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Joe Stump
2001: A Shred Odyssey
October 2001
Released: 2001, Leviathan
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

Wow! Jaw dropping, guitar histronics from the man that many are coming to consider as the #1 king of shred guitar. Joe Stump, one of the more prolific guitar heroes (Shooting Hemlock, Reign of Terror) returns with his 7th solo CD and it is a barn burner! Not a true full solo CD in the purest sense, this 10 track CD features 3 live tracks, a Rainbow cover tune and some old stuff pulled from the vaults. Like many guitar heros solo CD's the liner notes feature a song by song description and a few live shots of showing off. The music...truly incredible...Joe manages to out Yngwie, Yngwie in many cases. The highlight is the 6 minute long title track, guitar solo; 2001: A Shred Odyssey. Despite each individuals personal preference (or not) for self-indulgent soloing, many will be pressed to admit that this is one of the most incredible solos of all time. The remaining tracks are all a perfect blend of neo-classical speed-metal of varying tempos... but mostly fast! The necessity of owning this disc will come down to your own admiration of incredible guitar proficiency. The most common complaint with these type of instrumental releases is that the song itself suffers at the hands of the virtuosity. (See this months From Hell's Heart editorial topic) On that point the press releases states that, " this intense and complex will not appeal to the simple-minded nor the close minded." I agree and my philosophy is that metal has always been the music that pushes the boundaries to the extremes, sonically and musically. In this context Joe Stump is king. Everyone should have a few killer shred, instrumental discs in their collection, even if only to show the unbelievers that metal musicians are among the most talented in the world. This should be one of them.
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