Released: 2013, Shrapnel Records
Not many people know this but Shrapnel is America’s longest running Metal label. Founded in 1980 they have been around longer than Metal Blade! It may seem odd to define the record company as ‘Metal’ as they focus on Guitar Gods in many guises, and we know that guitar is the root of all Metal, so they qualify for the distinction. They are still going today and I’m going to do a little roundup of three recent reviews on the Shrapnel label, namely, Jacky Vincent, Dario Lorna and a reissue of the Trauma album. Please feel free to enjoy the trio of reviews.
Jacky Vincent is one of the most exciting, young shredders to come across my ears in quite a while. At the young age of 24 (as of the time of writing) he has made a bit of a name for himself as the guitarist for a metal-core band called Falling In Reverse. I had never heard of him because I don’t care for Metalcore but apparently the band is popular and Alternative Press named him Guitarist of The Year back in 2012 so maybe AP is not as lame as I remember.
STAR X SPEED STORY is his first solo album and it is a whopping thirteen cuts of fantastic shred. All instrumental and loaded with keyboards as well, Jacky rips through a number of tracks with flair and style. The production is tight and clean and the simple songs are merely platforms to showcase his undeniable talent. He claims his influences are the first wave of Shrapnel artists and it shows as he has a very good grasp on the 80’s shred sound. The opening cut, ‘Maybe I am A Wolf’ is one of those jaw-dropping ‘Watch this!’ pieces that kick down the door and announce to the listener to strap in, hang on because it is going to be a wild ride! The album goes from high to high and rarely lets off the throttle.
I’m so delighted that young gunslingers like Jacky Vincent are pushing the boundaries and keeping the shred style alive and…well…shredding! He should quit his day job in the metalcore band, find a cool Metal band and really make a name for himself.
Shrapnel is putting some clout behind this wunder-kid as they brought in a few big guns of guitar for a guest solo, none other than Michael Angelo, Paul Gilbert and Dario Lorna. STAR X SPEED STORY is one of the best shred albums I've heard in ages.