Released: 2011, Magna Carta Records
We at Metal-Rules have supported fellow Canadian Glen Drover for many, many years. From his criminally under-rated, Toronto based studio band, Eidolon to his ascendency to the global stage with King Diamond and eventually Megadeth, Glen has been waving the flag for Canadian Metal talent for years and we have been with him every step of the way.
So what does an artist do after stepping away from arguably one of the biggest Metal bands in the world? Go solo! Yes, Glen has released his very first instrumental solo album. I’m not surprised after being in the confines (for lack of a better term) of Megadeth, and after almost half a decade on the Mustaine rollercoaster, Drover probably need to stretch his musical wings.
Magna Carta Records had the good sense to pick up Glen solo album and it’s a nice fit. METALUSION to me brings back so many memories of those classic Shrapnel-era guitar hero solo albums. From the cover art, to the production tones this album is a winner. Fave track is likely ‘Egyptian Danza’ with it’s neatly alternating tempos, and every solo album needs that middle-eastern/Egyptian themed tune! The songs range in style from shred to Satriani-esque ballads like ‘Colours Of Infinity’. We get to hear some weird Steve Vai-esque noodlings on the last cut ‘Filthy Habits’, so his influences and styles are all over the map. After a bit of research it’s not surprising that ‘Filthy Habits is a bit weird, it’s a Frank Zappa cover. I’m not a Zappa fan so I didn’t recognize it but in hindsight there are quite a few covers, five out of ten songs in fact, perhaps making this a bit top-heavy with the work of other composers.
Speaking of others this album boats a wide array of guests as well, Loomis Smyth, Moore, Poland, and Akesson and if you are a guitar guy you will recognize all those names immediately. It’s obvious Glen now has friends in high places! All the boys drop by for a guest solo or two.
Some simple and sweet acoustic work opens the gentle cut, ‘Illusions Of Starlight’ and on the other end of the spectrum we get some ripping solos on the album opener, ‘Ground Zero’. It’s a very diverse album that leans somewhat slightly to the mellower side. There are lots of intros and outros and hints of acoustic guitar and piano, ambient pieces in the arrangements so it’s not a just a one-dimensional, balls-out shred fest. There is quite a bit of keyboard and piano laced around the songs as well.
Pair up Drovers’ METALUSION with Poland’s RETURN TO METALOPOLIS, (1990) and you have two of the most awesome, post-Megadeth solo albums ever. It’s nice to hear the art of Metal Guitar-hero solo album has not been lost.