches to a mystical, upbeat, happy dreamlike feel in "Touching the Sky" (he really knows how to pick suiting song titles!). The best song though is "Northern Storm." Again he steps it up into fast and heavy, and though the same melody is played repetitively throughout, it’s one of those licks you don’t want to end, it’s just that cool. I found myself playing this song over and over.
The one downfall is in the slower tunes. They’re very sleepy, and there’s just no comparison to the insanely awesome fast tracks. It is good that he mixes it up, but it’s those quiet songs that turn me off for those four minutes. Despite those couple of downers, this is an excellent, impressive album that has made me an Elias Viljanen fan.